How to Check the Date a Photo was Taken in Windows 11

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

Sometimes, you may want to know when a particular photo was taken. It could be for a project, to help you remember an important event, or simply to better organize your digital album. In this article, we will walk you through the process of checking the photo taken date in Windows 11 PC using various methods.

Also see: 3 Free Photo Viewer Apps for Windows 11 or 10

Check photo taken date Windows 11

Why isn’t the photo taken date always available?

Before we delve into the methods of checking the photo taken date, it’s important to note that not all photos will have this metadata available. The photo taken date is a piece of metadata that is typically stored in a photo file when it is taken by a digital camera or a smartphone. This data is stored in a format known as EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format), which includes various details such as the camera model, exposure settings, and the date and time the photo was taken.

However, there are several reasons why a photo might not have this metadata. For instance, if the photo was taken with a device that doesn’t record EXIF data, such as an older camera, the photo taken date may not be available. Additionally, some photo editing software and social media platforms strip out metadata for privacy reasons or to reduce file size. Photos that have been downloaded from such platforms or edited with such software may not contain the photo taken date.

Furthermore, if a photo is a screenshot, a downloaded image from the internet, or a scan of a physical photo, it will not have the original photo taken date in the metadata, as this information wasn’t recorded at the time the image was created. In these cases, the creation date of the digital file might be available, but this is not the same as the photo taken date.

In the event that the photo taken date metadata does not exist in a photo, unfortunately, there’s no reliable way to find out when exactly the photo was taken. The best you can do is to estimate based on other available information, such as the content of the photo, the file’s creation date, or any other context you might have. Now, let’s move on to the methods of checking the photo taken date in Windows 11.

Useful tip: How to change a file’s date & timestamp via CMD or PowerShell

Checking photo taken date using File Explorer

Windows File Explorer provides an easy way to check the photo taken date by accessing the file’s properties. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Open File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon on the taskbar or pressing the Windows Key + E shortcut.
  2. Navigate to the folder containing the photo you want to check.
  3. Right-click on the photo file and select Properties from the context menu.Photo Properties Windows 11
  4. In the Properties window, switch to the Details tab.
  5. Under the Origin section, you will find the Date taken field, which displays the date and time the photo was taken.How to Check the Date a Photo was Taken in Windows 11

Enabling the “Date taken” or “Date picture taken” column in File Explorer

If you have a folder containing many photos and you want to view the date taken for all of them at once, you can add a “Date taken” column to File Explorer. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder containing your photos.
  2. At the top of the File Explorer window, click on the View dropdown menu and select Details to switch to the detailed view mode.View Photo in Details File Explorer
  3. With your files now displayed in detailed view, you can add additional columns of information. To add a column for the date the photo was taken, right-click in the column header area and select More.Add more columns to File Explorer
  4. In the Choose Details window that appears, scroll down and find Date taken or Date Picture Taken.
  5. Check the box next to Date taken or Date Picture Taken, then click OK.Show photo taken date in Windows 11
  6. Now, you will see the Date taken or Date Picture Taken column in File Explorer, showing the date each photo was taken.Check when a photo was taken Windows 11
  7. If you prefer a different column arrangement, simply drag the Date taken column to your preferred location.

Linked issue: Windows 11 File Explorer Not Refreshing Automatically

Using Photos App to find when a photo was taken

Another way to check the photo taken date is by using the built-in Windows 11 Photos app. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Photos app by clicking on the Start button and searching for “Photos.”
  2. Navigate to the photo you want to check, either by browsing your folders or using the search function.
  3. Open the photo by double-clicking on it.
  4. Once the photo is open, click on the Info icon (i) located at the top right corner of the app window.
  5. A sidebar will appear, displaying various information about the photo, including the Date taken.Use Photos app to check photo taken date on PC

Related problem: Windows 11 Photos App Not Working or Crashing

Using PowerShell to show photo taken date

For advanced users, you can use Windows PowerShell to check the photo taken date. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Press the Windows Key + X to open the Quick Link menu and click on Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  2. Copy and paste the following PowerShell script to display the photo taken date:
    $photoPath = "C:\folder\photo.jpg"
    $shellApp = New-Object -ComObject Shell.Application
    $photoFolder = Split-Path -Parent $photoPath
    $photoFileName = Split-Path -Leaf $photoPath
    $folder = $shellApp.NameSpace($photoFolder)
    $file = $folder.ParseName($photoFileName)
    # Get the index of the "Date Taken" property
    $dateTakenPropertyIndex = 12 # Assuming "Date Taken" is at index 12, adjust if necessary
    # Get the value of the "Date Taken" property
    $dateTaken = $folder.GetDetailsOf($file, $dateTakenPropertyIndex)
    $shellApp = $null # Release the COM object
    # Check if the "Date Taken" property value is empty
    if ([string]::IsNullOrEmpty($dateTaken)) {
    Write-Host "Failed to retrieve the date taken information."
    } else {
    Write-Host "Date Taken: $dateTaken"

    Replace C:\folder\photo.jpg with the path to the photo you want to check the date taken for.Check the date a photo was taken Windows 11 PowerShell

  3. Press Enter, and PowerShell will display the photo taken date.

Recommended resource: How to Reduce Photo File Size in Windows 11

Final thoughts

Now that you’re familiar with various methods to check the photo taken date in Windows 11 and understand the limitations of photo metadata, you can make better use of this information in organizing and managing your digital photo collection.

However, photo’s metadata such as the photo taken date isn’t always available due to a variety of factors, ranging from the device used to capture the image to the editing or sharing platform that may strip away metadata for various reasons. In such cases, you might have to rely on other clues to determine the date of the photograph, such as the context of the image, other files saved around the same time, or even your own memory.

Consider using a photo management software that allows you to view and edit metadata, such as Adobe Lightroom. These tools can help you organize your photos based on various criteria, including dates, locations, and keywords. By adding or changing tags and custom metadata fields, you can further enhance the organization of your photo collection.

Additionally, it’s important to be aware of the privacy implications of photo metadata. While sharing your photos online, consider using tools or settings that strip out sensitive metadata, such as GPS coordinates, to protect your privacy.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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