When you take a picture or create an image on your phone or computer, personal information is saved in the image as metadata. Information such as your location, your phone or camera type, even names, and numbers can be attached to the image as metadata. Before you upload a picture to the internet or on social media, you should make sure that your pictures don’t contain any personal information.
Below are the steps you need to take to remove your personal info from pictures.
Checking the Metadata
The first step you should take is to check your pictures’ metadata. The way you do this is different depending on what platform you’re using, both mobile and desktop.
If you’re using an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, etc) your best bet is to use a third-party app. On the App Store, search for Metapho. This is a free app that you can use to get detailed information about your photos’ metadata. Once the app is downloaded and installed, navigate to your photo and check through the listed data. You may find the date and time that you took the picture, as well as your location.
If you’re using an android phone there are two options. In your gallery, you should be able to click the ‘i’ symbol to see some of your photos’ metadata. However, to see the information in more detail you should use a third-party application. Go to the Play Store and search for ‘Photo Exif Editor’ and install the app.
This app offers more in-depth information about your photos’ metadata. It even offers a photo map that can show just how much location data is being saved on your pictures. Select the photo you want to share and check the ‘location’ field. If a map is shown, then you should remove that information before uploading the picture.
If you have the time, uploading your pictures to your desktop PC before uploading can be a good plan. This option prevents you from needing to download any programs to check or edit metadata. On windows, you can check the metadata of your photos by right-clicking the image file and selecting ‘properties’.
Under the ‘details’ tab, you can find all of the metadata, including any location information that may be tied to it. If you find anything under the GPS tag then you should clear that information before sharing the image.
On MACOS, it’s very simple to check your images’ metadata. Navigate to your photos in Finder, and select the 4th icon in the first row at the top of the window.
You’ll now be in a gallery viewing mode. Here you can scroll through your photos, and when you highlight the image your interested in, the metadata will be displayed on the right-hand side. If longitude and latitude information is included with the photo, then you should remove it before sharing the image.
Removing the Metadata
On iOS devices, you have two options for removing the metadata. Either you can pay for an app that will do the work for you, or you can synchronize your pictures to your Mac and remove the images with one of those methods. If you choose to go with an app like ViewExif, you can select the rectangle/arrow symbol in the top-right corner to save or share the photo without any metadata included.
ViewExif functions in a similar way to Metapho, but you have to buy the app outright without a free version. With ViewExif you can locate the photo you want to share directly on your iOS device, press share, then select ViewExif. This allows you to share photos from your built-in photo browser without ever actually opening the app at all.
On Android, you can use the Photo Exif Editor to remove the metadata from your photos. In the app, navigate to the photo you want to share. In the top-right corner, press the crossed-out ‘Exif’ symbol. From here you can select to remove specific types of data, or just remove all of it. Once you’ve saved the image it can now be safely uploaded to social media.
On a Windows desktop computer, there are several free tools you can use to remove metadata. The best of them is a browser tool called Verexif which can completely remove all of the metadata from your photos. Simply go to Verexif.com, select and upload the photo you want to clear, and then save a new copy to your PC. You are then safe to upload the picture on your life.
On a MACOS computer, there is a pretty simple way of removing metadata from your photos. Open your image in Preview, go to ‘tools’ and select ‘Show Inspector’. Now select the (i) tab, then the ‘Exif’ tab, and you can simply delete any metadata you don’t want on the photo anymore. If you want to clear everything, then you can simply use the same browser tool as above from Verexif.com.
If you’re struggling with your image metadata, then you can contact us and we’ll help you.
Featured image by OpturaDesign from Shutterstock.com