6 Ways to Remove EXIF Data or Metadata From Photos

EXIF data of images

Every digital photograph has some information associated with it. It's embedded right into the image file and is not visible. This metadata is known as Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) which contains information like the camera model and its settings, geolocation, date, and time when the photo was taken. The EXIF data can be sensitive if the image in question needs to be distributed. The image owner may decide not to share the EXIF data with others. In such a case, it's important to remove this EXIF data before sharing the photograph with others. Let's learn how to remove EXIF data from photos.

EXIF data of images

If you do not want to reveal the geographic location where your photos were clicked, it's a must that you erase the EXIF data. Geolocation is one of the primary reasons people want to delete EXIF data.

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Similarly, information about the device from which you clicked the photo is also an important piece of information. If you want to hide that too, purge the EXIF data before sharing the photo with others.

1. Remove Manually Through a Photo Editing Application

Several popular photo editing applications enable their users to view, edit, and delete EXIF data. Some of these popular applications are Adobe Photoshop and GIMP.

If you're already using one of these applications, you can easily erase this metadata from your photos. Let's do it with the help of the GIMP image editor. Here we go!

First of all, open the image file either using the File → Open... menu option or through using the Ctrl+ O keyboard shortcut.

Thereafter, go to the File → Export As... option and select the directory where you want to save the new copy without the EXIF metadata. Rename the file if you want and make sure it's saved as a .jpg extension. Now, click the Export button.

Image export options in GIMP photo editor

A dialogue box will appear as shown above. Uncheck the Save Exif data option and click the Export button. And, that's it!

2. Remove Through Online Tools

If you do want the hassle of installing and using a full-fledged image editing application just to removing the EXIF data from a photo, online tools are just the right option.

These tools and easy to use and don't require any local software installation. Following are some of the popular EXIF deletion tools you can use on the internet.

The convenience of these online tools makes them so popular. All you need is an active internet connection and a device with a web browser.

3. Remove Through a Batch Processing Application

And, what if you want to remove EXIF data from a large collection of photos? Doing it one by one can be cumbersome or next to impossible if the number is in thousands.

The solution is to use an application capable of removing EXIF data from images—in bulk. And, one such application is EXIF Purge.

A bulk EXIF data deletion application

It's a portable application and is available for both Windows and Mac platforms. It's best suited for professional photographers and graphic designers.

4. Use a Smartphone App

Whenever you click a photo from your smartphone, a ton of EXIF metadata gets attached to the image. The most sensitive part of this data is geolocation and your camera model.

If you're not comfortable sharing images consisting of this information, you can try out some of the smartphone apps built specifically to purge EXIF data from the clicked photos.

After testing several applications, I found that Scrambled Exif is the best one out there. It's a minimal and no-nonsense EXIF data remover app one must use—if sharing images daily.

Its use is dead simple. While using the Share option, select this app. It'll quietly and instantly purge the EXIF data diverting back to the app selection box for sharing the photo.

5. Remove Through a Command-Line Tool

Power users who prefer to work in a shell environment should use a command line tool to purge EXIF data from the images. There are several Linux packages or utilities to do the same.

Among them, ExifTool is the most popular one. Let's see how to use it.

If you're on a Debian or Debian-based Linux distribution, use the following command to install this utility.

sudo apt install libimage-exiftool-perl

To remove EXIF metadata from an image, use the following command.

exiftool -EXIF= image-name.jpg

We've used the -EXIF= switch to purge EXIF data. But, what if we want to delete every kind of metadata present in the image? Here's how to do it.

exiftool -all= image-name.jpg

And, if you have a large collection of images stored in a directory and its subdirectories, use the following command to purge EXIF data of all the images—in one go.

exiftool -recurse -EXIF= /path/to/directory

By default, a copy of the original image is created when performing the metadata deletion process. If you want to change the original copies, use the -overwrite_original switch. Use it with caution.

6. Use the Copy-Saving Method in Windows

If you're using Windows, you don't even need any application to delete EXIF data from the photos. Windows natively provides an option to do so. Let's see how we can use it.

Right-click on the photo and choose the Properties option from the context menu. Now, go to the Details tab and click the Remove Properties and Personal Information option at the bottom.

Option to remove metadata from photos

Here, you get two different options. The easy way is to let Windows purge all the removable metadata—automatically. Or, you can opt for manual removal and can cherry-pick the metadata fields you want to remove. I generally go with the first option.


The metadata specifically EXIF data of an image should be removed if you're sharing your personal or sensitive photos with others. There are several ways to do it.

You can use an image editing application, or batch-processing software for the same. Online tools and command-line tools are the other two good options.

Geolocation and the camera model are the most sensitive EXIF data fields people purge before sharing photos with others.