If you want to access EXIF data or view additional information for any image, you can either install third-party or Windows and macOS can give you a basic overview and provide the necessary information.
What is an image EXIF data
When you take a photo with your camera, it captures not only the image. The camera has access to the many sensors, data, and device configuration of the phone. Other information like the date, time, camera model, and a host of other camera settings like shutter speed, aperture, ISO speed, white balance, focal length, location, and even the lens type are also captured and stored within the image file as EXIF data.
EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File. It is stored by all cameras, not just the ones on our phones. Professional cameras save information about the camera settings but phone cameras have access to more information and therefore they store more of it as EXIF data. For example, a photo captured on a phone will likely include longitude and latitude coordinates for the exact place the photo was captured.
How to access image EXIF data
It becomes fairly easy to access EXIF data by using third-party tools or a basic overview of an image with Windows and macOS is also possible. Professional photo management tools will allow you to look at everything that is stored while basic image viewing tools may only show a small subset of the information instead of all of it.
So, if you want to look up more information about a photo you took, here is how to look up the EXIF data in both Windows and macOS.
Access image EXIF data – Windows
Windows File properties
File Explorer in Windows gives a basic overview of the properties of a file. This only has access to the limited data that is saved for an image. However, it is an easy way to view image EXIF data.
1. Open File Explorer.
2. Select the image you want to view EXIF data for.
3. Right-click the image and select Properties.
4. Click the Details tab, scroll down to view EXIF data.
Third-party EXIF viewing app
You can also use a third-party app like ExifDataView to view get detailed information.
1. Download ExifDataView and unzip the file.
2. Next, double-click to run the ExifDataView executable file.
3. Go to File > Open to open a suitable image file. Your EXIF data will appear.
Access image EXIF data – macOS Preview
macOS has a powerful inbuilt photo management tool. However, the Finder app itself can view basic EXIF data that is recorded and stored within an image.
1. Open Finder.
2. Select the image and open it in Preview.
3. Next click on the Tools option in the menu bar at the top.
4. Select Show inspector. A window will open with several tabs.
5. Click the EXIF tab to show the data for the image.
Additional image information may also be available in the tabs on either side of the EXIF tab, depending on your camera model or image file type.
Access image EXIF data – Android
There isn’t any default photo or file viewing app for Android. Thus, third-party apps like Photo Exif Editor allows you to quickly view EXIF data on Android devices.
1. Download and install Photo Exif Editor from Google Play Store.
2. Open the app and tap Photos or Browse to select the image.
3. When you select a file to view, the EXIF data for that file will appear.
Access image EXIF data – iPhone
Similarly, you can install any third-party app from the iOS App Store.
1. Download and install Exif Metadata.
2. Open the app and permit it to view your photos by pressing OK.
3. Tap the + (plus) icon to begin selecting any photo to view in the app.
4. In the Photo Albums menu, navigate a photo. Tap on it to view EXIF data
The Exif Metadata app is free, however with the paid in-app purchases available. You can remove ads and edit the metadata.
Remove EXIF Data
There are plenty of free apps for both macOS and Windows that can delete EXIF data. Keeping EXIF data attached to photos is not a threat but there are some instances where EXIF data can often be a security risk. For instance, when you upload selfies online, they may contain location data. You might not want to give away the location where the photo was taken and when.
So, if you plan on uploading your photos to the web, it’s always a good idea to check if the service clears EXIF data before uploading or remove it yourself to be on the safe side. You can also use an image-hosting service like Imgur, which will automatically erase EXIF data from your photos when you upload them. Sites like Flickr will keep EXIF data attached. Moreover, deleting EXIF data does not reduce the quality of the photo.