How to modify image EXIF metadata - Date Created / Date Modified [Command line tool]

How to modify image EXIF metadata - Date Created / Date Modified [Command line tool] banner

To modify image EXIF metadata - Date Created / Date Modified you can use ExifTool with the following command:

exiftool -AllDates='2021:11:11 13:25:23' my_image.jpg

Where 2021:11:11 13:25:23 is the desired date and my_image.jpg is the filename of the image.

Note that this is a command line tool that has no graphical interface.

Full Exiftool installation guide

You can find step by step tutorial below.

How do I change the EXIF data date?

To change the "Date Created" or other date-related EXIF metadata of an image using the exiftool command-line tool, you can follow these steps:

  1. Install ExifTool: If you haven't already, you'll need to install the ExifTool software. You can download it from the official website:

  2. Open Command Prompt / Terminal: Open a command prompt (Windows) or terminal (macOS or Linux) on your computer.

  3. Navigate to the Image Directory: Use the cd command to navigate to the directory where the image is located. For example, if your image is in the "Pictures" folder, you would use:

    cd /path/to/Pictures
  4. Change Date Created: Use the following command to change the "Date Created" (also known as "Date/Time Original") EXIF metadata of the image:

    exiftool -DateTimeOriginal="2023:08:01 10:00:00" image.jpg

    Replace "2023:08:01 10:00:00" with the desired date and time in the format YYYY:MM:DD HH:MM:SS.

  5. Save Changes: The above command will modify the EXIF metadata of the image. To make the changes permanent, add the -overwrite_original flag to the command:

    exiftool -DateTimeOriginal="2023:08:01 10:00:00" -overwrite_original image.jpg

    This will overwrite the original image with the modified EXIF data.

  6. Check the Changes: You can use the following command to verify that the changes were applied:

    exiftool image.jpg

    This will display the updated EXIF metadata for the image.

Remember to replace image.jpg with the actual filename of the image you want to modify. Also, be cautious when modifying metadata, as changes might be irreversible. Make sure to back up your images before making any modifications.

Please note that modifying metadata can sometimes lead to unexpected results or compatibility issues, so testing changes on a copy of the image is recommended first.

What is EXIF?

EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) is a standard format for storing metadata in digital images, especially JPEG and TIFF formats. This metadata includes information about various aspects of the image, such as the camera settings used to capture it, the date and time it was taken, GPS coordinates if available, and other technical details. The EXIF data is embedded within the image file itself and remains with the image as it is shared or transferred.

Common EXIF information includes:

  1. Camera Settings: This includes details like the make and model of the camera, lens information, focal length, aperture, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity, and more. These settings provide insights into how the image was captured and can be useful for analyzing photographic techniques.

  2. Date and Time: The exact date and time the image was taken are recorded in the EXIF data. This can be helpful for organizing and cataloging images, as well as for establishing a chronological sequence of events.

  3. GPS Coordinates: If the camera has GPS capabilities, the EXIF data can include the geographic coordinates where the image was taken. This can be used to create geotagged images that show where each photo was captured on a map.

  4. Copyright and Author Information: Photographers can embed copyright information and author details in the EXIF data to protect their intellectual property.

  5. Image Processing Information: Some EXIF data may also indicate whether the image was post-processed, edited, or manipulated after capture.

  6. Exposure Information: Details about the exposure settings used to capture the image, such as the exposure compensation value, metering mode, and flash settings.

  7. Color Space: Information about the color space used in the image, which can affect how the colors are displayed on different devices.

  8. Software Information: EXIF data can reveal the software or application used to process or edit the image. This can provide insights into the workflow of the photographer.

EXIF information is useful for photographers, as it helps them understand the technical aspects of their images and improve their photography skills. It's also valuable for viewers, as it provides context and details about how a particular image was created. However, due to privacy concerns, it's a good practice to be cautious when sharing images with embedded GPS coordinates, as this could potentially reveal personal information about the photographer's location.