Subscribe via Email

Want our Photo Tips delivered to your inbox? Here's your form!

Friday, March 11, 2016

How to Change the Date of a Picture Using Google Photos


We recently presented a Google Photos seminar to a Genealogy group. We used our smartphone and snapped pictures of old photos in a photo album. These were pictures of my Great Grandfather, Charles Noyes, and my Great Grandmother, Mae Manning Noyes. Charles was born in 1869 and Mae was born in 1872, yet when I snap a copy of their photo – the resulting picture will be dated in 2016!

Photos are Automatically Sorted by Date

In Google Photos, your library of pictures is kept in order by date – period. You can make albums to group selected pictures any way you want, but the library of all your photos is viewed in a dated stream with the most recent on top. It is wonderful to view the pictures of my life in order like that, and with just a little bit of work, the photos of my Great Grandparents can also be put in order where they belong – in the 1800s.

Use a Computer to Change the Date

Google Photos can be used on an Android device or an Apple iOS device, but for this particular feature, you need a computer. Added Oct 2016: it is now available on the iOS version.
  1. On any computer, open a web browser (preferably Chrome) and go to Photos.Google.com. Be sure you’re logged in with your account
  2. Find the photo that needs a date change and click it
  3. Click the i button in the upper right. That stands for Info and it will open a right sidebar
  4. Hover over the date and a pencil will appear – click on the pencil and you can edit the date, time, or Time Zone.
  5. Enter the desired date, then click Save.
  6. Added Aug 2016: you can now select multiple photos then change the date for all, just click the 3-dot menu - Edit Date and Time
Your picture will be instantly relocated, in the stream of all your photos, to it’s proper date ordered position.
One downside you should know – this date lives in the Google Photos database, it is not saved to the metadata of the photo itself. If you download this picture from Google Photos to your hard drive, the picture will show with its original date. To change the metadata, you need to use another tool, like Picasa. See this article: Forget to Set the Time on your Camera? Picasa can Fix That!
This article is by Chris Guld, of GeeksOnTour.com. To learn more, see the Google Photos Tutorial Video page, and consider becoming a member in order to view all the tutorial videos.
Note: Thanks to Connie Bradish for the research to tell me when my Great Grandparents were born! You may get me into genealogy yet!