How to disable location information in Android device photos

Photos taken on Android devices include location tags. Gain more security by disabling this feature.

How to disable location information in Android device photos

The Pixel 3 phone might be plagued with a number of hardware issues. Even with those issues, it has one of the single best cameras on any phone in the market. The camera is so good, I've pretty much stopped using my DSL.

However, out of the box, those photos taken with this phone include location information. For some, this is a security issue and must be disabled. Why? Say, for example, you're on location doing security work for a client. You might snap a photo of a server rack installation to share with either the company or social media. Out of the box, that photo will have embedded in its data location information, which could lead a nefarious ne'er do well to that location to do malicious things. Or maybe you're on vacation, and you don't want anyone knowing how far from your home you are.

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In the name of security, we don't want that. Fortunately, the developers of the Android camera app (as this works for non-Pixel devices as well) made it quite easy to disable location information for photos. Let's do just that.

What you need

The only thing you need to make this happen is an Android phone, running at least Android 7 or newer. That's it.

Disabling location information

How this is done, will depend upon the device you use. The variation will lie in the location of Settings and how the feature is labeled. For instance, in the Pixel device, you open the camera app, tap More, and then tap Settings. In the Samsung Galaxy 9, open the camera app and tap the gear icon in the top left corner.

In the Pixel camera, the feature is called Save location (Figure A).


Figure A: The location information option in the Pixel 3.

To disable the saving of location information in photos, tap the On/Off slider until it's in the Off position.

In the Samsung Galaxy 9, the feature is named Location tags. In the same fashion as the Pixel, tap on On/Off slider (Figure B) until it's in the Off position.


Figure B: The location information option in the Samsung Galaxy 9.

No matter your Android device, you should be able to find this setting, based on these two devices.

Security by obfuscation

Although this won't directly improve your Android device security, it will improve your personal security and indirectly helps out your overall security. The last thing you want is to give away your location from within your photos, as doing so is an invitation to trouble. Disable the location information on your Android phone, and enjoy the freedom to snap photos without including your whereabouts.

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Jack Wallen

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....