I've run into a surprising problem keeping my photos in order in Windows.

I have photos from two Android phones and a Canon point and shoot camera that may be unedited, or edited on the phone app or by the standard photo apps on my PC and Mac laptops.

By default, Explorer sorts by file timestamp AKA modification date. When Explorer is in "Details" view you can right-click on the fields header and add various fields, including "Creation date".

So ordering by creation date allows you to avoid sorting edited photos as newer than unedited photos since this changes the modification date.

But it turns out that moving photos from the Android phones via the USB cable, which uses MTP or PTP behind the scenes, causes the photos to get a new "creation date" timestamp of the time the files are moved, rather than the time the photos were taken!

Is there some way I can organize all my photos by date and time actually taken since neither the creation date nor modification date can be replied upon to reflect the time the photo was taken?

  • 1
    What about the Content Created or Date Taken fields? Do they get reset when you copy? Feb 1, 2019 at 8:31
  • 1
    Strange! I looked for any other fields in my photos folder just before posting the question and they were the only two. Now however I do also see the "Date taken" field and it is indeed working as expected! Movie files from the same camera don't have it but that was not in my question. Feb 1, 2019 at 8:38
  • I don't have the actual command handy but you can use exiftool to copy the date/time taken back to the file system.
    – cybernard
    Oct 10 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


Using Windows 10 I had the same problem when I transferred a folder from to my SSD drive to an SDLC card. From the card I could not sort the photos by "Date Taken"- could not even find a possibility of sorting by Date Taken when reading from the card. Instead of installing another app I played around and by transferring the pics from the SDLC card back into an experimental folder, I could then sort by Date Taken which means the data for “Date Taken” has been transferred to the card but for whatever strange reason in the land of bits and bytes that data can’t be read from the card.

Worked for me.


Try this

Go into file explore in the folder you want to order the pictures.

Right Click in a blanks space in the column headers area.

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Right next to size

Then select more: enter image description here

Then select date taken and click OK

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You should now have the date taken column and should be able to sort by that by clicking on it.

enter image description here

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