How to Change the Date of a Spy Pen Camera

By Todd Bowerman

High-tech spy pen cameras allow you to discreetly capture photos and video, but their simple outer design doesn’t offer much in the way of customization since such features would give away the device’s true purpose. If you want to change the date and time on your spy pen camera, which may be necessary for documenting when recorded events took place, you’ll need to interface with the device through your computer. Some devices can stamp the date and time directly onto the video for ease of use.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cable or
  • Micro USB cable

Time File Config

Step 1

Turn off the spy pen camera and then connect it to your computer with a USB cable.

Step 2

Open the camera’s drive by double-clicking its icon in the “Computer” section of Windows Explorer. You can open Windows Explorer by pressing “Windows+E.”

Step 3

Right-click the blank space inside of the drive. Select “New” then click “Text Document.” Name the file “time.txt.”

Step 4

Double-click the new “time.txt” file to open it in Notepad. Type the date and time in this format: year. month.day.hours.minutes.seconds. show/hide flag. For example, “2010.02.03 04.17.00 Y” will stamp the time on videos. Switch the “show/hide” flag to from “Y” to “N” to hide the date.

Step 5

Save the “time.txt” document. Disconnect the device from your PC and reboot it to apply the changes.

Userconfig File Config

Step 1

Open the Notepad application on your PC. Press the “Windows” key, type “Notepad,” and then click its icon on the Start menu.

Step 2

Click “File,” select “Save As,” and enter “userconfig.txt.” Save the file somewhere convenient, such as your desktop.

Step 3

Enter the current date and time into the document in the following format: year-month-day hours:minutes:seconds. For example, “2012-8-14 06:32:03.”

Step 4

Save the changes you’ve made to the document. Connect your pen camera to the PC with a USB cable.

Step 5

Locate the pen camera in Window Explorer. Drag the “userconfig.txt” file from your desktop into the pen camera’s drive.

Step 6

Disconnect the pen camera and then reboot it to apply your changes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Setting the time and date on your spy pen camera is similar to setting your watch; after the device has rebooted, it will keep time normally starting with the time you entered.
  • Instructions in this article apply to most model pen spy cameras. Consult your manufacturer’s website to discover whether your camera uses a “userconfig” or “time” file for the time stamp.
  • Mac users can create the configuration file with TextEdit and drag it onto the pen camera’s drive on the Mac desktop.
  • Because the date and time are established by the user and cannot be independently verified as accurate, these details may not be considered reliable in courtroom proceedings.