Getting old photos into photos app with date?

Hey folks. I just found several cds of photos from 2007 - 2010 I thought lost in a computer crash back around then. Yay. Baby pictures galore!

I’d like to copy them into photos and keep the dates. However a test import of a few shows they just show up as current.

Right now they are organized in folders with dates as the titles. The files names are random img_353536.jpg type names.

Any help would be appreciated.


From the distance I would guess, that your older photos are in lack of the right data within the Exif-Part.
So I would have a look onto this, to see if you could correct this, before you upload them into Photos.
There are a lot of Apps out there to do so, and I haven’t used any of them during the last couple of years, so I could not make a serious recommendation for one, but on the following website, there are some of them with a description.


Once they are in Photos you can adjust the dates using Image → Adjust Date and Time. It’s tedious but it does work.

Another possibility is to use something like A Better Finder Attributes before importing. Ultimately I concluded this wasn’t significantly better than using the built-in tool, YMMV.

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Thanks folks. I’ll take a look into these options.

I can take it as an opportunity to curate them if I have to do it manually. Lol.

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That’s what I use all the time, but then I pull the resulting photos into Lightrooma nd that helps Lightroom get ti all correct.

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You could use a shell script to add the directory name if they are stored in folders with a Year / Month format?

You could try Exiftool (homebrew) to change the metadata.

One option would be to put the images in YYYY\MM folders and from there set the value of DateTimeOriginal through Exiftool from the directory names

exiftool “-datetimeoriginal<${directory}:01 00:00:00” -r ~\images_directory

(for subdirectory parsing don’t forget the -r (recursive) flag)

You can play around with these using the command line, but Exiftool usually does a great job
(You could do YYYY/MM/DD if you have the days f.e.)

Once you’ve set the metadata correctly iCloud Photo should have no problems correctly sorting them.