Instagram, like many other apps, lets you tag your photos with the location of where they were taken. It’s a neat feature that can leave a trail of your whereabouts, and can also be used in the photo map of your profile to have a visual representation of where all your photos have been taken.
But sometimes, having your location out there can raise privacy concerns. I personally recently realized that a large number of my Instagram photos were showing on my photo map as being sent from my house. Although I had never manually geotagged these photos, a bug (or maybe more accurately, an “oversight”) in the Instagram app had pinned all my uploaded photos to the location where I uploaded them from (mostly from my house). This bug has been fixed since August of 2015, but still, all photos uploaded until then showed up on my photo map, even though I had never geotagged them to begin with.
Long story short, I really got a scary moment when I realized that any stalker could easily figure out the location of my house just by looking at my photo map. This led me to remove a lot of photos from my photo map, and made me realize that I should probably share this tip and make sure you also do a privacy check of your Instagram uploads.
In this post, I will show you how to delete the location from individual photos you have previously geotagged. I will also show you how to remove location data from photos appearing in your photo map.
How to remove the location data from pictures on Instagram
Assuming you have manually tagged a photo with the location data of where it was taken, here is how you can remove that location data. Note that this will remove the geotag, and it will make the photo disappear from your photo map as well.
1) Go to your Instagram profile and select the photo for which you want to remove location data.
2) Tap on the ellipsis icon, and select Edit.
3) Once in Edit mode, tap on the location, right below your username. In this example, we’re going to tap on “Oceanside Pier.” Now select Remove Location.
4) Tap Done in the upper right corner to save your changes.
Done! Not only the location will be gone from the photo itself, but it will also be removed from your photo map.
How to remove photos from your Instagram photo map
Note this part of the tutorial is here for historical purposes but the photo map feature has been removed from Instagram a while.
This is where things get interesting. Using the photo map, you can zoom in your house location for example, and make sure no photos are showing as geotagged from that location.
Going into the photo map is also a great way to mass delete location data from your photos in one fell swoop. Admittedly, this is a confusing process, but I’ll walk you through it all in just a few steps.
1) In the Instagram app, go to your profile, and tap on the pin icon to go to your photo map. This will load a map of the world with your geotagged photos overlaid on locations where they were taken.
2) Zoom in as much or as little as you want. The more you zoom in, the more granular you can get on the photos you’re about to delete location data from. If you want to remove location data from absolutely all your photos, then zoom out as much as possible. If you want to remove location data for a specific set of photos from a specific location, then zoom in until you have the right scale.
In our example, I will remove location data from a small set of pictures that were taken in Las Vegas, so I’ll zoom in on that specific location. As you can see, there are 5 photos that were geotagged in Las Vegas.
3) Tap the Edit button in the upper right corner of the screen. You will notice the badge showing the number of photos (5, in our example) turns green.
4) Tap once on the group of photos, then tap on the Edit button that’s showing up.
5) You will now see a list of all your photos tagged under that location. This is where it can be confusing because Instagram doesn’t give you any indication of what the Deselect All and Select options that appear actually do. Neither does it give you an indication this is used to remove location data.
Tap on the Deselect All button at the bottom, then tap Done. By doing so, we’re effectively removing location data from these photos, and removing them from the photo map at the same time.
6) Instagram will finally indicate that this action aims at removing location data from these photos. Confirm this is indeed what you want to do.
Location data should now be removed from these photos. Although these photos are still present in your feed, they will not have any location data attached to them, neither will they be viewable from the photo map. You can repeat the process with different locations to bulk delete geotags from more photos, if necessary.
Disable location access for the Instagram app
If you want to increase your privacy and make sure Instagram cannot access your location at all, you can take this privilege away from the app by going to the Settings application, and navigating to Instagram > Location > Never. After doing so, you will not be able to geotag specific photos, but you’re also ensuring Instagram can’t access your location ever again.
By the way, make sure to follow iDB on Instagram.
Personally, I have chosen to keep granting Instagram access to my location when using the app. I do enjoy tagging places where I go to when uploading photos to the social network. I’m just more conscious of what should and shouldn’t be tagged. If you haven’t done such a privacy check of your Instagram photos, I strongly suggest you take a few minutes to do it.
As always, if you have any question or comment, feel free to raise your voice in the comments section below.