Anonymity online can be harder than ever these days, and that’s especially the case with the photos we share. One of the biggest worries people have is their photos being stolen, but there’s a bigger issue to be concerned about – the hidden meta tags, also known as EXIF data, attached to every photo.
Many people don’t even know what meta tags are, let alone how they can expose their personal information to the masses. Meta tags reveal everything from where and when your photo was taken, when it was uploaded, GPS data, even what kind of device was used to take it. If you’re worried about being followed by anyone, removing meta tags is an important step.
It’s fairly easy to remove them, but it’s up to you to remember to do so before sharing your photos online. Our guide will outline the best methods available for removing personal information from your digital photos.
Removing Meta tags and EXIF Info in Windows
One of the easiest ways to “remove any meta tag information” is by manually removing it in Windows, and it can be done in a matter of seconds. To remove meta tag information from a photo in Windows, first, go and find the file on your hard drive, then right-click it and select “Properties.”
When the dialog window loads for the “Properties” for your photo, you’ll want to click on the “Details” tab to get to the area where you can delete meta tag information.
In this tab you can see all the personal information and properties that are fused with your photo. To remove this information, just click on the link that says “Remove Properties and Personal Information.”
When you click on this link, a separate “Remove properties” dialog window will load up and this is where you can choose to either “remove all properties in a brand new copy” (and keep the original meta tag information on your hard drive for when you need it) or you can “pick which meta tag information you want to remove.”
Click whichever option you want at the top of the window.
For most people, creating a copy without any information is the easiest and quickest way to remove meta tag information. However, if you do choose to individually remove only a select few meta tags by selecting the option, “Remove the following properties from this file,” make sure to click “OK” at the bottom of the window to save your changes.
If you do make a copy of the photo and remove all meta tags,
Using Metability QuickFix to Remove Meta tag Info
Alternatively, you can use a program to batch remove meta tags from your photos; a great idea if you have several photos you’d like to upload and don’t have time to remove the information from each photo individually, which can take a huge chunk of time if you have dozens of photos from an event. One of the best programs for removing metadata information quickly is Metability QuickFix (previously known as FileMind).
This free software strips all of your personal information and GPS data from your photos with a single mouse click. All metadata, including EXIF, IPTC, and XMP, will be removed. It also makes copies of every photo it removes meta tag information from. To get Metability QuickFix on your computer, go to the download page for the software and follow the installation prompts.
After installing the software, it’s now possible to remove metadata information from thousands of your photos in a matter of minutes. To try it, just launch the software. When it opens, all you need to do to start removing meta tag information is to click and drag your photos into the large white area, then click “Quick Fix Metadata” to remove the information.
The software will remove all metatag information and create new copies of the photos in the original folder location, along with the originals.
Check it out: Metability QuickFix
Removing Meta tags and EXIF Info from Photos in Mac
There is no direct way to remove meta tags or EXIF information from images on a Mac-like we saw in the case of Windows above. But there are a couple of good applications that will get the job done. Although there are a number of applications in the App Store, both paid and free, and we have listed a couple of free ones for you below.
The first one on our list is called SmallImage. You will not find this particular app in the App Store and would need to download it from a third-party website. Unlike the next software on our list, SmallImage does give you a few more options for processing the image.
You can compress the image, add a suffix to distinguish it from the original and even change the scaling of the image to your liking.
You can download it here.
Once you process a particular image, all the metadata for that particular image is scrubbed off, as you can see in the next image.
The second software is called Exif Purge. It is available for download in the Apple App Store. The application has a simple interface where you need to select the images from which you need to remove the metadata and choose the output location where you would like to save the processed images.
Unlike SmallImage above to it does not give you many options. Just choose the images and get the metadata removed.
Being careful online is more important than ever, and removing meta tags from your photos can help in a big way to keep personal information from getting in the wrong hands. The trick is to get into the habit of removing meta tags during the editing process; that way, you’ll never forget to remove one ever again.
For more information on protecting your privacy online, check out our post – Control Your Privacy in Chrome With Privacy Palette