Remove EXIF Metadata from Photos with exiftool

Dmitri Popov

Productivity Sauce

Mar 15, 2013 GMT
Dmitri Popov

Sometimes, it is a good idea to scrub EXIF metadata from photos before sharing them, and there is no better tool for the job than exiftool. The command below nukes all EXIF metadata in a photo in one fell swoop (replace foo.jpg with the actual file name):

exiftool -all= foo.jpg

This command removes EXIF metadata from the specified photo, but what if you need to process multiple photos? Then you can use the following command which cleans all the photos in the current directory:

for i in *.jpg; do echo "Processing $i"; exiftool -all= "$i"; done

Instead of purging all EXIF metadata from a photo, you can also remove individual fields. For example, the following command can come in handy when you need to remove geographical coordinates embedded in the photo:

exiftool -geotag= foo.jpg

And the command below can help you to remove geotags from multiple photos in one go:

for i in *.jpg; do echo "Processing $i"; exiftool -geotag= "$i"; done


  • other geographical data...

    One of my camera stores GPS data in a different tag, so I use

    [code]exiftool -gps:all= *.jpg[/code]

    to remove the information
  • ExifTool processes directories

    You can specify a directory name in an ExifTool command:

    exiftool -all= SOME_DIRECTORY

    And add a -r option to recursively process subdirectories too.

    This will process any type of file that is writable by ExifTool, but if you only want to process jpeg images, add "-ext jpg" and maybe "-ext jpeg" to the command. (No need to add "-ext JPG" because the -ext option is case insensitive).
  • More info on exiftool

    Note that exif tool does accept wildcards so for the sort of thing that many people need:

    exiftool -r -overwrite_original -P -all= -copyright="My Name" *.jpg *.jpeg *.JPG

    Might be more to the point.
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