App not using date and time from photo metadata

Platform - iOS

App version number - 3.2.5, build 658, iOS 15.4.1

Screenshots of what you are seeing -

Description of problem - When I upload a photo from my phones photo library the app extracts the location from the metadata but it does not extract the date and time stamp and I have to add this manually. How do I get it to use the date and time from the metadata?

The steps I use are Observe > Photo Library > then I select a photo.

Thank you

Wow, I haven’t seen this. If you go to the photo in your phone’s Photos app, then swipe up, can you please send a screenshot? Should look something like this:

Are you using iCloud Photos to backup your photos?

I back up my photos on iCloud (I assume that is the same as ‘iCloud Photos’?)

I seem to be encountering this issue when I try to upload either screenshots or photos saved by another app (ex. Discord). However it seems to work just fine with photos from my phone camera.

@robert_taylor - so does this seem to affect all of your photos?

@zakronia - are you certain the photos have date/time/location data? Many apps strip that from photos.

I’m certain that they have time and date data (but no location) However, I discovered that this only occurs for screenshots/saved photos between certain date ranges so it could be a settings-based issue. I just changed some date/time settings on my phone earlier today, and now new screenshots that I take work fine, but previous ones do not.

Yes it affects all my photos. In had only tried with photos taken on my iphone, but now I have just tried with my olympus camera connected wirelessly to my phone and those also don’t work. It works fine if I go ‘Observe’ > ‘Camera’ > and then take a picture.

I have uninstalled iNat and reinstalled it and it still does the same thing with photos from my photo library.

Hi, this is still a problem. Do you have any suggestions?

I was able to replicate with a photo I downloaded from Discord. That’s almost certainly becuase Discord strips metadata from photos. Not much we can do about that, the data isn’t really there or isn’t readable.

I’ve found that importing photos using a camera company’s app often does weird things to the photos’ metadata and there’s not much we can do about that. For photos taken with a dedicated camera, it’s best to use the web uploader with a laptop or desktop computer.

Looking at the sphingid photo (great sho, btw), I see that the photo is a live photo and that its in HEIF format. I tried replicating that on my device and the app imported it fine, so I don’t think that’s the issue.

@robert_taylor Can you make a screen recording of you making an observation from an existing photo taken with your device’s Camera app and send it to Here are instructions for recording your screen:

@tiwane I am just checking that you got my email with the screen recording which I sent to the email as requested above?

If you emailed from the email address associated with this Forum account, I don’t see any recent emails from it at Checked the spam folder as well and don’t see anything.

OK I have resent it. Or you can find it at:

Thank you

We received it at help@inat and I responded there. Thanks!

I’ve also started having this problem plus no location data a few weeks ago. Not sure if it’s from an iOS update, new phone or iNat. I’ve checked all settings multiple times. I generally use iPad to upload observation pics direct to iNat website, not the App, from my library that I took on iPhone earlier. In my library I can see all photos have metadata but it’s no longer syncing I think. After completing a new observation I can go back to Edit and check the Sync box but that’s backwards. I’ve been manually entering date, time, location while adding new observation, used to be automatic. iPad Pro, iOS 15.6.1.

What is the Language and Region setting for your device? That proved to be the issue with Robert. You can see it by going to the Settings app on your device, then General → Language & Region. It should look something like this:

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For me this issue has happened even when I first transfer photos from my phone to desktop.

I can see in the file explorer that there is a known date and time for the image, but inaturalist does not upload that information or seems to be looking for it in different field. This issue occurs whether I drag and drop or use the upload button.

I’m still trying to get mine to work. Have double checked all settings on iPhone and iPad. It used to work fine but possibly started not working after
I got a new phone, same model as old one, newest version. The data is in the photo but not showing on iNat. Here’s an example, field photo taken with phone, second photo taken with iPad, data not in iNat on either one, date/time manually added:

If images don’t show, they are from my Library used in obs

This bug report is for the iOS app so I might move this to a new thread, but can you please email some of these images to Please send images that you moved from your phone to your desktop computer.

What happens if you use the iNaturalist mobile app and not the website? Our website isn’t really designed for use on mobile devices so things like uploading photos might not work too well. The app, however, is designed for uploading photos from mobile devices and I’d suggest using that for uploads.

I did check all settings, they were all correct. I really prefer adding obs on website vs app, but see that the app does get the time/date/location. Going to try resetting my network.