Did you know your digital photos and videos contain easily-accessible information? Information technology can exist innocuous, such every bit the app you used to edit it, or more than sensitive, such as the exact location it was taken.
This material is called metadata, and can lead to you sharing data you’d rather go on private. It as well slightly increases the size of your files, taking upward more than storage space and making them load more slowly.
The practiced news is it’s pretty easy to remove metadata from your photos and videos, and yous can prevent the location aspects from being captured in the first place.
What does metadata include?
Metadata comes in diverse shapes andsizes, but is more often than not limited to:
- date and time of the photo or video
- whatsoever editing software used to tweak the epitome, as well as when the edits happened
- camera device make and model
- photographic camera settings such as shutter speed, ISO speed, flash mode, and many more
- exact GPS coordinates of where the photo or video was taken – and potentially altitude.
The ‘why’ of metadata’s existence is more than complicated. Some information almost the photo or video such as device make and model, shutter settings and editing software can assist other people better their ain skills past finding images or videos they like and studying what went into creating them.
Appointment, time and GPS coordinates have a number of uses. Some are for what developers telephone call quality of life (QOL) improvements that heighten the user experience. For example, Google Photosand Apple Photos allow y’all sort or search your library by date/time and location.
Many photos and videos can store the exact GPS coordinates of where they were taken.
They tin even automatically create albums based on this information – if you spent a few weeks ambling around Europe in 2019, it’southward piece of cake for an algorithm to identify your holiday and label it as such.
Some image-sharing services and messenger apps remove metadata when you post a photo, simply that’south not e’er the case. An easy way to cheque is to re-download a posted image and encounter if any metadata is notwithstanding embedded. If there’s goose egg, it’southward a good bet the service is doing the job for you lot.
But this isn’t ever the case, and any image file you lot personally share with someone past direct transfer will definitely still have its metadata.
How to disable location services
The vast majority of photos and videos are taken on smartphones, and you can generally but prevent GPS metadata from being included. You can practise this by disabling location services for your camera app.
Just go on in listen, in doing and then yous lose those same QOL features.
The specifics of disabling location for photos and video varies per phone, just is generally similar. Open your smartphone’s photographic camera app and navigate to the settings carte du jour. Look for whatsoever setting with the word “location”, such as
Location tracking, or
Location information, and turn it off. For iPhones, this feature lives in
If you can’t notice such a setting, await for additional menu layers, often labelled as ‘More than options’ or ‘Avant-garde settings’.
For more information on how some companies assemble and use your location data, see our location tracking articles forFacebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter.
How to remove metadata on Windows
Windows makes it piece of cake to remove metadata en-masse.
on a file, or select multiple files and right-click any i of them, then click
Properties, followed by the
Windows makes it like shooting fish in a barrel to remove metadata en-masse.
Hither you tin can run into all the metadata for the file you clicked. At the bottom of the tab, click onRemove Properties and Personal
, which volition remove metadata from all selected files – not just the one y’all right-clicked on.
One time the process bar completes, a new window volition pop up with a warning nearly deleting personal data asking yous to choose between two options:
- The first creates a re-create of the file or files with no metadata, but leaves the originals intact.
- The second removes the metadata from the original file or files and deletes it all.
Yous tin can cull to make a re-create, keeping the original file with metadata intact, or delete the metadata birthday.
Information technology’due south up to you which you choose. If you choose the 2nd selection, yous can either select types of metadata individually or clickSelect all. HitOK to finalise.
Any data left in the Details tab should be general, such as the dimensions of an epitome, or for apply of your operating system and local network to identify the file, such as possessor and computer proper noun.
If you have trouble eliminating all metadata, there are many third-political party programs you can use such as Easy Exif Delete or EXIFPurge, among others.
How to remove metadata on macOS
The default image viewing app on macOS, Preview, merely has built-in location data removal. Open up your paradigm in Preview then select
Show Inspector, then click the data tab depicted by an
to the left of the search icon. Click on the
tab and, at the bottom,
Remove Location Info.
To remove the balance of the metadata, most of which is found in theExif tab of the to a higher place data tab menu, you’ll demand to download a carve up plan such as EXIFPurge or ImageOptim.
Yous can remove the built-in location data on Preview, merely will demand a separate app to delete other data.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.