File date before 1980

Last update : September 16, 2013

If files have a date before 1980, Windows Explorer shows a blank in the date column. This is the case for the created, modified or picture taken date. Sorting files or pictures by their real date taken is impossible. The correct date is however displayed in the properties box.

I you have a photo or video collection, the fact that files with a date before 1980 are not sorted as expected is an awesome problem which has not yet been solved in Windows 8. Since Windows itself did not exist before 1980, there seems to be a problem with creation or last modified date and time for a file stamped before that time.

Date created gives us the information about when the file was moved to a specific location. Date modified is about the date when the file was last modifie. The modified date can be prior to the creation date of a file.

The picture taken date is saved in the Exif metadata of a picture file. For videos, there exist no similar standardized property. Videos encoded with Apple Quicktime are stamped with proprietary metadata The file creation or modification dates are used as timestamp for avi, mp4 and MOV video files.

Most photo or video tools however manage files with a date before 1980 as expected. I tested the following applications :

  • Synology PhotoStation
  • Synology VideoStation