I purchased a new camera during my vacation, but I managed to take a whole night worth of photos with the incorrect date. I purchased the camera July 18th, but managed to set June 18th as the date.

These are JPEG's by the way.

I imported the photos into Lightroom, but no matter what I try, I can't get all the photos moved to the correct date.

Here's what I tried, which looked promising, but failed.

I first exported all the originals back out (I've tried copying the files as well) to a temporary directory.

Then I used FastStone Viewer to batch manipulate the date and time. It has a function that allows me to keep the time, but set the date, and brought all images up to July 18th. The files had their dates changed on disk as well.

When I try to import the files back into Lightroom, they still appear on the June 18th date, I can see that in the import window, and after import they're still back in June.

This is Windows 7, 64-bit, Lightroom 3.

If I check the files with FastStone viewer on disk, they have no date back in June, still Lightroom seems to think they are.

What am I doing wrong? Does LightRoom cache this information from a previous import? I've tried exiting LightRoom, moving the directory with my temporary files, and restarting it, same results.

5 Answers 5


Lightroom can do this natively - you don't need to export and re-import.

Select the photos in Grid view - go to Metadata->Edit Capture Time.

This article from Adobe has details.

  • 1
    I looked at that, but if I want to keep the time portion of the capture timestamp, is there any way I can use that dialog (except for executing the timezone shift +24 hours 30 times or so to move them one day forward until I get to the right date.) Jul 26, 2010 at 19:39
  • 2
    If you select multiple files, it will apply the difference to all of them, not the date that you set in the box. I just did this with a set of 50 images taken over three months that were all one year off. I changed the date up a year in that dialog, and it just applies +1 year to all the images. It does not apply the specific time.
    – Bryson
    Dec 19, 2010 at 11:14
  • 1
    I can confirm what @Bryson says - just tried it. Relevant passage from the Adobe docs: "in the Grid view, Lightroom changes the capture time for the active photo by the specified adjustment. ... Other photos in the selection are adjusted by the same amount of time."
    – peterflynn
    Jul 3, 2015 at 6:15

I believe that one of the most powerful tools for batch manipulation of EXIF data out there is Exif Tool. I use it mainly for batch renaming files, but it can also be used for manipulating the EXIF data. Here are a couple of examples of batch date/time shifting. Not the most user friendly piece of software around, but quite accessible for software developers, and it comes in versions for both Windows and Mac.


You might try creating a new LR catalog, and importing to that. It also might be worth using some EXIF viewing utilities to make sure all the dates were changed, as there are sometimes more than one date/time in the EXIF data.

  • I tried a couple, including Exifer, and I couldn't find any lingering dates in June on any of the photos. Jul 26, 2010 at 19:39
  • Did you try the new LR catalog? I'm pretty sure LR caches some info in its catalog, which may include the date info. Jul 31, 2010 at 2:16

Not sure about Lightroom, but there are other tools -- Microsoft Pro Photo Tools has an option to bulk adjust the date/time on photos.

  • I will look at that, this is a one-time operation so doesn't have to be pretty, I just want to avoid manually shifting/editing one photo at a time. Jul 26, 2010 at 19:40
  • @Rowland Shaw Link does not work Jul 27, 2016 at 19:15
  • @RyanWeaver Fixed link, although the product itself hasn't been updated since 2008 Jul 27, 2016 at 19:56

Lightroom does not alter the files themselves, it only makes a note to itself to treat those files as if they were from another date.

*To change the metadata in the files themselves, you will have to Edit-> Catalogue Settings -> Metadata, tick "write on proprietary exif.." at the bottom. Then you will have to export and then import again.

Furthermore, you will have select the photos in grid mode and then on the right panel find the date and time section. Then click on the tiny icon next to the date (where it should say "mixed") to write your changes onto the actual files.*

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