How to remove metadata from photos on Mac

Striping away the photo information like location (longitude, latitude), camera name, etc., ensures your sensitive details aren’t disclosed unknowingly to people and apps with whom you share the images. So, here are four ways to remove the Exif metadata from pictures on your Mac.

A MacBook and iMac kept on a table

How to remove Exif data from Photos on Mac

While you can view that data in the Preview app, there isn’t currently a way to just delete it. But like most other things, there are free apps and websites for that.

1. Use the Exif Metadata app to clean Exif data

Exif Metadata is an iOS app by iDB that helps you quickly remove Exif data from your photos on iPhone and iPad.

But if you have a Mac with Apple silicon (like M1 or M2), you can get Exif Metadata from the macOS App Store and use it to delete the photo data. The app is straightforward and lets you pick images from your Mac’s Photos app and remove the metadata. The entire process is the same as using it on iPhone or iPad.

Exif Metadata app on Mac to remove photo information

One major advantage of the Exif Metadata app is that it can work with HEIC images (the default image format on iPhone) by converting them to JPG automatically. Other methods mentioned in this article don’t work with HEIC images.

Related: How to run iPhone and iPad apps on Apple silicon Mac

2. Remove metadata with EXIFPurge

EXIFPurge is available from the Mac App Store or for Windows for free without in-app purchases. It also works on Mac running the current macOS Monterey.

The nice thing about EXIFPurge is that you can strip the metadata from multiple photos at once. This is really handy if you have a big collection of photos that you need to work with. After you download and install EXIFPurge, open it up and then follow these steps.

1) Either click the Select Images button to browse for your photos or drag and drop them into the center window.

2) Choose an Output Location by clicking the Select button.

3) Click Purge Exif Info, wait a few seconds, and click OK.

EXIFPurge Mac

And there you have it! Your photos should no longer contain the metadata.

To see that the data is gone, go to Preview and click Tools > Show Inspector from the menu bar. You may still see the EXIF tab, but there should only be size data if anything. And the GPS tab should be gone.

Metadata Preview Before and After EXIFPurge

3. Delete metadata with ImageOptim

You may have heard of or read about ImageOptim as a tool for reducing image file sizes. But the app does more than compress images. It also offers a feature to remove private EXIF metadata from photos while compressing them at the same time.

ImageOptim is currently available direct from the developer website for Mac, Windows, and Linux. So just head to the site and grab the app for free.

After you download and install ImageOptim, open it up to get started.

1) Click ImageOptim > Preferences from the menu bar.

2) Select the General tab and then check the boxes under Metadata and Color Profiles. These settings will remove metadata and other details from PNG and JPEG image file formats.

While you’re in the app Preferences, you can also make adjustments to the Quality and Optimization Speed if you like.

ImageOptim General Preferences Mac

3) You can then close the Preferences and work with the main ImageOptim window.

4) Drag a photo from its location on your Mac to the app window. You’ll see a checkmark in green next to the photo when all processes finish, which should take less than a minute, depending on the compression options you use.

Drag Image to ImageOptim Mac

And that’s all there is to it! You can open the image in Preview to confirm that the metadata has been removed. You should not see EXIF or GPS tabs in the inspector window.

Metadata Preview Before and After

4. Strip Exif data with Squoosh – No app required

One search on the internet, and you’ll find several websites that let you remove metadata from the photo on Mac. However, most of these websites upload your image to their servers, which isn’t ideal for private media. Enter It works offline, and you can even install its Chrome app.

Squoosh is primarily a tool to compress photos, but if your only motto is to remove the metadata, do the following:

1) Visit in a web browser.

2) Drag an image onto it.

3) Set the Quality slider to 100%.

4) Finally, click the download arrow to save the image with no metadata.

Use Squoosh to remove Exif metadata from Photos on Mac

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