How to Remove Geotags From Pictures Taken With Your iPhone

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 privacy, prevent your location from being added to your pictures and remove geotags from photos you've already taken with your iPhone.

How to Prevent Geotags From Being Saved When You Take a Picture With Your iPhone

To ensure that geotag information is not captured when you snap future pictures, perform the following steps:

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

  2. Select Privacy.

    Screenshot of Settings, Privacy, Location Services, Camera in iOS
  3. Choose Location Services.

  4. Look for the Camera setting and select Never from the options. 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 such as Facebook Camera or Instagram, you may want to disable location services for them as well.

  5. Select Home to close the settings app.

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, available from the App Store. Photo privacy apps such as deGeo remove the location information contained in your photos. Some apps may allow for batch processing so that geotag information can be removed from more than one photo at a time.

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 is 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 are selling.

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

How to Tell If a Photo Has Geotag Location Data Embedded in It

If you want to check to see if a photo has geotagged information in its metadata that might reveal the location that it was taken from, download an EXIF viewer application such as XnViewMP, Koredoko EXIF, or GPS Viewer.

Some browser extensions display location information when you right-click on an image file.