Forum Question: How Do I Modify the Creation Date for a File?

I’m using Yosemite on a Mid-2010 MBP. I’ve searched on Creation Date Modification and found many threads on using “touch” in Terminal, but “touch” apparently doesn’t work for Creation Date in Yosemite. (“touch” does work for Last Modified Date, but that is not a solution for me.)

Further, if that file is a JPEG, will the EXIF data be modified by the same action, or must it be changed separately?

Thanks – J.
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Jerry G.

Comments: 7 Responses to “How Do I Modify the Creation Date for a File?”

    2/11/16 @ 10:50 am

    That’s tough to do. Not a normal thing. What is you need for this? Perhaps if I understood your need, then I could present a better solution or alternative.
    Depending on the type of document, you could just create a new one and copy the contents of the old one into the new one. That would work for word processing documents, for instance.

    Jerry G.
    2/11/16 @ 11:04 am

    My immediate need is to correct the dates on a few dozen photograph files for shots taken after my camera was returned from repair, and before I noticed that the date/time in the camera had been reset to some time in 2014. I know that there is a function for this in iPhoto, but I have stopped using iPhoto and prefer not to use Photos. I was looking for the general solution and planned to apply it to this specific case first. My last resort will be to use iPhoto on the most important photos only.

    2/11/16 @ 11:20 am

    So you have two different things here. First you have the file creation date. Then you have the photo’s date in the metadata inside the file, along with things like camera settings, etc.
    If you are using any photo management app at all, like iPhoto or the newer Photos app, then it is just a simple matter of changing the date inside the app. Forget about the file date, that’s not important.
    As for Photos, why do you prefer not to use it? iPhoto is old and will no longer receive any updates from Apple. It doesn’t work with any new systems like iCloud. So I don’t recommend anyone use iPhoto. But why not Photos?

    Jerry G.
    2/11/16 @ 12:50 pm

    I’m happy with Finder for organizing my files, Preview for adding annotation into the images, and Creative Kit apps for image editing. I don’t want cloud syncing, Faces, etc. I don’t want multiple parallel image libraries.

    I was ready to move up to Aperture just when it went away. Now I’ve found a comfortable set of high-performing apps that suit my needs. Except for this pesky file metadata management thing.

    2/11/16 @ 1:04 pm

    Jerry: OK. I understand. Personally, I don’t know how I lived without Photos + iCloud Photo Library. The idea that I used to have to go home and sit in front of my desktop computer to see my photos, where now I can access them from my iPhone, iPad or MacBook anywhere I am, anytime. This is an amazing time.

    Jerry G.
    2/11/16 @ 2:14 pm

    Gary – Thank you for considering my question. I always appreciate your experience and perspective.

    Jerry G.
    2/12/16 @ 10:58 am

    I’m back to report that I am evaluating “A Better Finder Attributes 5”, the direct download version of the MacAppStore’s “File Multitool 5”. It seems to do everything I want, which is to be able to modify both the File Creation Date and the EXIF photo creation date. Further, it can apply an offset to every file in a folder so you don’t have to deal with the files one by one, and still get individualized time corrections, vie hat offset.

    Thanks for you help with this. -J.

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