How to remove metadata from a photo on Mac

Asya Karapetyan
Content marketer, who specializes in Mac how-to guides
August 14, 2023
7 minutes to read

Every digital photo contains metadata—hidden information about the photo. Knowing how to remove metadata from photos is a helpful skill for more than just professional photographers. This article explains how to remove metadata from images on Mac and iPhone.

Remove metadata in photos


  1. What is metadata in photos?
  2. How to view image metadata on Mac
  3. How to remove metadata from photos on Mac
  4. How to take photos without location data on iPhone
  5. FAQs about photo metadata

Tip: How to find duplicate photos on Mac

Below we explain all about photo metadata, but first, we want to share a free application for finding duplicate photos on your Mac: Duplicate File Finder.

Duplicate File Finder quickly locates duplicates of any extension on your Mac or in external storage. It also detects duplicate and similar photos and even helps you organize your files by merging similar folders. You can download Duplicate File Finder from the App Store.


Duplicate File Finder

Free Download

What is metadata in photos?

The term ‘metadata’ means information about the data itself. For digital photographs, metadata includes information about place, date, and other properties, created automatically by the camera or mobile device that took the picture. Metadata is like a fingerprint in that every photo’s metadata is unique, but it can be changed with the help of a photo editor or other specialized software.

Each file type (sound, text, image, video) has its own metadata standard. Most photos mainly use the following standards:

  • EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) – technical information about shooting details stored by the camera;
  • IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) – photo description and copyright information;
  • XMP (eXtensible Metadata Platform) – a standard developed by Adobe that allows you to include any information.

The most widely used metadata standard is EXIF. It contains a complete description of the camera settings, including:

  • name and version of the software (camera)
  • date and time of shooting
  • data about the digital environment
  • diaphragm
  • geographical coordinates of the location
  • focal length
  • exposure mode
  • white balance
  • information about the author
  • and much more.

Metadata has a well-organized structure that allows both people and technology to read the data. This structure allows you to work with a huge amount of information in a short period of time, and use the resulting metadata to collect, store, search, process, and combine images automatically.

How to view image metadata on Mac

There are numerous ways to view image metadata on a Mac. We’ll explain the easiest ways that don’t require any third-party software tools.

Use the Info Panel to view image metadata

  1. Open Finder and locate the image for which you want to see metadata.
  2. Right-click on the photo and select Get Info.
  3. You’ll see the Get Info panel, where you can find a variety of information about the photo, like date of creation, location, and more.
Get info panel

Use the Inspector to view EXIF data of a photo

  1. Open the image in the Preview app.
  2. In the menu bar, click Tools and select Show Inspector. Photo Preview menu showing the Show Inspector option
  3. In the window that appears, click the “i” icon.
  4. Switch to the Exif tab.
  5. Here you can view all available EXIF information on the selected photo.
  6. You can switch between tabs to find more information you need. Info panel of photo showing metadata

How to remove metadata from photos on Mac

While metadata can be useful for organizing and managing your photos, it can also pose a privacy risk if you share your photos online. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t provide any built-in tool to remove metadata from your photos, so you’ll need to use third-party metadata remover software or an online service. Below, we’ll show how to use some popular metadata cleaners on your Mac.

Remove metadata from images using ImageOptim

  1. Download ImageOptim from its official website.
  2. Run the application and go to its settings.
  3. In the General tab, enable the options to strip metadata from images. ImageOptim settings window
  4. Open Finder and locate the photos you want to remove metadata from.
  5. Drag and drop them into the ImageOptim window. ImageOptim window

Remove metadata from a photo online

You can use the MetaCleaner website or any other alternative to remove all metadata from a photo. Simply open the homepage and drag your photo into the site window. Once you drag your photo, it will automatically download a copy with no metadata.


This method is convenient as it doesn’t require any additional software to be installed on your Mac. There are many similar online services to remove metadata from images. Google them and find the one that you like most.

How to take photos without location data on iPhone

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and tap Privacy & Security.
  3. Go to the Location Services settings.
  4. Scroll down and tap Camera.
  5. Select Never under “Allow location access.”
Share location on iPhone


Metadata can reveal sensitive information such as your location, camera settings, and personal details. By following the steps in this article, you can easily remove metadata in photos. This way, you can share your images online without worrying about exposing unwanted data.



Is metadata covered by the GDPR?
Can EXIF metadata be changed?
Does copying an image copy the metadata?
Does Google Photos remove EXIF data?
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