What is EXIF Data? How to View, Remove, and Add this Extra Info a Photo Stores

With the digital cameras boom, there are a lot more photographers than there used to be. Hobbyists have always enjoyed photography. It wasn’t always so simple. In the old days, you had to think twice before you took a photo. The film and processing costs were not too cheap. Luckily, the old days are gone, and most people now have their own cameras or simply use their smartphones to take some high quality pictures.

One of the advantages (or possibly disadvantages) digital cameras offer is the fact that they keep certain data on each photo you take. This data is called “EXIF data” and stands for Exchangeable Image File Format. It includes the time, ISO speed, aperture, lens type, camera model and make, white balance, shutter speed, focal length, copyright information, and more. This can be useful for photographers looking to protect their work with copyright.

The most recent cameras and smartphones have the geotagging ability, where they store the GPS location information of each photo in the respective EXIF file. This screenshot below shows the EXIF data of a random photo I found online. I can see when it was taken, with what device, and with what settings:

Viewing and Removing EXIF Data

Whenever you take a photo with your smartphone or camera, it automatically records EXIF data. Although you can’t stop the data from being gathered in the EXIF file, you have the option of not only seeing it, but also a way to delete some of it. Why edit this data?

  • You might not want people to know the GPS coordinates of the place where you took the photo to protect your privacy.
  • You may want to add copyright information to your image.
  • Removing data will decrease its file size.

Here’s how you can view, remove, and add EXIF data:

  • To view your EXIF data on Windows, select the photo you want to see the EXIF data, right click and choose “Properties“.
  • In case you want to add some extra data to your image, just choose Values and edit the “Details”.
  • When you want to delete the data from your photo, click the “Remove Properties and Personal Information” located at the bottom of the properties dialog.

  • You also have the ability to remove or add specific data:
    • You can select the specific data you want to delete by clicking on “Remove the following properties from this file” and selecting the ones you want to delete.
    • This is also the same area you use to add any information.

  • Make sure you always confirm that you removed all the data you want by right clicking on the photo again and selecting “Properties“.

Note: If you would like to use Photoshop to remove EXIF data (can only remove) you can visit this article by photography life.

Some of the data that is included in the EXIF file can be useful since it shows you the settings of your camera/smartphone that you used to take a certain photo. This can really help you improve your photographer skills by allowing you to keep using the same settings if you have that perfect image.

However, displaying certain data, even on your photos, may not be very wise. The major concern on people’s minds is regarding geolocation. And now you know how you can remove it before releasing all of your information online.