Tool to bulk change file creation dates to match modification dates?

Does anyone know of a tool/script/process to change the file creation date on each file in a group of files to match each file’s modification date? The files are in various subfolders.

Background: I’m moving documents from my document management system into my case management system. An automated process moved most of them correctly, but I have four cases I need to move manually. When I download them from the old system, it preserves the correct modification date, but changes each document’s creation date to the date of the download. So I want to copy each document’s modification date over to the creation date.

I found a post by @tjluoma where he came up with a script to change the creation date of a PDF based on a title, and I’m wondering if there is a way to do something similar by grabbing the modification date.

Have you tried these approaches?

This post describes how to do it with Automator. You’ll need the Xcode command line tools.

You can also do the above from Terminal if you want.

The other option is to use a program that copies files without changing their attributes.
You can do that from Terminal with:
cp -a fromfiles to_dir/

Thanks, everyone. I hadn’t seen those ways of doing it, although they might be above my ability. Fortunately, after further digging this morning, I found an alternate way to download the files from the source which does preserve the creation date.

1 Like

For anyone who stumbles upon this post and wants a GUI method of doing this, check out A Better Finder Attributes, which I came across in my search for a solution. Really powerful way to alter a file’s metadata.


They’ve been around a loooong time. :slight_smile:

1 Like