With the advancement in technology and the dominance of internet, privacy is becoming one of the major issues. We are giving up information of our current activities with our own hands, and don’t even know how this information can be used against us. Even if people try to hide their private information, it gets leaked somehow as there are just too many ways to give up this information.
Geotagging is just one piece of the privacy invasion puzzle for smartphone users. It comes as a Camera app feature that is available on almost all new smartphones. It will add the current location where the photos are taken along with data and time stamps and embed it within the photo. This combined with the ability to share photos online so easily, you get a huge privacy breach.
The good news is, like many other Privacy breaching features you can also block access of this as well. You can just disable this feature right in your phone’s camera app and no future photos will have GPS coordinates.
In this tutorial, we will show you how you can disable Geotagging feature on most Android phones and also remove Geo tags from existing pictures.
If you think that extracting Geolocation from a picture is not really an easy task, then think again. It as simple as going into Picture’s details and all the information will be available there.
On a PC, you can just right click on the picture and from the context menu click on “Properties”.
From “Properties”, click on “Details” tab and all the information related to the Picture will be shown, along with its location coordinates.
Open the picture and tap on Menu located at the top right corner of the screen (it’s the three horizontal dots). From the menu, tap on “Details” to see all details along with Location coordinates.
You can also tap on “Show on map” in the menu, to see the location on Google maps.
The process for disabling this feature depends on the camera app of the manufacturer of your phone. So there is no exact answer to this question, however, the process is quite identical. We will show you two most common processes to access geotagging feature, and most probably you can access the geotagging feature with these processes or identical one.
On most Android phones, you can just open camera app and tap on Settings. From the Settings, scroll down until you see the option “Geo tags” (or similar option) and disable it. There is also a chance you may see a particular icon instead of “Geo tags” options.
If the above doesn’t work for you, then try tapping on Settings icon in Camera app and from the menu tap on the Settings icon again.
A window will pop up, tap on the Settings icon again here as well and you should be able to see “Location tag” option. Tap on it, and from the prompt tap on “Off” to turn Geotagging off.
If you are concerned about being tracked and would like to disable it completely (from all sources), then you can disable it right from the phone settings.
Tap on Settings and from there, tap on Locations.
In there, tap on green button located at the top right corner of the screen to turn off tracking completely. On some phones, you might have to uncheck this option to disable it.
Note: This will disable tracking from all sources, so any app that uses your location to provide services will not work properly.
If you have already made the mistake of taking pictures while geotagging was active, then deleting the pictures may not be necessary. Geolocation is attached to the pictures and it can be easily removed with proper tools.
For this purpose, we are going to use the app GeoBye-Bye. The app is extremely simple to use and will detect and remove geo tags from any photo. However, the app doesn’t offer any “select all” option, you will have to add each image individually. This can be quite hectic if you have lots of photos that require to be cleaned.
Download the App and Launch it. In the interface, tap on “+” located at the bottom of the screen and select your Image viewer app if prompted.
Now, tap on the Picture from which you would like to remove geo tag or check if it is geo tagged or not. You will be able to see if the app is Geo tagged or not in the app’s interface.
If Geo tag is detected, tap on the GPS icon with a slash on it located at the bottom right corner of the screen. The app will create an copy of image and the new copy will not have Geolocation embedded in it. You can just use the new copy and delete the original image.
If this doesn’t satisfy you, then you can also use a PC utility tool called ExifCleaner. This tool can clear geo tags and other similar data in batch mode as well, however, you will have to convert your Pictures from Phone to PC in order to use it on pictures of your phone.
If there are any questions or you would like add more information, let us know in the comments below.