Can people see your location using your images? Yes, but not if you remove metadata from your photos
February 9, 2021|
3 min. read
Chances are at some point, you’ve uploaded pictures to the internet, be it to a social media platform or a private cloud server. Whatever the case, you probably weren’t aware that potentially sensitive information was attached to those photos, in the form of metadata.
Even if you were aware of this, chances are you didn’t know just how much someone can find out from metadata if they’re so inclined. To avoid giving away your location or other information, it’s best to remove metadata from photos. This guide will show you how. Let’s begin.
Removing photo metadata in Windows
1. Start by locating the digital photo file on your computer
2. Right-click the file
3. Select ‘Properties’ from the popup window
4. In the popup window, select the ‘details’ tab from the top
5. Under the ‘details’ tab, you’ll see a scrolling list of elements related to the image file, such as name, size and date received.
6. Find the element you wish to remove, then click its corresponding information under the ‘values’ tab.
7. There are some pieces of data that are restricted from editing individually. If you would rather remove these data as a whole, click the ‘Remove Properties and Personal Information’ link at the bottom to select and remove the wanted information.
8. After completing all of the above steps, click ‘Apply’ and then ‘OK’.
Removing photo metadata on a Mac
If you’re on a Mac system, don’t worry, you’ll be able to remove photo metadata too. Unfortunately, you’ll need to use a third-party app. You can view the metadata though, by doing the following:
1. Open the intended image using ‘Preview’
2. Select ‘Tools’ from the menu
3. Select ‘Show Inspector’
4. Select the (i) tab
5. Click the ‘Exif’ tab
Removing photo metadata on mobile devices
It’s becoming much more common for photos to be taken and stored on a mobile device, especially smartphones. If you’re worried about uploading images directly from your device to the web, remove your worries by removing the metadata. Here’s how.
1. Open the ‘Photos’ app
2. Select the photo you wish to edit
3. Click ‘Share’
4. Select ‘ViewExif’
5. Turn off the location option
Note: You can also set this as a standard default for when uploading images to your Mac system, pictured below.
1. Open the ‘Gallery’ app
2. Locate the image you wish to remove metadata from
3. Select it and click the ‘share’ button, which is a three-pointed figure
4. Underneath the photo, click ‘remove location data’
5. You may also click the ‘more options’ selection and click ‘details’
The steps above might seem basic and straightforward, but if you had to do that hundreds of times to many different files, you’d quickly become overwhelmed. Fortunately there are tools that help when this is the case. Here are a few to check out.
ExifTool is a perfect fit for users who regularly edit metadata for a wide variety of file types, including files from popular cameras. ExifTool can edit an extensive range of files, which makes it a plus for someone with image files that aren’t compatible with other tools.
Metadata++ is a Windows system that delivers an extremely fast and effective tool for metadata removal. If you need something that is supercharged for speed, this is the right program for you.
Exif Pilot is a simple program with a large amount of options for users who aren’t satisfied with the bare minimum. When it comes to the efficient removal of metadata from photos, Exif Pilot excels.
Metadata is useful information within digital images, but it’s not always wanted. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to remove identifying data. So always consider what your metadata is revealing, remove it if you want to, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.