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

Whenever you take a picture with your iPhone, you're probably also recording the location of where you snapped the photo. You won't see the location information, also known as a geotag, in the picture itself, but it is nonetheless embedded in the metadata of the image file.

Other applications can read the location information contained within the metadata and can pinpoint exactly where you took the photo.

Why Are My Geotags 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.

Below are some steps you can take to prevent your location from being added to your pictures and help you 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 you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Tap the Settings icon from your iPhone's home screen.
  2. Tap the Privacy menu.
  3. Choose Location Services from the top of the screen.
  4. Look for the Camera setting and select Never from the options. This should prevent 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. Tap the Home button to close the settings app.
Screenshot of Settings, Privacy, Location Services, Camera in iOS

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

You can strip the geotag information from photos that were already on your phone by using an app such as deGeo, available from the App Store. Photo privacy apps such as deGeo help you to remove the location information contained in your photos. Some apps may allow for batch processing so that you can remove geotag info from more than one photo at a time.

How Can You 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 you need to download an EXIF viewer application such as Koredoko EXIF and GPS Viewer. Some browser extensions let you right-click on any image file to check for location information.