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  1. #1
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    Looking for software to remove metadata from files

    I'm looking for software - freeware preferred, if available - which is capable of stripping out all identifying metadata from various files in order to address privacy or security concerns. Having author information or GPS location included as part of certain images or documents isn't always desirable - and in some countries can be fatal - so I'm trying to find a program which can reliably strip metadata from a wide variety of file types, thus leaving those files without any identifying metadata whatsoever and therefore making them safe to send or post.

    I've found software which addresses, say, JPG and PNG files, but doesn't work for other image file types or for documents. Other software will work on various file types, but only removes some of the identifying metadata, not all. I'm trying to find software which will handle a wide range of file types, especially document and image files, and which will remove all identifying or locating information from the metadata.

    Any helpful thoughts along these lines will be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
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    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
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  3. #2
    4 Star Lounger access-mdb's Avatar
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    I use Exiftool to list metatdata in JPGs etc. As you can edit as well, it may well allow you to effectively remove metadata. Look on http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ to see if it can do what you want.

  4. #3
    4 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    @HealingHands33: If you right click on an image file (eg in Explorer) and then select "properties", and click on "details" you will see an option in blue text to "remove properties and personal information". Clicking on this will give you options to select what you want to remove (not everything can be removed, though). You can also choose an option to "create a copy with all possible properties removed". Hope this helps?
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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    I use Exiftool to list metatdata in JPGs etc. As you can edit as well, it may well allow you to effectively remove metadata. Look on http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/ to see if it can do what you want.
    Hi, access-mdb,

    Thanks for your post. I've now had a chance to download Exiftool and play with it a bit. It seems to have the potential to edit metadata, but unless I've missed something big, it seems to only have a command line interface which is quite complex to use. It also seems to be designed to work only with image files, not with other types of files such as documents, spreadsheets, etc. If that's the best available, well, I guess I'll just have to try to fight my way through it, but it does seem as though there ought to be a simpler and easier way of getting rid of metadata. I may come back to Exiftool, but for the time being my search continues.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by petesmst View Post
    @HealingHands33: If you right click on an image file (eg in Explorer) and then select "properties", and click on "details" you will see an option in blue text to "remove properties and personal information". Clicking on this will give you options to select what you want to remove (not everything can be removed, though). You can also choose an option to "create a copy with all possible properties removed". Hope this helps?
    Hi, petesmst,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I had tried that method in Windows Explorer, but if memory serves me the "copy with all possible properties removed" had a grand total of one line of metadata removed; not exactly what I was after, I'm afraid. I'm sure that somewhere there's a better solution, but for now I'm stumped.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

  7. #6
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Batch Exif Tag Remover for Windows — ExifCleaner
    is trialware for photos http://www.superutils.com/products/exifcleaner/

    also BatchPurifier LITE™ 5.2 is freeware the paid version can do more http://www.digitalconfidence.com/downloads.html
    oops that is trial ware also

    and here is a list http://www.lawpro.ca/LawPRO/metadata.pdf

    I can't find a universal on either, I suspect removal is a kind of specialist thing for now.



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  9. #7
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    Hi, wavy,

    Thanks for the suggestions and the links. The LawPRO article was interesting, but since it was published in 2004, I'm not sure that the list of metadata scrubbers it offers will be very current. However, the BatchPurifier paid version seems to be more like what I'm looking for, as it seems to cover a fairly wide range of file types. It certainly couldn't be described as "universal," but it definitely looks like the best I've come across so far when it comes to the number of file types it covers. I'll look into it further, and if I don't find anything better, may give it a try.

    Thanks again for the lead.

    Cheers,
    Al
    Windows 7 Pro, 64-Bit, SP1 on desktop
    Windows XP/Media Edition, SP3 on Dell laptop
    Windows 7 Home Premium, 32-bit, SP1 on HP Mini 5103
    Samsung Galaxy S2 running JB 4.1.2

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