How to Rename Photos to “Date Taken”

When you take a picture using your digital camera or smartphone, metadata is stored inside the photo files. The EXIF or metadata can include information such as the resolution, camera settings, the date the picture was taken, and even the GPS coordinates.

Many users want to rename the photo files by prefixing “Date Taken.” The Bulk Rename Utility can accomplish this.

Rename Photos to “Date Taken”

Download the Bulk Rename Utility, install it, and run it.

From the Renaming Options menu, click ID3 / Exif Data / File Properties, and enable “Extract Exif Data (Photos)

bulk rename utility - extract exif (photos)

Refresh the screen when prompted.

In the left navigation pane, select the folder with the files you want to rename.

bulk rename utility - navigation pane

In the right pane, select the files which you want to rename.

With the Auto-Date option, you can add the date taken in a format of your choice to the file names of your photos.

Using the Auto-Date (8) section:

  • Use Mode to add the date taken at the end (Suffix) or beginning (Prefix) of a file name.
  • Use Type to choose from the date of Creation (of the file), the date the file was Modified or Accessed, or the date the photo was taken. Options ending in (Curr.) will use the current date when renaming. Options ending in (New) will require you to find the menu at the top of the window and select Options > Timestamp to set new values.
  • Use Fmt to specify how you want the date formatted (Day, Month, Year, etc.)
  • Use Sep. to add characters that will separate the date from the rest of the file name.
  • Enable the checkbox for Cent. to include the century in the year. For example, the year looks like 2024 instead of just 24 if you enable the Cent. option.

Example 1: Prefix Date Taken to photos

In this screenshot, I’ve used the Custom option.

bulk rename utility - autodate settings

Set the Mode to “Prefix”.

Set the Type to “Taken (Original)”

Set Fmt to “Custom”

Here’s the Custom format I used:


If you don’t want the separators and the tilde symbol, use:


You can enter other text in the filename, and the symbols above will be substituted with the values. So, you could enter a custom value of “Created on %a, %d %B, %Y” to get “Created on Tuesday, 13th May, 2024”

After choosing the custom date format, select the files you wish to rename using the above criteria. Click ‘Preview’ to review the changes, and then ‘Rename.’

bulk rename utility - rename preview

Example 2: Rename photos to Date Taken

In this example, we rename the photos to “date taken” instead of prefixing the date taken. That is, we remove the original name of the files and replace it with the date taken. For example, the file names in this folder are like DSCxxxxx.JPG. I need to change the file name to data taken and remove the original name completely.

In the Name (2) section, select “Remove“.

bulk rename utility - remove original name

This removes the original file name.

Then use the Auto Date (8) section as before:

bulk rename utility - autodate settings

Set the Mode to “Prefix”.

Set the Type to “Taken (Original)”

Set Fmt to “Custom”

Here’s the Custom format I used:


Here’s what the preview looks like:

bulk rename utility - rename preview

Custom Date Formats

Code Meaning
%a Abbreviated weekday name
%A Full Weekday name
%b Abbreviated month name
%B Full month name
%d Day of Month (01-31)
%H Hour in 24-hour format (00-23)
%I Hour in 12-hour format (01-12)
%j Day of Year (01-366)
%m Month number (01-12)
%M Minute (00-59)
%p AM/PM Indicator
%S Seconds (00-59)
%U Week number of year (00-53), with Sunday as the first day of the week.
%w Weekday (0-6), with Sunday=0.
%W Week number of year (00-53), with Monday as the first day of the week.
%y Year, with no century indicator (00-99)
%Y Year, with century indicator (e.g., 2024)
%z Time zone name
%% Percentage sign

Other methods to rename photos to data taken

Namexif: Rename Photos or Videos to EXIF date

Advanced Renamer – Batch renaming utility for files and folders

PowerShell – Rename Pictures to Image Taken – David Kittell

PowerShell – Rename Pictures to Image Taken Date/Time with Dimensions

The above script is based on Magnus Ringkjøb’s (TechNet Scriptcenter) original script.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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