Simple Way to Remove Location Info from Photos

city viewsSo you’ve taken a great picture of your home, kids or latest project, and you want to share it online through Twitter or Facebook. If you used a smartphone like an iPhone or pretty much any modern cell phone, you should know that images are often geo-tagged.

Geo-tagging means including GPS data of where you took the picture with your phone. In other words, information (latitude, longitude, altitude) about the location of the picture is embedded in the image file. Having geo-tag information is very useful if you later want to see where on a map you took the photo, tell your friends where that fantastic restaurant is, etcetera.

However, there may be times when you don’t want to reveal the exact location shown in the photo. Such situations might be when you took a picture of your children in your backyard, your expensive stereo equipment at home or you snapped a photo of an endangered animal and want to conceal the location from poachers. No matter the reason, there is a very easy way to get rid of the geo-tag data from your image that doesn’t require purchase or installation of any special software application.

Here’s how to remove geo-tag information from photos using the built-in apps and functionality in OS X (you can use a similar method on Windows or Linux):

1. Open your image with Preview on OS X (Preview.app is found in the Applications folder).

2. Press ⌘ + i (command and letter i) to open the inspector box in Preview.

GPS info

3. At the top of the inspector window you will see some icons. The second one indicates information – click on that.

4. Click on the GPS tab, and you will see the location where the image was taken.

5. If you want to process the image, e.g. change colors or similar, do that now.

6. Adjust the image to the size you want it published, e.g. 800×600 using Tools -> Adjust Size.

7. Press ⌘ + 0 (command and number zero) to zoom to actual size.

8. Press ⌘ + shift + 4 (three keys together: command and shift and 4). The cursor changes to a cross-hair with coordinates written next to it.

9. Using the cross-hair, click and drag out a rectangle that is as close to the image edge as possible.

10. When you release the mouse-button (or trackpad) the area you covered with the cross-hair rectangle will be captured as a screenshot and saved on the computer Desktop.

11. Press ⌘ + o (command and letter o) and open the file from the Desktop. It is usually named something like, “Screen Shot 2014-02-28 18.33.20.png”.

no GPS info

12. Now rename the file and save it.

13. To be sure you have removed the location geo-tag, repeat steps 2-4. You should no longer see a GPS tab.

Congratulations, you have removed the geo-tag information from your image without installing any tools.

This method works very well to remove location information. There is one thing to note: Since you are making a screenshot of your computer screen, your resulting image resolution can not be higher than your screen resolution, but that is usually fine for posting on social media sites.