How to Remove Geotags From iPhone Pictures

Your digital breadcrumbs might get you robbed

Person 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, prevent iPhone photos from storing location information. When you delete geotagging information from new photos, it's also deleted from other pictures you took with your phone.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 12 but should also work for older versions, too, running on any iPhone model.

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

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

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

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

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 that is saved with the photos and contained in the image files.

To remove the geotag information from photos that are on your phone, use an app such as deGeo. These photo privacy apps remove the location information contained in photos, and 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 be able to find the location of the item. While on vacation, posting a picture that is geotagged confirms that the person is 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. 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 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?.