Do you use your smartphone to take pictures or your DSLR. The majority of them end up on your PC in a folder called Neat. But these images also store information such as camera model, date / time of the picture, details about camera settings and even the location where the picture was taken. That’s a lot of personal information embedded in your picture. Although most social media platforms delete this data, when you share these images via email or cloud, this can be easily accessed by anyone, and may create an ad profile. But you can easily release this before sharing it, so your identity is safe. So here’s how to delete metadata on Windows, Mac & Linux.
1. Delete Metadata on Windows
If you use Windows, it’s very easy to check all the metadata embedded in your image. To do that, select one picture, you can also choose multiple images. Right-click and open Properties. Now click on the Details tab where you will find all the metadata attached to the image. Here is an example that I took from my cellphone, which has all the camera settings, model details, and accurate GPS location.
Removing metadata is fairly easy on genuine Windows. To delete, tap on Delete Property and Personal Information at the bottom of the Details tab. That will open a new dialog box where you can check the box for the value that you want to delete. You also have another option at the top that allows you to make a copy of the original file, with all the metadata that Windows can delete genuine.
You should note that this genuine Windows feature might be effective in many cases. It does not always delete all data, like the image below. So, if you want to delete all information from an image, an easy way is to use freeware software like Metadata ++. It is available for Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.
After you download and install the application, open the application and switch to the image from the left sidebar. You will be able to see all the details in the right panel as soon as you select an image, such as basic info, EXIF data, GPS details, etc. Just right-click on the image, go to delete metadata and tap delete all metadata.
If you are someone like me who wants to save an original file with all the details, you have the option to make a copy and also save the date / time with a duplicate image.
This is the comparison of the two methods. As you can see, Windows erases most of the data but still retains some camera settings. On the other hand Metadata ++ clears the image of all info. In my opinion, these two options are very good, depending on the info you want to delete. Apart from that Metadata ++ also supports most photo and video formats as well. This application also has a portable version that you can use easily with various systems.
Mac users can also preview metadata embedded with any image, using the preview tool. To view EXIF data, open the image in preview mode or double click on the image. Open the tool and tap on Show Inspector or use the Cmd + i shortcut. Then click on more info (i) to see image details.
From the dialog box, tap Exif to see image details. You can also see the location from the GPS tab.
Unlike Windows, Apple only has the option to delete the original location. To do this, Tap on GPS and select Delete Location Info at the bottom of the screen.
Only use this if you are sure you want to delete GPS info, because there will immediately delete data without a prompt.
Because there is no original option to delete Exif info, we have to install an additional application, EXIFPurge. Now open the apps and tap Select Picture to select one or more pictures from which you want to delete information. From the bottom select the destination and click Purge Exif Info. That’s it, the exported file will delete all Exif data.
This application has only one disadvantage, it shows you ads five seconds before exporting the file. But because this is a free application and works effectively. I think I can ignore this just once.
Head to the destination and open the image and switch to EXIF info using the first step. As you can see from the comparison below, the image no longer stores Exif or GPS data. Now your picture is good!
Just like Windows and Mac, it’s easy enough to see EXIF data on Linux. Just double-click and preview the image. This will show you all the basic details such as date / time, camera model etc. Additionally if you also want the location to coordinate, right-click on the image and select properties. and switch to the Image tab.
Now you have checked the metadata embedded with the image. Here’s how to delete it. You must install a small utility called ExifTool. If you are using Ubuntu, the following is the installation 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, run the tool using ./exiftool <image file name>. This will give you all the metadata details in the selected file.
Now you can see all the metadata attached to the photo, it’s time to delete everything. To do this, just type exiftool -all <image file name>. Voila! as soon as you get the updated image file message, you have successfully removed all the metadata attached to the file.
Now open the Image tab again and access the new image, that is, without any metadata. Here’s how it looks after all the data is stripped.
ExifTool is great because it allows you to read, write and edit metadata information. It also recognizes most image formats. In addition to removing metadata, this can also help you modify metadata, see specific info, and more.
So there are ways to delete metadata from Windows, Mac & Linux. Remember most social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc. Delete this metadata when you upload it but it still exists on their server. However, if you share it via e-mail or cloud, all this data is still intact. So, I suggest you delete it before sharing it on this platform. If you have more suggestions, leave a comment below!