Joe Maller.com

Date-shifting in iPhoto ’08

I get a lot of requests to add date-shifting support for iPhoto 08 to my iPhoto AppleScripts. But in most cases, the scripts would be completely unnecessary, iPhoto finally built this feature into the application. Here’s how to use it.

Select one or more photos you’d like to adjust, then choose “Adjust Date and Time…” from the Photos menu:

You then change the Adjusted date to the correct time and all the other photos will be shifted to match.

Using this native tool is substantially faster than anything I could do with AppleScript. I’m just kind of sad I never finished up the auto-date difference calculator I was working on.


  • Max

    I recommend using the “Batch Change…” => Date dialog instead. It does the same thing, but adds the option to add an increment of time between each photo. Ex: if you have a dozen photos with the wrong time, but they’re in order, you can use Batch change to mark them as “1:01pm, 1:02pm, 1:03pm, etc …”

    I’m not sure why there are two options that do the same thing. Maybe it’s historical; I didn’t look too hard at the version before iPhoto ’08.

  • Ebo

    Hey Max, the two functions do different things.

    Batch Change will discard the date and time from each photo, and relabel them, starting out at the date&time you enter, adding the increment for next photo. Without regards to what the time between photos originally was.

    Adjust Date will just shift the actual time on each photo. So their relative dates and times stay what they were. Typical use would be when your camera’s clock is a couple minutes off, compared to someone else’s camera, who’s pictures you are hoping to merge into your library. Or when you forgot to set the timezone.

    Hope that makes sense.

  • Chris

    Just wanted to say thanks for this. I was looking around and found the batch change when I really wanted Adjust Date but just hadn’t found it. Thanks for the info.

  • Darren

    Thanks for the information, however, when I subtract 5 hours from the time for example, and this results in the photo being from the previous day, it doesn’t change the date automatically. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  • Hans Douma

    Did somebody ever try to change the date to a very early date, say 1-1-1890 ? I need to do this often because I have old documents scanned into iPhoto and I want them to have the date they were created. iPhoto cannot handle this. You will have to adjust the date twice. The first time it will end up with a date in 1941 and only after the second attempt it will use the proper date. Apple don’t react to bug reports on this issue

  • Simon

    My Problem is, that I’m doing lots of international trips. That mean by exchanging pictures that every camera has different hours because of time change. So, how can I change in iPhoto 8 just the hour?
    If I’m arranging pictures and than just add everytime on minute doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I get more pictures one day later or a month later. No problems if I keep the right minutes…
    The Time Shift would be perfect for me. Is there an other skript or how can I do it?

  • Kelly

    Thank you so, so, SO much for this.  You just saved me hours of work and lots of frustration.  I’m not super tech-savvy, so it would have taken me ages.  :)

  • Jason

    Thanks.  Apple doesn’t document this well.  For a long time I was thinking this would change all the selected photos to the date specified, not just keep the difference in time.  Good post.