How to add, remove, or completely strip image metadata from digital photos to reduce file size and maximise privacy when sharing photos online.
20th May 2019
How to Edit Image Metadata on Windows 10
Every photo you take with a smartphone, digital camera or tablet includes metadata. This is extra information stored within the image which contains information such as the device, author, date, geolocation and other important details. These not only increase file size, but they also cause privacy issues when sharing photos online. This guide will show you how to edit and strip all information from photos.
Metadata can be useful, it records settings such as the camera, lens, shutter speed, aperture, dates and times. Applications such as Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop can use this information to apply corrections, such as chromatic aberration and lens distortion. This type of information is mostly harmless.
Metadata is also known as EXIF (EXchangeable Image Format) and can also include some useful information which if it gets into the wrong hands can cause serious privacy issues. This data includes geolocation tags which can reveal the exact location the photo was taken. Whilst not really that important when travelling, it can lead to your home address, school or place of work being divulged. If you take photos daily this information can be used in aggregate to build up a profile of your daily commute or leisure activities.
Before uploading photos to websites it's a good idea to remove such information. This guide will show you how to remove metadata in Windows 10 File Explorer and a few free third-party tools.
How to Edit Photo File Metadata in Windows Explorer
To edit the metadata on image files, right-click the file and select Properties. In the image properties, click on the Details tab.
The details tab shows all the metadata contained within the photograph. You can quickly edit the information by clicking the value field next to the property. However, keep in mind that some data cannot be modified.
To remove your personal metadata information, on the Details tab of the picture, click the "Remove Properties and Personal Information" link. In the new window, select "Create a copy with all possible properties removed" or you can also select "Remove the following properties from this file", and select the properties you want to remove.
Remove EXIF in Adobe
If Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom is in your creative workflow, you can use the "Save For Web" option which automatically removes all this information for you when you save the file as JPEG.
The Save For Web dialogue box contains a list of properties which can be used to optimise the photo for the web and as well as removing EXIF tags, it allows selection of compression quality and colour profile embeds.
Remove all Metadata in Batch
There are two ways you can remove metadata. The first method is the same as the method described above, with the exception that you select multiple files in Windows Explorer. This will still allow you to remove certain properties when you select "Remove Properties and Personal Information", but not all properties can be removed.