I use F-Spot to manage my images. For one set of images, the dates somehow got messed up and they all are marked as September 1st 2007. I'd like to change the date taken information to a different date. How can I do this?

10 Answers 10


jhead is capable of doing this.

Let's say you know a certain picture was taken on 2017-04-19 16:20 but the current date is showing as 2007-09-01 00:15, you can adjust all jpg pictures in a folder to the correct time by doing:

jhead -da2017:04:19/16:20-2007:09:01/00:15 *.jpg

Here is an extract from the manual:

   -ft        Set file modification time to Exif time
   -dsft      Set Exif time to file modification time
             Rename files according to date.  Uses exif date if present, file
             date otherwise.  If the optional format-string is not supplied,
             the format is mmdd-hhmmss.  If a format-string is given, it is
             is passed to the 'strftime' function for formatting
             In addition to strftime format codes:
             '%f' as part of the string will include the original file name
             '%i' will include a sequence number, starting from 1. You can
             You can specify '%03i' for example to get leading zeros.
             This feature is useful for ordering files from multiple digicams to
             sequence of taking.  Only renames files whose names are mostly
             numerical (as assigned by digicam)
             The '.jpg' is automatically added to the end of the name.  If the
             destination name already exists, a letter or digit is added to
             the end of the name to make it unique.
             Same as -n, but rename regardless of original name
  -a         (Windows only) Rename files with same name but different extension
             Use together with -n to rename .AVI files from exif in .THM files
             for example
             Adjust time by h:mm backwards or forwards.  Useful when having
             taken pictures with the wrong time set on the camera, such as when
             traveling across time zones or DST changes. Dates can be adjusted
             by offsetting by 24 hours or more.  For large date adjustments,
             use the -da option
             Adjust date by large amounts.  This is used to fix photos from
             cameras where the date got set back to the default camera date
             by accident or battery removal.
             To deal with different months and years having different numbers of
             days, a simple date-month-year offset would result in unexpected
             results.  Instead, the difference is specified as desired date
             minus original date.  Date is specified as yyyy:mm:dd or as date
             and time in the format yyyy:mm:dd/hh:mm:ss
  -ts<time>  Set the Exif internal time to <time>.  <time> is in the format
  -ds<date>  Set the Exif internal date.  <date> is in the format YYYY:MM:DD
             or YYYY:MM or YYYY

An even more powerful option is ExifTool.

  • Recently used jhead to correct and synch the date/time stamps on hundreds of pictures from a family vacation where three cameras all had the data and time incorrectly set. Easy to use and quite useful.
    – Will M
    May 9 '10 at 21:00
  • Jhead doesn't seem to support RAW file types, but ExifTool does (e.g. Canon CR2, Nikon NEF, Sony ARW). This is good to know, for those of us who either shoot only in RAW or both RAW and JPEG.
    – Samir
    May 4 '14 at 10:50
  • Is it compatible with Windows 10?
    – XPMai
    Jun 24 '18 at 7:13
  • @XPMai Still works with Windows 10 - I ended up using -ds for my purposes. May 22 '19 at 14:08

Picasa has this built-in. Tools => Adjust Date and Time....


exiv2 is a command line tool to manipulate exif data. Supported image formats are JPEG, Canon CRW and Canon THM. PNG is read-only.

If you want to set the file date to the exif date you can use exiv2 with the following option.

-t Set the file timestamp according to the Exif create timestamp in addition to renaming the file (overrides -k). This option is only used with the ’rename’ action.

  • thanks! exiv2 is easy to use and quick. -T allows to set the file timestamp without file renaming :)
    – orzechow
    Sep 8 '15 at 13:07

Try FastStone Image Viewer [features, download link 1, download link 2]

a screenshot

  • It actually converts the image, instead of just adding meta data right?
    – XPMai
    Jun 24 '18 at 7:15

Here is what I needed

To add constant offset to old date

exiv2 ad -a -3:17 *.JPG

To rename into %Y%m%d_%H%M%S

exiv2 mv *.JPG

Other formats and options are specified in man pages.


I use a following script to give images some successive dates. Hope it helps. It expects a directory with the images to be redated as an argument i .e script directory_with_images

for file in "$1"/*;
    exiv2 -v -M"set  Exif.Image.DateTime $DATE $(printf %02d $HOUR):$(printf %02d $MINUTE):00" "$file"
    exiv2 -v -M"set  Exif.Photo.DateTimeDigitized $DATE $(printf %02d $HOUR):$(printf %02d $MINUTE):00" "$file"
    exiv2 -v -M"set  Exif.Photo.DateTimeOriginal $DATE $(printf %02d $HOUR):$(printf %02d $MINUTE):00" "$file"
    #sets file timestamp (i.e. filesystem metadata, not image metadata) as well
    exiv2 -v -T "$file"
    if [ $MINUTE = 59 ]; then
        HOUR=$((HOUR + 1))
        MINUTE=$((MINUTE + 1))
    # this would rename the file as well
    #new_path=`pwd`/new_filename$(printf %02d $HOUR)$(printf %02d $MINUTE).jpg
    #cp "$file" "$new_path"

iPhoto and Aperture both have a time-shift option, for when you're in a new time-zone usually, or the clock is wrong. It can either leave the files unedited (only updating the App's db) or edit the files. Clearly F-Spot needs to borrow this.


Exiftool: slow on the command line. (It's written in Perl, so draw your own conclusions there.)

Exifer creates an empty tag or two in files, and not just in the EXIF block. It will also remove some tags written by other tools. As I haven't used it in over a year, I can't be specific as to which ones.

FastStone's stuff, imx, is too slow to keep installed for more than a day or two.

My vote is for Hr. Weinzerl's suggestion: Exiv2.



Picasa 3, a free photo management tool from Google, will do this and it's nice and quick.

In Picasa select View menu > Properties to display the Properties pane.

Select the folder containing the photos and they'll appear as a collection of thumbnails.

Select the thumbnails you want to update. To decide which to update as a batch, you can either set them all to the same new date-time or you can change the first one and all the rest will be time-shifted by the same amount.

In the Properties pane right click on the Camera Date field then select Adjust Date and Time... from the context menu. The Adjust Photo Date dialog will open showing the current Camera Date for the first photo.

Edit the Camera Date and Time as required. If you just want to change a.m. to p.m., or vice versa, just select the "a.m." part of the time and type "a" or "p" as appropriate. No need to type the whole "a.m." or "p.m." thing.

There are two options, if you selected more than one thumbnail for updating: "Adjust all photo dates by the same amount" or "Set all photos to the same date and time". Choose whichever is appropriate. Then click OK.

The EXIF dates of all the selected photos will be updated.

  • See earlier answer by @user28515 that also suggests Picasa; sadly it is no longer available.
    – JohnC
    Dec 6 '18 at 3:52
  • Although Picasa is no longer being developed by Google and they've removed the installer from their website it's still possible to download the last version, v3.9. Googling "download picasa 3.9" will give plenty of hits. If you're leery of downloading from a random site the official Google download is still available via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. For more info see here: sites.google.com/site/picasaresources/Home/Picasa-FAQ/picasa/…
    – SimonTewsi
    Dec 6 '18 at 21:21

For anyone using Windows 10: making mass changes to certain meta data is built into File Explorer.

  • Select the photos you'd like to update in File Explorer
  • Right-click on a selected photo and open Properties
  • Assuming you have only photos selected, the Details tab will allow you to make changes

This only works for assigning the same value (e.g. Date Taken) to each photo you selected.

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