ExifTool is a tool used to manipulate image metadata

Organizing files

Organize multimedia files by date

Put files in a directory by year with subdirectories for each month:

exiftool '-Directory<DateTimeOriginal' -d %Y/%m /path

Replace /path with path to a file, directory, or a wildcard pattern. Note that it won’t read directories recursively (e.g. contents of subdirectories) so you may need to modify the path, e.g. /directory/*.

If that doesn’t work, it may be because the DateTimeOriginal tag isn’t defined (e.g. for .mp4 files):

  1. List other date/time EXIF tags, e.g.

    exiftool -s video.mp4 | egrep -i "date|time"
  2. Run the command using a different tag, e.g.

    exiftool '-Directory<CreateDate' -d %Y/%m DCIM/*

Viewing metadata

View all metadata

exiftool -s path/to/file

(-s is optional but it shows the short name of each tag which is useful for other commands)

View one tag

Put a dash (-) in front of the tag name, e.g.

exiftool -s -CreateDate path/to/file

(-s is optional here as well; if left out, then the full tag name will be displayed)

Manipulating image metadata

Remove all metadata from file

exiftool -all= path/to/file

Rotate an image

Rotate an image 90° clockwise by changing the metadata (this does not modify the original image):

exiftool -Orientation="Rotate 90 CW" path/to/file

Set image timestamp based on filename

exiftool '-DateTimeOriginal<filename' /path

Set image timestamp to specific value

exiftool -AllDates="2017-06-30 18:25:07" image.jpg

Set file timestamps based on metadata

exiftool "-FileCreateDate<DateTimeOriginal" "-FileModifyDate<DateTimeOriginal" file

Fix EXIF metadata


When running exiftool, if you get an unrecoverable error, you can try to fix it by rebuilding the metadata from scratch:

exiftool -all= -tagsfromfile @ -all:all -unsafe -icc_profile bad.jpg

Copy EXIF metadata from one file to another

exiftool -TagsFromFile srcimage.jpg "-all:all>all:all" targetimage.jpg

Adjust file metadata dates by a certain amount

Add 1 year, 12 month, 28 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes, 32 seconds:

exiftool "-AllDates+=1:12:28 14:54:32" *.jpg

You can use WolframAlpha to calculate the amount to adjust, if needed: https://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=2017-07-10+11%3A24%3A00+-+1980-07-05+20%3A24%3A00