Get rid of that ugly date stamp

One of my pet peeves is the ugly red date that sometimes gets stamped onto the lower right corner of a photo. (That, and people who talk in the movie theatre.)

Before digital cameras became popular, that date stamp was almost ubiquitous, since many 35mm point-and-shoot cameras burn the date onto your photos when you press the shutter release. Thankfully, those days are largely behind us. Digital photos have the time and date they were taken embedded in metadata, so you can find that info by checking the file details on your PC.

But if you use a scanner to convert your old prints to digital images, you're going to run across photos with that old date stamp. And believe it or not, I still see the occasional digital camera that writes the date in the corner of the photo, despite the easy access to metadata. If those date stamps bug you as much as they bother me, then you'll be pleased to learn that it's easy to remove them from your photos. Let's see how. (And if your camera stamps your photos with the date, be sure to check your user manual for instructions on how to turn that feature off!)

Just crop it away

The easiest way to eliminate the date stamp is to use your photo editor's crop tool. The date stamp is almost always positioned in the lower right corner of the image, where a little surgery might not affect the rest of the photo very much.

Date stamp Check out this old scanned photo. I bet we could crop it and not lose anything important -- in fact, a little cropping might help. I'll use Adobe Photoshop Elements for this exercise, but you can follow along in any other photo editor.

Date stamp removedClick the Crop tool (it's the tenth item from the top of the toolbar) and make sure the Aspect Ratio is set to No Restriction in the Options palette at the top of the screen. Next, click and drag a crop box in the photo until the date stamp is gone, like the image linked here.

Don't lose the date

Just because we don't want the date splattered across the front of the photo doesn't mean we want to lose that info. You can easily add the date the photo was taken to your image file's metadata.

One of my favourite tools for this task is Windows Photo Gallery, which comes with Microsoft's Windows Vista. If you don't use Vista, you can download Windows Live Photo Gallery -- a free, enhanced version of the Vista program.

Don't lose the dateTo add the date taken to the file's metadata, find your newly cropped photo in Photo Gallery. Right-click the file and choose Change Time Taken. Now adjust the date to match the original date stamp, and click OK.

Clone it away

Remove the date by using Clone toolYou might not always want to crop your photo to eliminate the date stamp. Instead, you could use your photo editor's Clone tool to wipe it out. Consider a photo like the one linked here. This beautiful scene was captured by reader William Horton from Colorado Springs, Colorado. The regular background behind the date makes it a great candidate for this kind of surgery.

Date cloned out of the picOpen the image file in your photo editor (again, I'll use Photoshop Elements). Choose the Clone Stamp tool, found in the 15th cubby from the top of the toolbar. Set the size of the clone brush to about 30 pixels (for larger photos, you'll want to increase the brush size) and Alt-Click an area very close to the date stamp. Then just paint the date away until all you can see is the rippling water, as in this photo.

When you're done, don't forget to add the date to the image file's metadata.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dave Johnson

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?