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Exported files lose the original date #1
Dr Joe's picture
by Dr Joe
December 9, 2013 - 5:14pm

I’m a new user on ApertureExpert.  I found the site trying to solve my question:  how can I export photos and have them keep the original “date created”?  I’d like to export files, whether to flash drive or dropbox, which can be shared and sorted with friends’ pictures of the same event.  It would be much easier to combine our photos and sort them if pictures retained the date (and time).


I’m using Aperture version 3.5.1 and OSX version 10.9 on an iMac.



Tim Doyle's picture
by Tim Doyle
December 10, 2013 - 1:06pm

There are actually two ways to export photos from Aperture.


The first is to export the original, by right-clicking and selecting Export - Original, or by selecting File - Export - Original from the pull-down menus. This export should maintain the original file date.


The second is to export a version, by right-clicking and selecting Export - Version, or by selecting File - Export - Version from the pull-down menus. This method actually creates a NEW jpg, png, or other file type based upon the ORIGINAL version in Aperture and applying all of the modifications that you have made. This new version is created at the time you export, so the current date is used.


Hope this makes sense!



Dr Joe's picture
by Dr Joe
December 10, 2013 - 7:34pm


Thanks for your response.  Yes, it does make sense.  I can understand why I should choose “Original” rather than “Version”.  Thanks for clarifying that.

However, even choosing “Original” still changes the date on the exported jpg to the time of export rather than the time of photo creation.

I have a screen shot but I can’t figure out how to imbed it or attach it to this comment.  Sorry.

Any other suggestions?




Tim Doyle's picture
by Tim Doyle
December 11, 2013 - 6:04am

Interesting. When I export original images, the date and time are preserved.

Tim Doyle's picture
by Tim Doyle
December 11, 2013 - 6:07am

Here’s something to try… When you export the original, did you have “Export IPTC” checked or unchecked? When I exported with that checked, the date and time was changed to the export time, but when it was unchecked, the original date and time were preserved. I suspect checking that option requires a new version to be created. If you want the original original, uncheck that option.

Dr Joe's picture
by Dr Joe
December 11, 2013 - 5:12pm

Tim,  you broke the code!  Thank you so much.  Indeed, if IPTC is “not included” the original date is retained.  It’s sort of counter-intuitive, since one might suspect it should be included in the export, but your explanation of creation of a new JPG explains the anomaly.  

Thanks so much.  This will make sorting exported jpgs much easier.


Sherwood's picture
by Sherwood
December 16, 2013 - 6:40am

On import I rename files according to their EXIF date.  This way an alphabetic sort puts them in the right order.

Under the hood Mac OS has a lot of unix.  A file has 3 time stamps.

itime, mtime, and atime.

itime is sometimes referred to as create time.  However if a file is copied, the copy gets “Now” as it’s itime.  If it’s moved on the same file system, itime doesn’t change, but if it moves onto a different file system (think partition, or disk) it is really a copy, so gets a current itime.

mtime is the last time the file was modified.  atime is the last time that the file was accessed.  In unix you can turn off atime logging to speed disk access up.

There are command line utilities that can force changes to these.  See the man page for ‘touch’  It would be a simple script to write to read the exif time stamp with exiftool, then adjust the itime with touch.


Tash Rider's picture
by Tash Rider
July 18, 2014 - 4:08am

Hi Guys, I’ve just made the switch to Mac and Aperture. I came across this thread asking the same but it doesn’t solve my problem.

I’m currently cycling around the world and record my daily route with a Garmin GPS. I’ve been geotagging my photos with a program called Photolinker.

I then want to backup a copy with this new info. But when I use export in Aperture and  export Original and tick “export ITPC”  its giving me a new created/modified date.

I want the original date AND the new geotag info. Any Ideas??

EDIT: After some mooching about I found this thread 

It seems the export had preserved the original date but the finder on mac does not display it. I reimported it to photo linker which displays the ORIGINAL date and it was fine.






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