How to Remove Geotags From iPhone Pictures

Your digital breadcrumbs might get you robbed

Geotagging is a potential privacy and security risk. To protect your personal information, prevent iPhone photos from storing location information on new photos you take. Deleting geotagging information from new photos doesn't delete it from older pictures you took with your phone. You need an app for that.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 14, iOS 13, and iOS 12 but should work for older versions running on any iPhone.

How to Stop iPhone From Saving Your Location in Photos

To ensure that geotag information isn't captured when you snap future pictures:

  1. On the iPhone Home screen, select Settings.

  2. Go to Privacy > Location Services.

    If Location Services is grayed out, Screen Time restrictions may be enabled that prevent Location Services options from being changed. To lift the restriction, go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Location Services > Allow Changes.

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

    iPhone Privacy settings showing Location Services

    If other camera apps are installed on the phone, disable the location-saving feature in those apps.

  4. Press the Home button to close Settings. Images you take going forward are not tagged with location information.

How to Remove Geotags From Older iPhone Pictures

Unless you previously disabled the iPhone's location services for the camera app, photos you took with the iPhone have geotagged information embedded in the EXIF metadata saved with the photos and contained in the image files.

To remove the geotag information from photos on your phone, use an app such as deGeo or Pixelgarde. Use photo privacy apps to remove the location information contained in photos; some can delete location tags from more than one photo at a time.

Some social networking sites delete location information from images that are downloaded from the site or uploaded to the site from a phone. However, most social media sites let users add location information after images are uploaded, and that can be a bad idea.

Why Geotags Are a Potential Security Risk

If a picture of an item that is being sold online contains geotag information, potential thieves may find the location of the item. While you are on vacation, posting a picture that is geotagged confirms that you are not home. This information provides criminals with knowledge of your whereabouts, which could aid in a robbery or worse.

However, geotags are useful as long as you keep the images to yourself. You can plug them into third-party apps to do neat things such as 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., Pic2Map, and Online Exif Viewer are examples of websites that can view an image's location. XnViewMP works, too; it runs as a program from a 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?"

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