OS X: Remove Location Info from Pictures

If you’re active online, you may just have uploaded an image a time or two. And if you’re a super-paranoid person like me, you might be a little fearful about broadcasting your exact location across the entire internet. So it’s good to be aware that sometimes posted photos will include data about precisely where they were taken, depending on how you shared them. If you didn’t know that, I can wait here while you go scream into your pillow.

Are you back? Excellent.

Anyway, with privacy in mind, you should know the policies of any apps and services you use to share pictures and whether they automatically strip off location data when you upload. If you don’t know or can’t find out, though, I’m going to tell you how to use the Preview app to take that stuff right off of any images you want to share. 

First, to check to see if an image has stored where it was taken, you can click to select it in the Finder and press Command-i. This’ll open up the item’s “Get Info” window, and you’ll see that listed if it’s included.

Removing that requires very little effort, luckily. Open the picture you’d like to share into the built-in Preview program to get started; to do so, you may just need to double-click on your photo, as Preview is typically the default image editor on the Mac. If that doesn’t work, go to your Applications folder, launch Preview, and then either click “Open” on the window that’ll appear or choose File > Open from the menus to select the photo you need to work with.

Once the picture comes up, click on the “Tools” menu and choose “Show Inspector.”

Underneath the “i” tab, the Inspector window will show a “GPS” option if that data is present. Choose it and click “Remove Location Info” to do just that.

Then if you save your changes, your image will be ready to share. Of course, a very savvy person could probably still use something like a reverse image search to narrow down the possibilities for where you took anything you upload, but there are levels of paranoia even I don’t sink to. Most of the time, anyway.