Does someone know of any software/technique to reorganize image files in folders named by date?

  • Which operating system are you talking about? – Lee Taylor Dec 9 '12 at 19:30

Recently I had a similar need.

Specifically I wanted to move and rename files based on date the picture was taken, as follows:

E:\Pictures\DSC_001.jpg to E:\Pictures\2009\2009-04-23\2009-04-23-14h56m28.jpg E:\Pictures\DSC_002.jpg to E:\Pictures\2009\2009-04-23\2009-04-23-15h32m14.jpg E:\Pictures\DSC_003.jpg to E:\Pictures\2010\2010-02-22\2020-02-22-14h56m28.jpg

The motives for me for this structure:

  • I had 6000 files in the E:\Pictures folder. Even though I had used Namexif to rename all of them into YYYY-MM-DD-HHhMMmSS.jpg format, I would have still had 800+ subfolders under Pictures, had I not used year folders.
  • Had I used 2009/12/31/2009-12-31-23h59m59s.jpg format, it would have been tedious to surf around folders (on some months I have taken pictures only on few days)
  • The 2009-12/2009-12-31-23h59m59s.jpg format would have still produced too many subfolders to E:\Pictures folder and also to 2009-12 and other more popular months (all the many pictures taken on 24th and 31th of Dec would all be listed directly under 2009-12 folder).


After spending an hour trying out various graphical UI based programs, eventually what got the job done exactly how I needed, was ExifTool.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download ExifTool.
  2. Install it:
    • If you're on Windows, you should:
      • unzip the zip file,
      • rename exiftool(-k).exe to exiftool.exe
      • move exiftool to some folder in your PATH (I use C:\Windows folder) so that it is usable in every folder you're currently in (I use C:\Windows).
    • If you're on Mac, just install the app.
  3. Open your terminal:
    • In Windows, press WinR and type cmdEnter,
    • On Mac, press cmdspace and type term
  4. Navigate to the folder where your pictures are. On Mac you would type something like
    cd /Volumes/MyUSBDrive/Pictures. In Windows you would type E:Entercd Pictures. Use your own folder path here, of course.
  5. Now launch exiftool and let it do its job:
         exiftool -d %Y/%Y-%m-%d/%Y-%m-%d-%Hh%Mm%S.%%e "-filename<datetimeoriginal" . (the dot at the end refers to current directory)

Basically you're telling exiftool to read date taken (datetimeoriginal) information from within the picture file and use that information to rename the file, using YYYY/YYYY-mm-dd/YYYY-mm-dd-HHhMMmSS.ext format. Notice that there are slashes in the file format we specify -- this causes the file to be moved into respective folder structure, which is created on the fly.

You can move and/or rename files any way you like with this utility. If your requirements differ from mine, just refer to this page which contain nice examples from where I derived the command line I eventually used.

  • 1
    Note, for M4V videos I needed to use "-filename<creationdate" in the command above. – Bjørn Børresen May 11 '16 at 21:10

Came across this question searching for a solution to the exact same issue.

I found two programs to accomplish this:

There is a free version and a paid version. The free version only allows for a Year/Month/Day folder structure. The paid version allows for more folder options and some additional file types and handling options.

This is a free utility to move or copy photos from one folder structure to another. A few less options than the paid version of Photo Move but it does allow to specify up to 4 levels of folder structure.


You can use ReNamer with some rules.
Rules to move pictures into subfolders based on date


I know that Zoner Photo Studio should be able to do that, but I've never tried that. It supports a library mode and it can help you organize photos – it can move pictures taken the same day to individual folders.

Is this what you need?
enter image description here

source: Zoner: organize your photo collection


Open Windows Explorer > Go to Folder Containing Sub-Folders with pictures in it. CAVEAT: Assuming your folders are labeled with different dates (and hence time).


Then sort by folder's date created.


You can also use DropIt to move your images and videos to specific folders based on the EXIF data. I like DropIt because I can preview what gets moved before I commit to the move.


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.