Whenever you take a photo on your phone, the location is saved with it. Share that photo with people or online and they can see exactly where it was taken. Remove location info for more privacy.
The default setting for the camera app on a phone is to store the location with a photo when it is taken. When you share that photo with people using a messaging app, or worse, share it online where anyone can see it, people can look at the information stored within the photo and see exactly where it was taken.
You could be sharing your home address when you post photos online, or someone else’s home address. Imagine you have a get-together of family or friends. You take photos and share them on social media or elsewhere. Everyone, even people you do not know, then has access to your home address. If you were at someone else’s event you would be sharing their address with the world when you post photos online.
It is best to remove location information from photos you share with others, unless they are close family. It is less problematic to share photos containing location information that were taken in public places and at events. For example, it is OK to share your music concert photos, after all, there are thousands of other people there taking photos, and it’s not a private place like your home, unless you are mega rich.
Should you turn off location info for photos?
It is very useful to have location information in photos and photo managers can automatically collect images from a location into an album, show you where you took a photo if you are not sure. Where was that beach photo taken? All beaches look so similar!
Whatever camera app you use, there will be an option in its settings to include or exclude location information. For example, open the Samsung Camera app, press the gear icon to open Camera Settings and toggle the switch next to Location tags.
All future photos will not contain location information, but remember that every photo previously taken and stored in the Gallery app already has location info. It is not stripped out of existing photos.
I prefer to keep Location tags enabled because it is so useful and I only remove it if necessary when I am sharing one or more photos. Here is how to do it in the Gallery app on a Samsung Galaxy phone running Android. Other phones have similar features, but might have different menus.
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Show location info in photos
Open a photo in the Gallery app on your phone and tap a photo to view it. Swipe up the screen.
Swiping up reveals a panel at the bottom that shows the location as a small thumbnail image on a map. You can’t see much in this view, but tap the map and you can see more.
The map view fills the screen and you can see the location more clearly. Use pinch and spread to zoom out or in to the map in the usual way.
Even more information is stored, like the street name and even the building name or number and postcode or zip code.
View and remove photo location details
The following method removes the location information from photos in the Gallery app. All apps that access your photos, like Whatsapp, messengers, Facebook, Twitter and others, access Gallery photos. Remove location information here and it is removed for all apps.
View a photo in the Gallery app on your phone and press the three dots button in the toolbar on the right to display a menu. Press Details to view or edit the information stored with the photo.
Here you can see the exact location the photo was taken, even the road, town and postcode or zip code. Do you really want to share this location information when you post the photo online? Press the Edit button at the top.
The location now has a minus button next to it. Press it if you want to remove the information from the photo.
The photo now has no location information and it is safe to share it online. Remove location details when you want to keep your location private.
Remove location for shared photos
You might not want to remove location information from photos in the Gallery because it is useful. You may want to remind yourself where a photo was taken, see all photos at a particular location, organize photos by location and so on. Here is how to remove photo information only when photos are shared.
Here we have opened a photo in Samsung Gallery and pressed the share button in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. One or several photos can be selected at the top. Sharing methods are displayed in a toolbar at the bottom and the apps you see depend on the apps installed on the phone. Which app you use does not matter. What matters is the tiny hard-to-see Options link. Press it before selecting a sharing app.
Two options are available when sharing photos from the Gallery app: Include location data and Include all image and video data. Ask yourself whether people actually need to see the location and other information stored in a photo. If you are a professional photographer selling photos, you might want to keep the information. If you are sharing photos taken at your home or someone else’s, you might not want to keep it. Just be aware that the options are there if you need them.
Change the location information in a photo
Did you know that it is possible to change the location information in a photo? You can take a photo sitting in your kids’ sand pit at home and set the location to Miami beach, or wherever you want, then share it with friends just for fun.
Is there a valid reason for faking the location in photos? I don’t know, but here is how to do it.
Open the Gallery app on your Samsung phone. Long press on a photo to select it and add more if you want to. Then press the three dots button in the toolbar at the bottom and select Edit location on the menu that is displayed.
A map of the world appears. Drag it to move around, pinch and spread to zoom in and out. Wherever you tap in the world is where your photos will appear to have been taken. It replaces the location information in the selected photos with the place you tap. Zoom right in and you can even pick the street and building.