Getting your camera pictures back to the correct created-time

How many times have you had some new battery in your camera set, after which the time did not set correctly and each photo you take is a photo taken in 1970 or has another issue when seen on the computer? This is a common problem that one tool, Exiftool has a quick solution for:

When you take a picture on a phone or camera the date and camera info is embedded as text in the file – you can see this in the right click, properties tab:

Fortunately there is a tool that can adjust this date. If your photos all in one folder show up as Jan 1st 1970 or some other odd date, you can use the exiftool to change the built in hidden text data within the image (the exif data). Here are the instructions for Windows and Linux/unix:

Windows

Download and unzip exiftool, to something like “C:\exiftool.exe” or another folder. Under start menu open up “Powershell”. This opens Powershell terminal.

Go to the directory with all the photos you want to fix the date on – enter “cd ” then the folder of images to change, which you can drag from the file manager into the terminal. Hit enter and it should show the folder to the left.

enter “& “, then the path of the exiftool file (You can drag the .exe from the file folder to the terminal), then ” ‘-AllDates+=0:01:00 11:00:00‘ *.JPG if, for example you wanted to increase the date by one month 11 hours. (year:month:day hour:min:sec). In this case your command would look like this before you run it:

H:\DCIM\somefolder> & "C:\Program Files\exiftool.exe" '-AllDates+=0:01:00 12:00:00' *.JPG

After running this code you should have adjusted files and some JPG_original files for backup.

Linux/Ubuntu

Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and change directory to the one in which you want to change all the photos (you can drag the folder from the file manager to the terminal.

Make sure you have exiftool installed – it may be set already.
(run “sudo apt install exiftool”, entering password if necessary, it will not show on screen)

Next run the exiftool on the current folder with an adjustment (year:month:day hour:min:sec) , for example to change by one year ahead of the set time:

exiftool "-AllDates+=1:00:00 00:00:00" *.JPG

Conclusion

Using either of these methods you can use the open souce exiftool to rework the dates in the metadata. Check the taken on / created date in the properties for the files after running it! There are other tools that are based on this tool and there are many other options that you can read about at exiftool.sourceforge.net.

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