How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (2023)

How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (1)

Modern smartphones (and many digital cameras) embed GPS coordinatesin each photo they take. Yes, those photos you’re taking have location data embedded in them—at least by default.You may want to hide this information when sharing sensitive photos online.

Find the GPS Coordinates

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GPS coordinates arestored as “metadata” embedded in the photo files themselves. All you have to do is view the file’s properties and look for it. It’s a bit like the potentially incriminating information that can be stored along with Microsoft Office documents or PDF files.

In Windows, all you have to do is right-click a picture file, select “Properties,” and then click the “Details” tab in the properties window.Lookfor the Latitude and Longitude coordinates under GPS.

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How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (2)

In macOS, right-click the image file (or Control+click it), and select “Get Info.” You’ll see the Latitude and Longitude coordinates under the “More Info” section.

How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (3)

Sure, you may be able to see this information with an “EXIF viewer” application, but most operating systems have this feature built in.

GPS coordinates are notembedded in every single photo. The person who took the photo may have disabled this feature on their phone or manually removed the EXIF details afterwards. Many image-sharing services online—but not all of them—automatically strip the geolocation details for privacy reasons. If you don’t see these details, the’ve been stripped from (or never included in) the image file.

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Match the Coordinates to a Location on a Map

These are standard GPS coordinates, so you just need to match them to a location on a map to find where the photo was actually taken. Many mapping services offer this feature—you can plug the coordinates straight into Google Maps, for example. Google offersinstructions for properly formatting the coordinates for Google Maps.

How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (4)

Bear in mind that thisis just metadata and could be faked, but it’s pretty rare that someone would bother to fake metadata instead of stripping it entirely. It’s also possible for the GPS locationto be off a bit. A phone or digital camera may just have been using itslast known location if it couldn’tget an up-to-date GPS signal whiletaking the photo.

How to Stop Embedding GPS Coordinates in Your Photos

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If you want to disable adding GPS data entirely, you can go into your phone’s Camera app and disable the location setting. You can also remove the embedded EXIF databefore sharing potentially sensitive photos. Tools are built directly into Windows, Mac OS X, and other operating systems for this—just follow our guide for more details.

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On an iPhone, head to Settings > Privacy> Location Services > Camera, and then select “Never” for the “Allow Location Access” option. The Camera app won’t have access to your location and won’t be able to embed it in photos.

How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (5)

On Android, this process varies from phone to phone. Different manufacturers include their own custom Camera apps, and even the Android 4.4 Camera app works differently than in Android 5.0. Dig around your camera app’s quick settings toggles or settings screen and look for an option that disables this feature—or just perform a quick web search to find out how to disable it on your phone and its camera app.

How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private) (6)

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Bear in mind, though, that GPS coordinates can be really useful, too. For example, witha service like Google Photos, Yahoo! Flickr, or Apple iCloud Photo Library, you can organize your photos and view them according to where they were taken, making it really easy to browse photos taken on a particular vacation or at a favorite landmark. You can always strip out the location information on your own if you want to share a photo—that’s why so many services automatically remove the geolocation details when you share thephoto with someone else.

The EXIF metadata stored along with photos also includes some other details. For example, you can see exactly which model of camera (or smartphone) the person used to take the photo. You can also examine exposure settings and other details.Most of these details aren’t considered anywhere near as sensitive as GPS location details—although professional photographers may want to keep their tricks and settings secret.

FAQs

How do you see exactly where a photo was taken and keep your location private? ›

Find the GPS Coordinates

GPS coordinates are stored as “metadata” embedded in the photo files themselves. All you have to do is view the file's properties and look for it.

How do you know the location where a picture was taken? ›

To find an image's exif data, right-click the photo and select either “properties” or “information”. If the GPS coordinates appear, simply type them into Google Maps to find the location.

Can someone tell my location from a photo? ›

Although metadata has useful and even essential purposes, it can become a privacy issue -- especially when it comes to your location. If someone has access to the photos you took on their smartphone, they can easily scour the metadata to identify locations and discover where you live, work, or study.

How can I find the location of where a picture was taken on Iphone? ›

See where a photo was taken
  1. Open a photo, then swipe up to see photo information.
  2. Tap the map or address link to see more details. To change the location or address where the photo was taken, see Change the date, time, or location.

How do I remove the date and location from a photo on my Iphone? ›

Select one or more photos, then tap the share button (that's the little square with the arrow pointing up). At the top of the screen, tap Options. On the next screen, you'll see a number of options, including Location; toggle this off.

How do I find details of a photo? ›

Get information about an image
  1. On your Android phone or tablet, go to images.google.com or open the Google app .
  2. Search for an image.
  3. Tap the image to get a larger version.

Can you actually track someone's location? ›

Fortunately, it is entirely possible to track their location, thanks to both GPS and mobile technology. In fact, these technologies have become so advanced in today's day and age that it is possible to pinpoint a person's exact location.

Can someone find your exact location? ›

In some circumstances, a person may be able to locate the city or general area you're in. But they can't get your physical address; though your IP address links to a geographical location, it's not specific enough to find you. Anyone tracing your IP address could only get to your Internet service provider.

Can your phone reveal your location? ›

Even without cell service, Android devices and iPhones can be tracked. Your phone's mapping apps can track your phone's location without an internet connection. The GPS works in two ways: It uses Assisted GPS or A-GPS when you have a data connection.

How do I remove the exact location from my iPhone? ›

Delete significant locations on iPhone
  1. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Location Services > System Services, then tap Significant Locations.
  2. Tap Clear History. This action clears all your significant locations on any devices that are signed in with the same Apple ID.

How do I remove GPS and other metadata locations from photos? ›

How to remove metadata from photos
  1. Navigate to the folder holding the images you want to edit.
  2. Select the file (or files) you wish to delete metadata from.
  3. Right-click and select Properties, then Details.
  4. Select Remove Properties and Personal Information.
  5. Click Create a copy with all possible properties removed.
Nov 1, 2021

How do I turn off information on a photo? ›

Android
  1. Open the 'Gallery' app.
  2. Locate the image you wish to remove metadata from.
  3. Select it and click the 'share' button, which is a three-pointed figure.
  4. Underneath the photo, click 'remove location data'
  5. You may also click the 'more options' selection and click 'details'
Feb 9, 2021

Can you put a trace on someone's phone without them knowing? ›

You can track someone's location without them knowing by installing a spy app secretly on their target phone. These phone spying apps track almost all targeted phone activities like Calls, SMS messages, Google map's location, Web history, Social Media sites like Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, etc.

What website helps find details of a picture? ›

1. TinEye Reverse Image Search Engine. TinEye is a reverse image search engine that helps you source images and finds where they appear on the web. This tool lets you search by both URLs and uploaded images.

How can I track someones location by phone number for free? ›

10 Best Apps to Track a Cell Phone Location for free
  1. 1: FamiSafe Phone Tracker [Android & iOS]
  2. 2: Google Maps [Android & iOS]
  3. 3: Where's My Droid [Android]
  4. 4: Geo-Tracker [Android]
  5. 5: Find My Device [Android]
  6. 6: Glympse [Android & iOS]
  7. 7: Phone Tracker for iPhones (tracking people with GPS) [iOS]

Can someone track your location from a text? ›

With their GPS radios and constant data connection, smartphones are technically capable of tracking our location and monitoring our activity, which is enough to raise privacy concerns among users. Few people know, however, that phones can be tracked using little more than a text message.

How to track someone location with phone number on Google Maps? ›

First, if you have their phone number and they have an Android phone, you can use the "Find my device" feature built into Google Maps. This will allow you to see their current location and any past locations they've been to. Another method is to use Google's "Location History" feature.

What do I dial to see if my phone is being monitored? ›

You can immediately check if your phone has been compromised, or if your calls, messages etc have been forwarded without your knowledge. All you need to do is dial a few USSD codes - ##002#, *#21#, and *#62# from your phone's dialer.

Can someone watch you through your phone camera? ›

If an unauthorized person wants to see you through your phone's camera, using a spyware app is a viable method. Fortunately, if your stalker isn't a sophisticated hacker, the software they use may appear as an open application running behind the scenes.

What phone Cannot be tracked? ›

Among the most secure Phones – Purism Librem 5

The Purism Librem 5 comes with three kill switches, hardware-wise, that can turn off the sensors. These switches are located for the cameras, microphone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular baseband. This phone has all the significant trackers disabled by default.

What app hides your location? ›

GPS JoyStick

GPS JoyStick has been around for some time and it helps you fake your GPS location on your Android-based devices. This fake gps app does not require you to root your phone and you can change the location with a few easy taps in the app.

How do you hide your location without cutting it off? ›

Turn on Airplane Mode. A simple way to prevent people to know your location temporarily is by turning on airplane mode. It is a built-in feature that is available in almost all types of mobile phones. Do note that airplane mode will also prevent any notification and use of cellular networks, phone calls, or messages.

Does a screenshot erase metadata? ›

Screenshots typically don't include the same kind of sensitive metadata as a camera.” For many users, the only Exif information that will feel especially personal is where their photos are taken.

Does Screenshotting a photo remove metadata? ›

However, there are some easy ways to remove that information before sharing a photo. “One technique is to just take a screenshot of the photo and share that instead,” Consumer Report's Richter said. “Screenshots typically don't include the same kind of sensitive metadata as a camera.”

Can I delete personal metadata? ›

Go to File Explorer. Select one or more files in Windows Explorer. Right-click > select Properties from the contextual menu. Go to the Details tab > click Remove Properties and Personal Information to open the Remove Properties dialog.

How do I stop my location from being tracked? ›

Go to Settings > Location, and toggle the location button to Off. That will turn off all location tracking on an Android. You can manage location tracking permissions for specific apps by tapping Location services in your location settings (see the screenshot above).

How do I block all location tracking? ›

Stop location tracking on Android devices
  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen so that you see your Quick Settings menu, and long-press on the Location icon — or swipe down, tap the Settings icon, and choose “Location.”
  2. You're now on the Location page. Find the “Use location” feature at the top and toggle it off.
Nov 30, 2021

Do photos contain location data? ›

Your device's camera saves your location with the photo. You add a location. Google Photos estimates your location from information such as landmarks detected in your photo and locations in your other photos.

Can someone track my phone if my location is off? ›

The answer is yes, it's possible to track mobile phones even if location services are turned off. Turning off the location service on your phone can help conceal your location. This is important if you don't want third parties knowing where you are or being able to track your movement.

How do I make my location disappear? ›

Use the Google Maps app
  1. On your Android device, open the Google Maps app .
  2. Tap your profile picture or initial Your Timeline .
  3. At the top right, tap More. Settings and privacy.
  4. Scroll to "Location settings."
  5. Tap Automatically delete Location History.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions.

How do I make my location hidden? ›

For Android phones, go to Settings > Connections > Location. Toggle the Location button from "On" to "Off" to turn off location information.

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