While, most social media sites and apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram strip off metadata (EXIF) when you share pictures with your friends and family, there is no guarantee that big tech giants aren’t storing your EXIF data to build a better profile of you. In addition to this, when you send an image as an email attachment or cloud storage, it retains all the metadata including the geo-tags, which makes you vulnerable to identity theft. But you don’t have to worry, here’s how to remove location and Exif data from your Photos on iOS & Android.
Remove Location and EXIF data from your Photos
1. Photo Metadata Remover
Android & iOS both do not have an effective way to remove metadata natively. The best and easy way is to use a third-party app such as Photo Metadata Remover which lets you remove the data in an instant. This app removes all the metadata including your location, camera settings, and even details of the app that was used to process the photo. The best part is the app has a minimal interface, with all the options you’d need right on the home screen.
Firstly the app lets you remove EXIF data from a single photo and also gives the option to choose multiple images at once. I case you have different folders, like, photography, selfies, family pictures, etc. You can choose the entire folder at once and batch process these images. A quicker way to remove EXIF data is to capture the picture using the app. This way you don’t have to select an image and remove it manually.
The app is free and very easy to use. It sure shows ads, but I didn’t find it to be intrusive. Currently, there is no option to remove the ads or a premium version option.
- Batch remove metadata
- Capture pictures without metadata
- Keep the original file with details
- Only for Android
Native Method for Android
While Android doesn’t allow erasing metadata per se besides using a third-party app that I mentioned above, it does give you a bit of flexibility by blocking the camera to access your location whenever you click a photo. To do that, toggle to the App Management section in your phone settings. Simply select the Camera App, toggle to location and disable Location Access. This way whenever you click a picture, the phone won’t capture your location.
Native Method for iOS
It’s disappointing that iOS also can’t erase EXIF data natively. But features the same method as we saw on Android. To disable the Camera app from detecting your location, head to Settings, and select privacy. Now tap on-location services, camera and select never under the allow location access tab. Voila, now the geo-data won’t be embedded with your pictures.
You might want to keep the location access on just to know and group your photos according to the location. Luckily with iOS 13, you have the option to disable location sharing when you share the picture with others. Simply choose the picture from your Albums and choose share. You’ll notice Options at the top bar along with location included info. Tap on Options and disable Location.
You can also disable All Photos Data which will restrict any metadata transfer when you share a picture.
So, now that you know what metadata is and how to erase it. Try it yourself and maybe hide all the details before you upload the next picture on social media. While most social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter remove this EXIF data when you upload, if you’re sharing it over cloud services or e-mail, the data is still intact. So these were easy ways to remove location and Exif data from your Photos on iOS & Android. If you have any suggestions do leave a comment below.