How to Remove Personal Information from your Digital Photos
This iconic Situation Room photograph, captured at the White House, has now been viewed more the 2.5 million times on the web. There’s little information available about the photograph but if you download the full-size version, you can get details about the camera model, the camera settings and even the software that were used to edit this picture before it was published online.
This information is stored in every digital image, in the form of EXIF tags, and you can extract it using Windows Explorer or with the help of even the most basic image editing software. In the case of mobile phones, your pictures may even include location information thus giving others an idea of the exact geographic coordinates where that shot was taken.
See related guide: Tools for Reading & Editing EXIF Data
If you are planning to share your personal photographs over email or on a public website (like Tumblr), it may sometimes make sense to remove the camera data and the location information from the images before putting them online.
There’s a free Windows utility called QuickFix that can help you here. Simply drag-n-drop the photographs in the QuickFix window and click the Clean Metadata button to remove all identifiable information from the photographs. It creates a new copy and won’t overwrite your original photographs.
QuickFix will not only delete the EXIF data and the GPS location information from your photographs but also the IPTC and XMP tags that may have added by the photo editing application.
Microsoft also offers a free utility called Pro Photo Tools that you may use to edit as well as delete common metadata from digital photographs including the GPS location.
If the photographs are in one folder, you can easily remove the EXIF data from one or more of these photographs using Windows Explorer itself without requiring any additional software.
Select all the images files, right click and choose Properties. Now hit the Details tab and click on the “Remove Properties and Personal Information” link. The next screen will give you an option to remove the various metadata that is embedded inside the pictures. Simple.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.