Videos imported into Photos app have the wrong date

Mac Photos App: Imported Videos Have Incorrect Date

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Apple’s Photo app for Mac has a problem with importing/exporting video files. More specifically, imported videos may have an incorrect date (timestamp) if those videos were previously exported from another Photos library. Instead of showing the date and time the video was recorded, Photos shows the import date/time. As a result, the imported videos are placed incorrectly on your timeline.

The good news is that there are three workarounds:

  • Use AirDrop to copy videos between Photos libraries (recommended)
  • Share the videos using an iCloud Link (iOS 12+)
  • Copy the raw video files directly from the Photos library, instead of using the export function
Update: I just realized that macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Beta (17D25b) does not have the issue anymore I have described below. I don’t know for sure when Apple fixed the problem, but it doesn’t occur in the latest beta of macOS. However, I should also add that Apple has switched to a more efficient video codec (HEVC) and the timestamp issue doesn’t occur with all video formats. As a result, it is entirely possible that Photos still has that bug in macOS High Sierra and Mojave when importing videos in other formats.

My photo and video workflow

Both my wife and I take a lot of photos and videos with our iPhones. Every so often, we create photo books or albums of the best photos taken. Additionally, I make a quarterly video of the kids to share with overseas family members. For that reason, I have to transfer photos and videos periodically from my wife’s into my Photos libraries.