Disable iPhone GPS & Geographic Tagging 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:
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, 7, iOS 8, 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 with older models iPhone running 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.
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.