OneDrive changing the dates on my photos?!?!?

Hello,

I recently uploaded 45,000 of our family photos to OneDrive, the dates ranging from 1999 to 2018.  They had been previously separated in folders by year and month, so decided it was time to back them up in the cloud and take advantage of Microsoft's photo features through OneDrive.  After uploading all of my photos, I was shocked to see that many of my photos were reorganized.  Randomly, photos from 2002, 2005, 2009, 2014, and 2016 were shown as brand new photos with a current date stamp.  I found that there were literally hundreds of photos that were RE-DATED to the the date that I uploaded the photos.  Somehow, OneDrive physically changed the metadata on the Date Modified and Date Taken to reflect the date that I uploaded the photos, not the date that they were originally taken.  Even worse, the uploaded picture permanently changed the date on my local pictures, so now these photos are irreversibly corrupted and I cannot organize them by date anymore.

Microsoft, this is a massively humongous bug in the OneDrive system that I found, by searching, has been questioned several times before.  Whenever I look at those posts, the commenting has been locked so that nobody can comment anymore.  Not sure why Microsoft wants this issue hushed by the community, but this problem will not just go away.  It needs to be fixed as soon as possible!!  We have thousands of photos that are unknowingly being corrupted, most people probably just haven't figured it out yet.

One potential solution to this problem would be to turn off whatever mechanism is redating photos/videos, or changing metadata.  If anyone else is having this issue, please comment below.  Microsoft, is there anything being done to fix this bug???

Thank you, and I respectfully appreciate your attention to this matter.  OneDrive is a great service and I really hope to continue using it.  This is just too big not to make top priority in resolving.

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Hello Chad,

While the issue you described seems more related to OneDrive rather than Windows Photo Gallery, let me see if I could be of help. In Windows Explorer, right click on one of your photo files and select Properties in the context menu. In the File Properties dialog, click on the Details tab. Does the Date Taken attribute has a value on it? If so, is it the expected value? 

- J Oliver
*The Windows 10 Feedback Hub is a good app to suggest improvements to Microsoft products.

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There is no Date Taken, only Date Created and Date Modified which have been changed to the date that I uploaded the pictures.   

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I have one image that originally showed a Date Modified of 12-27-2016.  This was the only data that kept it organized by date.  When I uploaded the image, OneDrive changed the Date Modified to the day I uploaded it, 5-13-2018.  Now, this image will not be organized properly by when it was taken.  This hurts very bad.    

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Date Created and Date Modified are file attributes which can be easily modified by OS or application operations. For example, copying a file to another server, say by FTP, may change those two values.

Date Taken, on the other hand, is a value which is stored within the file as embedded metadata and "travels" with it. Unfortunately, some web services will "strip" this information on transfer.

To the best of my knowledge and experience with OneDrive, it maintains file integrity and does not arbitrarily change the Date Taken value.

Were the files downloaded from a site or transferred directly to the PC from a camera or smartphone?

- J Oliver
*The Windows 10 Feedback Hub is a good app to suggest improvements to Microsoft products.

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J Oliver, thank you for your response and I appreciate that you understand this issue.  Looking at my photos (most taken from iPhones over the years), the Date Taken field is blank.  The only fields that the iPhone appears to have filled out was the Date Created and Date Modified fields.  The Date Created and Date Modified fields were the fields that OneDrive arbitrarily reset to the current date upon upload.

Why is that many pictures uploaded to OneDrive untouched, while several it modified those fields?  I've never seen a cloud service do this, and I've tried several.

The pictures were taken directly from my iPhones, many different models, over the years and stored in dated folders on Winodows Explorer.

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I still do not suspect OneDrive is the culprit in this case, as it would need to change the value from within the file itself. Did you modify those photos at any point in time with a photo editor or tool?

Some time ago I downloaded a photo editing app, it ended stripping metadata upon edit. As another example, Facebook does remove the file's embedded metadata. As such it is not a good photo backup option.

You mentioned that the photos were organized in dated folders, also some dated back from 1999. If they were acquired from a scanner, most likely they do not have the Date Taken field added to them. Does the filename contain a date? Say 20180504.jpg? I am thinking of trying to restore the Date Taken with a batch command.

- J Oliver
*The Windows 10 Feedback Hub is a good app to suggest improvements to Microsoft products.

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J Oliver,

The reason that I know OneDrive is responsible for changing the metadata is, I have a copy of my original photos and folders on an external drive.  When I noticed that about 10%-20% of my 45,000 photos were redated, I compared them to my external drive backup.  The same photos that were redated on upload by OneDrive retained their original dates on the external drive.  If I had not saved an external backup, separate from the OneDrive folder on Windows Explorer, than I would have had no way to bring back the original dating.

Most of the photos that were redated were from iPhone pictures that I dragged from the iPhone in Windows Explorer, to folders I setup and dated.  There were also Canon DSLR photos and some scans as well.  Like you said, the redating affect seems to be arbitrary in nature, as it happened with different pictures from different sources and times.  

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Good that you had a backup!

I am backing up my photos and metadata as well. After quite some effort in adding captions, tags and other info, I would hate for such scenario to happen.

- J Oliver
*The Windows 10 Feedback Hub is a good app to suggest improvements to Microsoft products.

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J Oliver,

I am most concerned that, if this random OneDrive redating continues, that someday ill look at my pictures and there will be hundreds that are redated again.  Its like i cant feel confident that Microsoft will keep my files intact, and if there’s not something done about it i will have no choice but to move to a different, more stable cloud service.

Is there something you can do on your end, or send it up to someone, that can find the issue here and fix it?  I would be so relieved to know that this issue has been resolved and that OneDrive will no longer change Date Created and Date Modified when uploading pictures to the cloud.

Thank you.

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One more thing.

Do you have OneDrive Files On Demand enabled?

I did a quick test:

1. Enabled OneDrive Files On Demand

2. Selected a Photo file with Date Taken metadata and right clicked on it, selected Free Up Space.

Upon sync, the date taken field was empty.

- J Oliver
*The Windows 10 Feedback Hub is a good app to suggest improvements to Microsoft products.

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Last updated December 1, 2020 Views 14,064 Applies to: