Disable iPhone GPS & Geographic Tagging Data in iPhone Photos

Jul 9, 2010 - 7 Comments

GPS Location data in iPhone Photos In case you didn’t know, the iPhone Camera defaults to storing GPS and geographic tagging information in the EXIF data of your iPhone images. If you don’t want this type of location information stored in a pictures EXIF data, you can disable the feature easily in iOS settings, which essentially prevents the image from keeping location details within the file and can help to increase privacy. We’ll cover how to make this settings adjustment on all versions of iOS that support the location feature.

How to Disable iPhone Photo GPS Geotag Location Data

This will prevent the location GPS coordinates from being embedded into all photos taken with the iPhone Camera app, this settings adjustments is available to and works in all modern versions of iOS:

  • Open the Settings app, then choose the “Privacy” settings
  • Tap on “Location Services” and find “Camera” in the list of apps
  • Flip the switch next to Camera to OFF

This is what the Privacy > Location Services > Camera setting should look like to prevent location tagging:

Disable GPS Location tagging in iPhone Camera photos

It’s important to point this settings adjustment only changes photos taken with the Camera app on an iPhone. If you want to prevent other apps from being able to geotag images taken within the respective application, say like Instagram, you’d need to locate that app from the same Privacy > Location Services list and disable those apps as well. Do not overlook that if you are aiming to maintain maximum privacy with geographic location data.

You’ll find this privacy setting in all modern iOS versions, from 6 to 7 onward. New versions of iOS actually gave “Location Services” it’s own separate preference settings within the Privacy section of Settings app, whereas old versions of iOS still allow you to disable the settings but you have to go deeper into the iOS preferences to do so, which we’ll cover next.

Turning Off Camera Location Services in Older iOS Versions

Turning off Camera GPS data within iOS 5 and iOS 4 is done through the following settings adjustment, note how it’s different from doing so in iOS 7:

  • Tap on Settings
  • Tap on General
  • Tap on “Location Services”
  • Select the On/Off switch next to “Camera” so that the switch is set to OFF
  • Exit settings

The appearance of these Camera location data and privacy Settings also has changed slightly, but again the functionality remains the same across all versions of iOS that include the ability to toggle the setting on or off.

Disabling Camera Location EXIF data on iPhone

Images taken from the iPhone will now no longer include GPS and location data when taking photos, and your privacy concerns should be alleviated.

For those interested, it’s fairly easy to see the iPhone photo GPS data by using the Preview app or any other EXIF viewer on the Mac. Likewise, it’s also fairly easy to strip the EXIF details using applications as well, so if you want to remove location data from past images that’s what you’d want to do.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. [...] For more information on how to protect your information and turn off your GPS photo function, click here. [...]

  2. deaconous says:

    There is an alternative to turning off geotagging on your iPhone. I use a free application called Pixelgarde Photo Privacy Editor for iPhone, which lets me control when I share this type of information in my photos. It’s a simple tool and its free so why not use it?

  3. [...] isn’t the first example of the iPhone tracking location data, by default iPhone photos store GPS metadata, which can then be retrieved through Preview.app on any images taken by an iPhone. That feature can [...]

  4. Amy says:

    My iphone did not follow these instructions to turn this off. My were: Setting, General, Restriction, enter pass code and then enter again – Enable Restrictions – Location – Then Camera – turn off.

    Hope this helps anyone having problems

  5. [...] feature is only accurate to use if you have Location Services and geographic tagging enabled for the photos app. stLight.options({ [...]

  6. [...] Disable iPhone GPS & Geographic tagging data in iPhone Photos [...]

  7. [...] details like precise geographic coordinates where the image was taken, (though that’s easy to disable), and overall that metadata can just make images more bloated than they need to [...]

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