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EXIF to File Date

Change the filesystem date of JPG images to match the date stored in the EXIF metadata.

Years ago, I encountered a problem surrounding the excellent Google Photos service. One of my hard drives failed, and I needed to restore a number of photos that were lost in the crash. Google Photos performed perfectly, allowing me to re-download all my missing photos in bulk. But I could no longer sort the local copy of my photos by date. Since the date-stamp of all the photos downloaded from Google Photos was "today" (due to the filesystem date-stamping them at the moment they were downloaded), the original filesystem date information of the files was lost.

Luckily, jpg images have metadata, typically in the form of EXIF tags. Thankfully, the original date/time of these photos was in that metadata!

This presented an interesting challenge: How to read the date/time of the photo from the EXIF tags and use that to set the filesystem date/time for each image?

I wrote some quick code and got it all squared away for my purposes. But then I realized that I couldn't possibly be the only person with this problem, and a more general tool to accomplish this goal would be pretty cool to have, so I put together "EXIF to File Date."

It's pretty simple. You either drag your JPG images into the app window or add

them via a file dialog using the "Add Jpg Files" button in the top right corner. Once you have all your files added to the list, just click "Set Dates To EXIF" and the app will go through each JPG, pull out the date and time the photo was taken from the EXIF tags and set the filesystem date/time of the file to that time. Easy!

You can download and use EXIF to File Date for free on both Mac and Windows. However, the Mac version is only compiled for 32-bit since I wrote this so long ago. Hence, it will only work up to Catalina.


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