“How do you change the time a screenshot was created?” asked a friend yesterday. What a curious question, I thought. “What’s up?” I asked? So, she explained the situation that required a file that she generated after a deadline to have a certain date and time. Apparently, the people who would receive the image would check.

Putting aside whether I should help her skirt the rules, I wondered, “How does one do that?” Although there were a wealth of tutorials available online, the one I settled on involved a freeware program.

Step 1 - Getting the Right Software

You can find a lot of websites that say they will let you alter the “metadata” or “EXIF” data. To be honest, I found myself a bit confused at all the claims. And, what was needed was to change the date. This tutorial at Organize Pictures was spot on. The author explains it in this way:

Before learning how to change photo date and time, you need to know what a digital photo date and time is. This piece of photo metadata is called a photo’s timestamp. Every camera records when a digital photo has been taken. This information is being recorded in the EXIF photo metadata and it is saved with a JPEG photo in a field called Date Picture Taken. Now, different software may call this field slightly differently, but they all refer to a digital photo’s timestamp.

The freeware software to get the job done is XnView, and it’s available in Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux flavors.

XnView MP is provided as FREEWARE (NO Adware, NO Spyware) for private or educational use (including non-profit organizations). If you enjoy using XnView, Don’t hesitate to help the developer with a small donation. (Note: XnView is the source for the image appearing immediately below showcasing its interface).

Step 2 - Changing the Date and Time in a Photo/Image

These steps below have been modified from the Organize Pictures tutorial to reflect my journey:

  1. Click once on the image thumbnail
  2. Right click on the image thumbnail
  3. Go to Metadata option, which will expand to offer several options, including “Change timestamp”

  1. Adjust the date and time (as shown in the image below) then
  2. Click “Write”

And, that’s it! Pretty easy.