EXIF data is an important way to identify a camera model and under what conditions a photo was taken, but it includes a lot of information that many people don’t like to see shared around, such as where, when and how the image was taken.
So, some people prefer to remove EXIF data from photos before sharing them on the internet, and doing so is quite easy.
In this article, you’ll learn a little about what EXIF data is, and how to remove it from photos and prevent people from knowing more than they should about you.
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What is EXIF data?
The Exchangeable Image File Format ( EXIF for short ) is a kind of identity record of a photo: it is a specification included by manufacturers in cameras, smartphones, tablets or any other device capable of photographing, in order to know the conditions and data. location of each clicked photo.
Thus, each photo stores detailed data about when, where and how it was taken. They bring data such as camera brand and model, photo size and camera settings such as shutter speed, exposure time, aperture size, focal length, ISO speed, camera orientation (rotation) and use or in of Flash. It is also possible to see GPS coordinates when available.
This information is specifically included in photos taken with smartphones, tablets and other geolocation devices, but some professional cameras also have this capability.
The metadata provided by EXIF is considered extremely important, as they provide guarantees for a photographer to have their copyright respected on their creations, as well as help the police in criminal investigations. Still, there are those who don’t like sharing a photo on a social network with such data available, especially with regard to location.
Therefore, there are ways to hide or even completely erase EXIF data from photos.
How to remove or hide EXIF data from photos
If you don’t want others to see the most sensitive data in your images, you can remove it using a few simple methods. The user can erase the information both from the desktop and from their mobile devices, or even use cloud services and social networks.
Let’s take a look:
1. With the Windows File Properties menu
The simplest method of removing EXIF data from a photo is using the Windows File Properties menu, as you don’t need to install any kind of program. The process is quite simple and the adjustment options are very intuitive, whether you want to delete just one or the other more critical data, or if you want to delete everything.
- Right-click on the image, and then click Properties ;
- Click Remove Properties and Personal Information ;
- Select the option Remove the following properties from this file ;
- Check the boxes for the information you want to remove, or if you don’t want to leave anything, click the Select All button ;
- Click OK
2. With apps
You can completely remove the data with some apps, both desktop and mobile. One of the simplest to use is GIMP, which is free and available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The method to remove EXIF data with GIMP is simple:
- Open a photo file in GIMP;
- Click File and then Export As ;
- Choose a filename and extension, and click Export ;
- In the next window, click on Advanced Settings (if you are going to save the file in .JPG format ) or on Advanced (if you chose . PNG format );
- Uncheck the Save EXIF data box and click Export.
You can also remove EXIF data from photos stored on your smartphone or tablet, without having to remove them to a computer.
On Android, Photo Metadata Remover is a very efficient tool for erasing information from images, in addition to being completely free.
For iOS users, Metadata Remover is a very interesting option, because, in addition to being free, the app has a simple interface, and does not overwrite the original photos, but saves copies without EXIF data.
3. With cloud services and social networks
If you don’t want to do a lot of work, some cloud services and social networks don’t offer options for storing EXIF data at the time of upload. Therefore, they end up removing all this information when they host images on their services. This can be a good way to eliminate tricky data effortlessly.
These are the cloud and social media services that remove EXIF data from hosted photos:
- Twitter ;
- Facebook ;
- Instagram ;
- telegram ;
- VK.com ;
- eBay ;
- Craigslist, among others.
On the other hand, these do not exclude EXIF data :
- Google+ ;
- Google Photos ;
- WhatsApp ;
- flickr ;
- Tumblr, and others.
Some of these services, like Flickr for example, have tweaks that allow the user to manually hide EXIF data. Others, like WhatsApp, host compressed versions of the original photos but keep the information intact.
The word that the user should pay attention to is “ hide ”: if a service does not remove EXIF data, it should at least offer an option (manual or automatic) so that this information is not accessible to other people, even if they themselves come. to use them internally in their own services and solutions.
Anyway, if the user doesn’t want others to see their EXIF data, they can always remove it from the photos before posting them anywhere.