How to Remove Metadata on Windows, Mac And Linux.
Whether you use a smartphone or DSLR for photography. Most of them end on your computer in neatly named folders. But these images also contain information such as the camera model, image date / time, camera settings information, and even the location where the photo was taken. There is a lot of personal information embedded in your images. While most social media platforms delete this data when you share these images via email or in the cloud, anyone can easily access them and possibly create an advertising profile. But you can easily strip this off before you share it to keep your identity safe. So, here’s how to remove metadata on Windows, Mac and Linux.
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1. Remove metadata on Windows
If you’re on Windows it is very easy to check what metadata is embedded in your images. To do this, select an image, you can also select multiple images. Right click and open Properties. Now go to the Details tab where you will find all the metadata attached to the images. Here is a sample I took from my phone, it has all of the camera settings, model information, and accurate GPS location.
Removing metadata in Windows is pretty easy. To remove, click Remove Properties and Personal Information at the bottom of the Details tab. This will open a new dialog box where you can check the boxes for the values â€‹â€‹you want to remove. You also have another option at the top, which allows you to create a copy of the original file with all the metadata that Windows might remove initially.
You should note that this built-in Windows feature can be effective in most cases. It doesn’t always delete all data like in the image below. So, if you want to remove all information from an image, an easy way is to use free software like Metadata ++. It is available for Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.
After you download and install the app, open the app and switch to the image from the left sidebar. You will be able to see all the details in the right pane once you select the image, such as basic information, EXIF â€‹â€‹data, GPS data, etc. Just right click on the image, go to delete metadata and click on delete all metadata.
If you, like me, want to keep the original file with all the details, you have the option to make a copy, as well as keep the date and time for the duplicate image.
Here is a comparison of both methods. As you can see, Windows deletes most of the data, but still retains some of the camera settings. On the other hand, Metadata ++ clears all information from the image. In my opinion, both of these options are good, depending on the information you want to remove. Apart from this, Metadata ++ also supports most photo and video formats. The app also has a portable version that can be easily used with multiple systems.
Mac users can also preview the metadata embedded in any image using the preview tool. To view EXIF â€‹â€‹data, open the image in preview mode or double-click the image. Go to tools and click Show Inspector or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + i. Then click on additional information (i) to view image details.
In the dialog box, click Exif to view the details of the image. You can also see the location in the GPS tab.
Unlike Windows, Apple has the ability to delete a location initially. To do this, click on the GPS and select “Delete location information” at the bottom of the screen.
Use this only if you are sure you want to delete GPS information, as there the data will be deleted immediately without prompting.
Since there is no built-in option to remove Exif information, we will have to install the additional EXIFPurge application. Now open the app and click “Select Images” to select one or more images for which you want to remove information. At the bottom, select a location for the output and click “Clear Exif Info”. That’s it, all Exif data will be removed from the exported file.
The app has only one drawback: it displays a five second ad before exporting the file. But since this is a free application, it works efficiently. I think I can ignore it at least once.
Head to your destination, open an image and switch to EXIF â€‹â€‹information using the first step. As you can see from the comparison below, the image no longer contains Exif or GPS data. Now your photo is ready!
As with Windows and Mac, it is quite easy to view EXIF â€‹â€‹data on Linux. Just double click and view the image. This will show you all the basic details like date / time, camera model, etc. In addition to this, if you also need location coordinates, right click on the image and select properties. and switch to the Image tab.
Now that you’ve verified the metadata embedded in the image. Here’s how to remove it. You will need to install a small utility called ExifTool. If you are using Ubuntu, the following install command.
For other distributions, you can download the archive from this link and compile it using Perl. sudo apt install exiftool
Now that ExifTool is installed, simply launch the tool using ./exiftool <image file name. This will give you all the metadata details about the selected file.
Now that you can view all the metadata attached to the photo, it’s time to delete all of it. To do this, simply enter exiftool -all <image file name. Voila! Once you get the message that the image file has been updated, you have successfully removed all the metadata attached to the file.
Now go back to the Image tab and access the new image, that is, without any metadata. This is how it will look after deleting all data.
ExifTool is great because it allows you to read, write, and edit metadata information. It also recognizes most image formats. Besides removing metadata, it can also help you change metadata, view specific information, and more. Here you can find out about other commands you can use.
So there were ways to remove metadata from Windows, Mac and Linux. Please be aware that most social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. will remove this metadata on upload, however it is still on their servers. However, if you share it via email or in the cloud, all this data will remain intact. So, I suggest that you remove them before posting to those platforms. If you have any more suggestions, leave a comment below!
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