How to Remove Geotags From iPhone Pictures

Your digital breadcrumbs might get you robbed

Young woman using smartphone to photograph Manhattan
Cultura RM/Lena Mirisola/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Geotagging is a potential privacy and security risk. To protect your personal information, you can prevent iPhone photos from storing location information.

When you delete geotagging information from new photos, it's also deleted from other pictures you've taken with your phone.

How to Stop iPhone From Saving Your Location in Photos

To ensure that geotag information isn't captured when you snap future pictures, perform the following steps:

  1. Select Settings on your iPhone's home screen.

  2. Go to Privacy > Location Services.

    Screenshot of Settings, Privacy, Location Services, Camera in iOS

    If Location Services is greyed out, you might have Screen Time restrictions enabled that are preventing Location Services options from being changed. Lift the restriction via Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Location Services > Allow Changes.

  3. Tap Camera and then Never. This prevents geotag data from being recorded in future pictures taken with your iPhone's built-in Camera app.

    If you have other camera apps, you might need to disable their respective location-saving features, too.

  4. Press the Home button to close Settings. Images will now no longer be tagged with location information.

Unless you previously disabled your iPhone's location services for the camera app, as shown above, photos you've already taken with your iPhone have geotagged information embedded in the EXIF metadata that was saved with the photos and is contained within the image files themselves.

Strip the geotag information from photos that are on your phone by using an app such as deGeo. Photo privacy apps like this one remove the location information contained in your photos, and some can even do so in bulk to delete location tags from more than one photo at once.

Some social networking sites strip location information from images when they're downloaded from the site or even uploaded to the site from your phone. So, you don't have to worry that all images you've ever uploaded to the internet from your phone include location information. However, most social media sites still let you add location information later once the images have been uploaded, and that can equally be a bad idea.

Why Geotags Are a Potential Security Risk

If you take a picture of an item that you want to sell online and the geotag information that's embedded in the photo gets posted on the site you're selling the item on, you may have inadvertently provided potential thieves with the exact location of the item you're selling.

Similarly, if you're on vacation and post a picture that is geotagged, you may be confirming the fact that you're not home. Again, this information helps provide criminals with knowledge of your whereabouts, which could aid in a robbery, or worse.

However, geotags can still be useful as long as you keep the images to yourself. You can plug them into third-party apps to do neat things like see where on a map the pictures were taken, or to remind yourself where you shot some photos.

How to View a Photo's Location Information

You can see if a photo has geotagged information in its metadata through various apps and websites.

Photo-location.net, Pic2Map, Jeffrey's Image Metadata Viewer, metapicz, and Online Exif Viewer are a few examples of websites that can view an image's location.

XnViewMP works, too; it runs as a program from your computer. Google Photos shows image location on a map and can be used from any website.

Beyond those apps are other methods such as the iOS Shortcuts mini-app called Where Was This Taken?.