Do you know how to remove metadata from photos on an iPhone?
It’s actually easier than you think…and doesn’t even need you to be tech-savvy.
Every time you take a picture with your iPhone, some metadata is attached to it that could tell where you work, hang out, or reside.
And that data is very easy to trace, retrieve and read. Does that scare you? It should.
What is metadata?
Don’t get it wrong. There are many reasons why your phone has to keep track of your location.
For instance, apps like Google maps need to give precise directions.
Yelp has to find nearby restaurants, motels, and other amenities. That’s the positive side of metadata.
Metadata can also help you improve your photography skills.
Pro photographers must tweak their settings such as ISO, shutter speed, resolution, etc. to achieve various specific needs.
The problem is, metadata is also associated with privacy issues.
If someone were to get your photo, they can trace your movement to where you actually live or work.
For that reason, the iPhone makes it possible for mobile users to remove or spoof metadata to hide from any prying eyes.
What is photo metadata?
Photo metadata is the identification information that makes each picture unique.
It is commonly known as EXIF (exchangeable image file) data and includes aspects such as iPhone model, type of camera, location data, image info (format, resolution, time, and date), and camera settings.
It’s not just your photos that contain metadata. Received images and screenshots too have their own metadata
How to Remove Metadata from Photos on an iPhone
We are going to look at a few practical steps on how to remove metadata from photos on an iPhone and keep yourself or your family safe.
How to remove location data on your iPhone photos
For every photo you take, there’s location data that can almost accurately pinpoint the place it was captured from.
Let’s see how you can access such data and remove it.
- Step 1: Open the photos app and click on the picture you want to edit
- Step 2: click the (i) info button to pull up the picture’s information
- Step 3: Click on “Adjust” to reveal the precise location or address where the picture was taken from
- Step 4: Now click on “No Location” to be redirected to the pictures info. If you look at the location information, you’ll realize the map metadata is gone.
Spoofing location metadata
Maybe you don’t want to remove the location (and raise suspicion). So all you need to do is remove the real data and switch it to a fake location.
Here’s how you can go about it:
- Step 1: Open the photo you want to edit and bring up its information.
- Step 2: Locate the map information and tap Adjust.
- Step 3: in the “Adjust Location” page, enter your preferred address or start typing and suggestions will pop up.
- Step 4: pick your preferred location and it will be stored as the new map metadata
How to edit your photos’ date and time metadata
You will need third-party apps like The Photo Investigator or Exif Metadata to edit the date and time.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open the App Store and download your preferred app. In this case, we will use the Exif Metadata app.
- Open the app upon download completion
- There’s a plus icon in the app. Click it and it will redirect you to the app store so you can select an image
- Now, tap on the Edit button at the right corner of the app
- Some metadata will be pulled up. Locate the Date and change the particulars then click on Done.
- Locate Time, key in new details, and click Done on your keyboard
- If you are done editing, check the right corner and click on Save.
- You will be prompted to either save the original file or discard it. Here you can do what suits you.
How to delete, edit, or add other photo metadata details
Your photos also have author descriptions, camera models, ISO, and others as part of metadata info.
The following steps will help you edit them:
- Visit the App Store and download an app of your choice. Let’s proceed with Exif Metadata.
- Open the app once it has finished downloading
- Click the plus icon to upload a photo
- There are a whole lot of menu items. Select the details you want to edit
- Key in new details and click on Done on your keyboard and then Save when you are done editing
- Every time you delete, add or edit a picture, you will be prompted to save the original file or delete it. So select the option that best suits you.
Deleting all photo metadata
Apps like Exif Metadata can also help you clean out your photo’s metadata in one click.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Install the Exif Metadata app from the App Store
- 2. Click on the plus icon to upload a photo
- Scroll to the bottom and click on Remove All Metadata
All the metadata for your photo is now cleaned out.
On whether it is good or bad to have your iPhone photos geotagged
It all boils down to your preference.
If you are at peace with everyone, including governments and organizations you work for, then it’s okay to have your photos geotagged.
It’s also important that your photos show their locations if you travel a lot or are into photography.
Once you type a certain city or country in your gallery, every photo you took from that location will come up.
This way you don’t have to scroll past hundreds of irrelevant photos before getting what you want.
Do photos uploaded on social media contain metadata?
Lucky for you, all pictures uploaded to Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms have their metadata wiped out for privacy reasons.
So rest easy knowing every image that goes online on social media can never tell where you were or are—unless you tag the location.
Additional protection method
Stripping metadata from every picture is not only tedious but time-consuming as well.
Gladly, there is a way to ensure none of your photos contain location data.
- Access the Settings feature
- Navigate to Privacy
- Scroll down till you get to Camera
- Select Never
Now that you have disabled location services, none of your videos and photos will contain location information.
Photo metadata is vital in many scenarios.
Your iPhone needs it to categorize images in the right folder and also help bring up the right image search results.
Location services need it to recommend the best holiday destinations, restaurants, and other amenities.
But there comes a time when some metadata like location can reveal your identity and put your life at risk (in the wrong hands).
In such an event, you might want to learn how to remove metadata from photos on an iPhone.
This way, you can go dark and not worry about anyone tracing your movement.
We hope this article has helped you stay safe from prying eyes.
Be wary of other ways people can track you, for instance through browsers—especially advertisement services.
So, learn how to enable or disable certain privacy settings to enjoy your life without having to look over your shoulders.