Every time you capture an image using your digital camera or smartphone, some details about the image are saved along with the image itself. That data is also referred to as metadata or EXIF data. It contains information including the device name that was used to capture the image, location information, the time and date when the image was taken, and so on.
While having this data stored along with the image is not an issue, you may want to strip off the data when you share these images over the Internet. I am sure you do not want a stranger to know the exact location where you took that image, or you just do not want others to know what device you use for taking images, for your own personal reasons.
Checking If an Image Has EXIF Data
Before you submit your images for their EXIF data to be removed, it is advised that you check to see if your images actually have that data. So how do you do that? Well, the Preview app on your Mac will help you you.
1. Right click on the image that you want to check the EXIF data for and select “Open With” followed by “Preview.” It will launch the image in the Preview app.
2. Click on “Tools” followed by “Show Inspector” in the Preview app. It will launch the information panel for your image.
3. Here is where you can see if your image has EXIF data embedded in it. If your image has that data, you should see it in the “EXIF” tab. Click on it, and it will expand with more details.
In case you do not see any data under the EXIF tab, then your image probably does not have any data embedded in it.
You should see that the EXIF data contains almost all the information about the image. This is what you are going to be removing from your image in the rest of this guide.
Since you now know that your image has the information that you do not feel comfortable sharing with others, here’s how you can remove it.
Removing EXIF Data from Images on a Mac
You are going to use a free app called ImageOptim to get the task done. Besides removing EXIF data, the app offers other features as well, including the ability to compress your images so that they load faster on the Internet.
To get started, download the ImageOptim app on your Mac.
When the app has been downloaded, double click on it to extract the actual app file. Then drag and drop that app file onto the Applications folder in the Finder. It should show up in your Launchpad.
Click on Launchpad in your dock, search for and click on ImageOptim, and it will launch.
When the app launches, you should see that there are almost no buttons or options on the main interface. Instead you just have a window where you can add your images to have their EXIF data removed. You can add multiple images into the app for faster EXIF data removal.
What you need to do now is open the folder where your images are located and drag and drop them onto the ImageOptim window. They should automatically be processed by the app. The removal process should be instant unless you are processing plenty of images simultaneously. Do note that your original images will be overwritten. So if you want to keep your original images with the EXIF data, please make a copy of those images before adding them into the app.
You can add as many images into the app as you want, and they will all be processed in one go. That saves you the time that you would otherwise spend removing data from individual images.
Once you are done stripping off the EXIF data, you may want to check if the data is really gone.
Right click on the image and select “Open With” followed by “Preview” to launch the image in the Preview app.
Click on “Tools” followed by “Show Inspector” to bring forth the image information panel.
You should see that there is no “EXIF” tab in the panel. It indicates that your image does not have EXIF data. That means the above method successfully removed the data from your image.
Unless it is really important, you should not share your images with the EXIF data embedded in them, as they expose a lot of information that you may not want to share with others. The method above should help you remove that metadata from your images and let the viewers only see the image and nothing else.