Sarah Melling migrated from a Windows PC to a Mac, and all the creation and modification dates were lost on her artwork files, which she uses for finding and sorting. Unfortunately, there's no way to solve this in migration, and since you've already transferred the files, you probably want a way to fix it.
A Better Finder ($15) has the option to read EXIF data from some image formats, which is metadata stored by cameras and other software that can include the creation date. If your files have the creation data embedded in this way, A Better Finder can modify selected files to have a Finder-created date that matches that embedded information.
You could also try File Date Changer 5 ($9), which allows changing the dates on one or more files as a batch, though you have to specify the dates manually. This feature is included in a Better Finder.
Caryn Cameron asks:
I've been migrating files from Mac to Mac for about 20 years now. I'm going to get a new iMac this summer. Is it better to start fresh, and just copy files/folders or does it matter?
It's a mixed bag. I've also been migrating Macs for many years, and I typically use Migration Assistant as it's generally improved enough that I can rely on it to copy everything.
With the 12-inch MacBook, however, both Macworld executive editor Susie Ochs and I hit a stalling problem the first time we tried. Ted van den Bergh had a similar program:
Three times I tried to tranfer the Applications folder, and the Migration Assistant does all the work as you would expect, then stops with the finish in sight. Less than one minute to go...nothing happens!
In Susie and my case, we had to force shutdown, restart, and try again. Then it worked for each of us the second time. Several colleagues have told us they've experienced the same thing, and it may have to do with a timeout related to iCloud logins.
Ask Mac 911
We're always looking for problems to solve! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them at me (if brief) @glennf. Mac 911 can't provide direct email responses or answers for every question. For that, turn to AppleCare, an Apple Store Genius bar, or the Apple Support Communities.
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