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EXIF: view and save image metadata

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What is EXIF ​​data?
What information does EXIF ​​data contain?
EXIF data examples
Read and display EXIF ​​data
EXIF and data security
EXIF and data loss
Free EXIF ​​tools
Show EXIF ​​with browser
EXIF with the right mouse button


EXIF: view and save image metadata

The usual image editing and archiving process only requires details such as resolution, file format, pixel dimensions, or color space. However, if you need specific information about the images, do not want to share all the metadata for privacy reasons, or want to sort the photos by date, exposure, or camera model, you will need to know what EXIF ​​data is. This information contains almost everything there is to know about the camera, the shooting parameters, and sometimes even where the snapshot was taken..

  1. What is EXIF ​​data?
  2. What information does EXIF ​​data contain?
  3. EXIF data examples
  4. Read and display EXIF ​​data
    1. Free EXIF ​​tools
    2. Show EXIF ​​with browser
    3. EXIF with the right mouse button
  5. EXIF and data security
  6. EXIF and data loss

What is EXIF ​​data?

Before the advent of digital photography, professional photographers wrote their image data by hand to avoid capture errors or to set the appropriate parameters. Today, handwritten notes are superfluous as cameras and smartphones almost always store images directly in JPG format and add EXIF ​​metadata automatically .

EXIF stands for Exchangeable Image File Format. The technology behind this name was developed in 1995 by the Japanese Electronic Industries Development Association (JEIDA) as a standard format for JPEG and TIFF. The EXIF ​​data block contains information about the technical characteristics of the image and precedes the graphics data in a header . Since 2010, version 2.3 of the EXIF ​​standard is available..

What information does EXIF ​​data contain?

The EXIF ​​block contains all the details of the technical specifications and the capture parameters of the stored images. This feature sets EXIF ​​apart from the IPTC metadata standard, which does not automatically store general information and only includes data about the content of the image.

The following image data is stored in the EXIF ​​block:

  • Resolution
  • Type of file
  • Shutter speed / exposure time / ISO
  • Image rotation
  • Date hour
  • White balance
  • Miniature
  • Focal distance
  • Flash
  • objective
  • Type of file
  • Camera type
  • Software used
  • Recording time and, if necessary, GPS tagging

EXIF data examples

EXIF data is displayed as labels. The labels consist of a parameter (such as focal length and brightness) and the precise value of the image in question..

Dimensions 4000 x 2667
Width 4000 pixels
High 2667 pixels
Horizontal resolution 300 dpi
Vertical resolution 300 dpi
Camera manufacturer Canon Inc.
Camera model Canon EO S7000
Exhibithion time 2 seconds

Currently, it is possible to save and deposit more than 100 technical data on an image using the EXIF ​​standard. The level of detail of the EXIF ​​information will depend, among other things, on the camera or smartphone that we use. Modern devices include a GPS receiver that allows them, for example, to store geolocation tags, that is, data about the place where the image was taken.

Read and display EXIF ​​data

EXIF data can be viewed with most image processing and viewing programs. The important thing is to have the photos in JPEG or TIFF format . RAW images (that is, uncompressed images) are not compatible with the EXIF ​​standard.

There are different ways to read the metadata. There are free tools specifically for metadata, although they can also be read from an Internet browser or from pre-installed photo programs.

Free EXIF ​​tools

There is a wide selection of free applications that allow you to read and modify all the metadata. For example, you must process the EXIF data afterwards if you want to sort and file the images by date, but information on the date and time is not correct (for example, time zone changes when traveling or due to incorrect settings in the computer).

We can also read EXIF ​​data if we need copyright information . EXIF data is highly relevant to advertising and design companies, as well as photographers. It is likely that a photographer is interested in recording their information for copyright reasons or, conversely, hiding certain details about the image capture so as not to reveal their methods. Also, a company may want to know who the author of a copyrighted image is if it cannot find this information by other means.

The following tools can be downloaded for free and allow complete reading and modification of metadata:

  • ExifPro
  • AnalogExif
  • ExifTool
  • ExifPilot
  • Exifer
  • ExifViewer

Show EXIF ​​with browser

Even with the Internet browsers Google Chrome and Firefox , EXIF ​​data can be viewed easily. To do this, you only need the free Exif Viewer plugin. The extension can be found in the browser's store search engine and is added with a simple click on the "Add" tab.

After installing it, you will be able to read EXIF ​​metadata from web images . Click on the image and access the details with the right mouse button. However, not all online images have EXIF ​​data available.

EXIF with the right mouse button

The quickest way to view EXIF ​​data is simply to right-click on the image you have searched for. Keep in mind that this way you will only get some basic metadata (such as date, time, file type, and name). To obtain the complete data you will need, in any case, a photo tool or a special EXIF ​​program.

EXIF and data security

The amount of information that a simple photograph taken with a mobile phone or camera can reveal to us is something that not everyone is aware of. When we share images on social media or job search portals , they show more detail in the metadata than we would like. However, privacy is an important issue and problem related to EXIF ​​data.

For example, until 2016 they tried to remove as much metadata as possible from Facebook photos in Germany. On the one hand, to prevent executable malicious codes that can be hidden in metadata from sneaking onto users' devices and, on the other, to protect private data.

Since 2016, Facebook has been obliged by court ruling to leave the metadata of the photos that users upload intact in order to verify the authenticity of the images. Since most smartphones and now also cameras are equipped with GPS functions, and some images include geotags (location data) and IP addresses, you should consider whether you want all that metadata to be published on the web.

If you do not want the details of your photos to be stored in the EXIF ​​data, we recommend that you remove the information from the images using the EXIF ​​tools that we have presented.

EXIF and data loss

Another potential problem is the loss of metadata after modifying and saving a JPEG image with image editing software . In that case, the EXIF ​​data is not preserved under certain circumstances, but is erased during automatic data compression . This can be annoying for some users when, for example, we want to sort photos by date, camera model, or specific capture parameters.


With IONOS HiDrive online storage, you will be safe with your data: save your images in the IONOS cloud before modifying them, thus creating a backup in case of emergency.

If you want to keep EXIF ​​data, you should pay close attention and always save it in JPEG or TIFF format. With Adobe Photoshop it is necessary to use the "Save As" function, otherwise the file will be saved without EXIF ​​data. But be careful, because if you use the function? Save for web and devices? you will lose the EXIF ​​data. For this reason, we recommend that you use the "Save as" function whenever possible.