MetaImage - Just change 1 Meta entry and copy all rest

Dear team. I am struggling to make the most basic of changes and cannot find the instructions how. Would you be so kind?
I have thousands of pictures in Apple Photos app on Mac OS that I mistakenly used “Adjust Date & Time”. I would like to revert all back to original Date Taken.
I am using the instructions on this page: How to fix image Finder dates?
I created a Preset. It replaces current value of File:FileCreateDate and File:FileModifyDate with the value from EXIF:CreateDate.
However, within this workflow, the original picture file gets deleted a new one created with the correct Date Taken, however I loose all other Metadata (such as Person, Keywords from Apple Photos etc.).
Is there anyway to keep everything but just do this 1 correction of Date?
This is the only reason I purchased the app.
Thank you.

Hello there,

Are your photos in Photos or Finder? I ask this question because Photos has its own metadata management and does not allow you to modify them like the Finder. For example, Finder uses the value File:FileCreateDate while Photos completely ignores it. Photos uses the following tags:


The solution would restore the correct date in these tags. Please note that a panel informs you that MetaImage creates a new copy of your photos which is why you may lose Person and Keywords if they are only saved in the Photos interface and not in the file as metadata.

Hi Jeremy, thank you so much for reply.
I am in Photos (what I mean is, I am using Photos, not Finder at all). Photos is my primary picture catalog and archive, including in iCloud.

Pardon my ignorance if I re-ask the question, after reading your second paragraph (starting with “The solution…”).
It is still unclear to me if I can achieve my desired result: not loose Person and Keywords in Photos? And how?


Your files are in Photos and not in Finder. So everything you can read about metadata, in general, will only work if Photos has its own metadata management. Photos has a private database with all the information. Even if you modify the original file in the disk, the app will keep/restore the metadata read while importing the file.

The only solution is to export the file from Photos, modify the metadata in Finder, import the file to Photos again and delete the original file from Photos that is now duplicated. All these steps are pretty annoying, so I added special support in MetaImage. When you use the “Open File from Photos” button in MetaImage, the app does all these steps during the save process if you make metadata edits.

During the import, Photos read tags to fill its own database:

Pictures Information Metadata Tags
Title IPTC:ObjectName
Caption IPTC:Caption-Abstract
Date IPTC:DateCreated / IPTC:TimeCreated
Keywords IPTC:Keywords
Location EXIF: GPS

Please note that Photos may also use other tags such as:

  • XMP:Title
  • XMP:Subject
  • EXIF:ImageDescription
  • EXIF:DateTimeOriginal
  • EXIF:CreateDate
  • EXIF:ModifyDate

So you can import your files in MetaImage and make edits. The metadata changes related to the fields above will be visible in the interface of Photos. However, suppose you already set Persons and Keywords in the Photos interface: in that case, this information will be lost during the process as they were not saved in the metadata of the file collected by MetaImage.

I think you have only two solutions. The first is to revert the date changes made in Photos using Photos. The second is to use MetaImage is to make the metadata changes you want but you will have to restore Persons and Keywords if they have been edited only in Photos and not in the metadata.

I know this is not the best solution, but Photos has poor capabilities with metadata, and MetaImage cannot read and change the information it cannot get. The problem is that Photos has a private database that is independent of MetaImage.

Hmmm, after I read the OP‘s issue, and trying to comprehend how we could solve this: maybe the new feature of iOS/macOS Photos can help here: Duplicate detection and merging the photos‘ metadata. Probably a small test can show if this a way forward?

JotZet, I am so happy to suggest this. You are on the spot of what I am trying to achieve and use. My situation is the following:
(-) I am trying to use the new Duplicate detection feature.
(-) I have around 40.000 duplicates to correct (meaning, getting them down to roughly 15.000-20.000 unique pictures.
(-) I have plenty of the following situations:
Picture 1: wrong “Date picture taken”. Better quality.
Picture 2: correct “Date picture taken”. Worse quality.
I click on “Merge” in Apple Photos and the end result is taking Picture 1 - better version but with wrong dates. I am therefore hoping to firstly correct the dates and then Merge again, ending in the correct result:
Picture with correct “Date picture taken” and Better quality.