Photos you take with modern digital cameras, including those on your smartphone, often contain personal information such as your location, camera model, and even names. EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data, or information known as ‘Metadata’, is embedded within every image and can compromise your privacy. So, to help you improve your online privacy, we will tell you how to delete metadata from photos and videos before posting them on social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more.
Delete Metadata from Photos Before Posting Online
EXIF data in photos and videos not only helps advertisers track you online, but can also help followers and criminals learn more about you. Fear not if this sounds scary, because we will tell you exactly how you can delete metadata from photos and videos before posting them online. We’ll also tell you what metadata is and how it can be a danger to your online privacy if you’re not careful. Anyway, without further ado, let’s get into the conversation.
What is Metadata and Why Should It Be Deleted?
The word ‘metadata’ literally refers to snippets of data that provide information about other data. Typically, it helps users find relevant information, organize electronic resources, and provide digital identity. In the case of digital multimedia files such as audio, video and photos, the location attached to these files, device type, date taken, etc. represents information. Therefore, it is not difficult to see why it would be prudent. to delete image metadata before sharing it online.
So what exactly information or EXIF data are you hoping to find in your photos and videos? For example, if you took a photo with a digital camera of any description at the Taj Mahal, all this information (date, location, device) will be part of the photo forever. Although this is intended to help users identify the file in the future, it can also give strangers a lot of information about you. This not only jeopardizes your digital privacy, but also gets you in real-life trouble with stalkers and criminals.
Just as your Internet Service Providers (ISPs) typically collect network usage metadata from your internet connection for traffic analysis purposes, governments and law enforcement often use metadata for mass surveillance of citizens. In a priority digital economy, 100% digital privacy is probably a pipe dream, but you’d better take precautions to remove as much private information as possible from your online photos, videos, and audios. Today we tell you that you can remove image EXIF data before sharing it online.
How to Delete Metadata from Photos
You can delete metadata from photos on any of the leading desktop and mobile platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and Linux. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do it on Windows 10 and Android.
Delete Image Metadata in Windows 10
There are numerous third-party programs that can delete image metadata in Windows 10, but Microsoft also offers a built-in method that is by far the easiest and most convenient. Here’s how to do it:
- Right click on the target photo and select ‘Properties’ from the popup.
- In the next window, click on the ‘Details’ tab at the top. You will see a list with attributes like name, date, size, and more. You can manually edit some values or click ‘Remove Properties and Personal Information’.
- In the next window, you can either create a copy of the image without any metadata or select individual values to delete from the original image. Click ‘Select All’ > ‘OK’ to remove all metadata from the original image.
- This much. You have successfully deleted all selected values from the image. That’s how easy it is to delete image metadata in Windows 10.
Delete Image Metadata on Android
Unlike Windows, Android does not offer any built-in option to clear your photos with EXIF data. However, there are numerous third-party apps that can remove metadata from photos and videos on Android. For our demo, we will be using one of the best and oldest apps in the category called Photo EXIF Editor.
Note: Some Android manufacturers offer rudimentary options to remove image metadata with built-in Gallery apps. However, we use third party software to make the instructions the same for all devices.
- Download Photo EXIF Editor (Free). Launch the app and grant access to the media. Once on the home screen, select ‘Photos’.
- On the next screen, you will see all your recent photos. Tap the target photo to view, edit or delete EXIF data. To remove EXIF data, tap on it.
exifSign in the upper right corner.
- From the ‘Remove Exif’ screen you will be able to select exactly the tags you want to remove. There is also a ‘Select All’ option  to delete all metadata at once. Press the ‘Save’ button  at the top right to save your changes.
Note: Once you hit the save button, the EXIF data will be permanently deleted from the image, so backup the photo if you want the data for future reference..
Disable Geotagging on Android
While you cannot prevent all metadata from being added to photos, you can disable geotagging on Android. The best part is that you can do it from Android settings without the need for any third party software. Here’s how you disable geotagging on Android:
- Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications (it might say ‘Manage Apps’, ‘App Permissions’ or something similar depending on your manufacturer). Now expand it to the ‘All Apps’ view if needed.
- Choose Camera > Permissions.
- Finally, turn off ‘Location’. This should prevent your camera app from collecting your geolocation when taking photos and videos.
Another way to ensure that none of the images you post on social media contain EXIF data is to post a screenshot of the image instead of the original image. This is because screenshots don’t have any EXIF data to help you post images without any metadata.
Remove EXIF Data from Images to Improve Privacy
Removing image EXIF data is an easy way to protect your online privacy. Now that you know how to do this on both desktop and mobile, be sure to clear the EXIF metadata every time before posting your photos online. If you are using an iPhone, you should also check out how you can improve security and privacy in iOS 14.
Also, don’t forget to delete the EXIF data before sharing your photos on chat apps like WhatsApp as these can be used to track you. If you’re worried about WhatsApp’s new policy changes and wonder how it will affect your online privacy, you might also consider switching to Telegram. Before you do, check out our detailed comparison between WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.