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What is EXIF Data? Can it be removed from an image?

A photo is perhaps the most lively way of capturing a moment and preserving it forever. With modern cameras and smartphones, we often not only get a great picture but also some valuable information along with it.

This information is called EXIF Data. The word EXIF itself comes from the Exchangeable Image File Format standard.

Back in the old time, when film cameras were widely prevalent, photographers would have to write down every technical aspect of the image. They would then later use this information in the lab to develop the photos.

As you can imagine, all this work made photography a complete nightmare. It was a painful process, especially for newcomers who would take a picture and then would have no idea why it didn’t come right.

With the advent of modern cameras and DSLRs, such information is now packed into the image itself. This includes major technical aspects like shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance, exposure, date/time, make or model of the camera, software used to open and render/edit the image and even GPS coordinates.

EXIF Data can come in handy at times. It not only lets other photographers see what settings you used and learn but also helps in sorting/managing pictures. While all these might sound good, there are, however, some instances where you might want to remove EXIF from your images.

Why so? Well, a majority of photographers remove the EXIF data to protect their work and their style. EXIF data also adds up to the overall size of the image and hence, it also gets stripped to save up on web traffic. Even if the photos are not professional, removing EXIF before uploading them on the internet can help protect your privacy.

In case you’re looking to do the same, here’s how.

Also read: DSLR Maintenance 101: How to clean your camera sensor and lenses

How to remove EXIF data?

Removing EXIF on a PC

Step 1: Navigate to your photo directory

Step 2: Select the files from where you want to remove the EXIF data.

Step 3: Right click on the selection and choose ‘Properties.’

Step 4: Click the Details tab

Step 5: At the bottom, you’ll see a link asking if you want to remove the EXIF. Click on it.

Step 6: Select what data you want to remove and click ‘OK’.

How to remove EXIF data on a Smartphone

To remove EXIF on your phone, you’re going to need a third party app. On Android devices, we found an app called EXIF Eraser that works well.

You can get EXIF Eraser here.

Using Exif Eraser is as simple as it gets. All you have to do is select a picture, and the app will do the rest.

Also read: Top 7 DSLR and Mirrorless camera for beginners

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