How to remove metadata from photos on Mac

Photos EXIF and GPS data Mac

If you want to remove all of the metadata from a photo, it’s not quite as simple as removing the GPS location from images on Mac. While you can view that data in Preview app, there isn’t currently a way to just delete it. But like most other things, there’s an app for that.

There are several apps for this task on the App Store. But here we’ll show you two apps that you can use to remove the metadata that are available at no charge.

Download an app

EXIFPurge is currently available from the Mac App Store or for Windows for free without in-app purchases.

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.

Remove metadata with EXIFPurge

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

Remove 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.

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

Wrapping it up

Why the Preview app doesn’t let you remove the metadata from your images on Mac is a mystery. But, with EXIFPurge or ImageOptim you can delete that EXIF and GPS data in no time.

And for more help on this topic, check out how to edit the metadata for a photo on iPhone or how to remove gelocation data from your iPhone photos.