How to remove geolocation information from a photo in Google Photos

If you're planning a vacation, or just want to add yet another layer of security to your mobile device, here's how to strip out geolocation information from Google Photos.

Image: iStockphoto

It's vacation season for many people. Time to shrug off the mantle of business and IT and take a dip in the ocean, climb a mountain, visit a museum, or whatever your penchant. While on vacation, you're most likely going to be snapping photos so you can savor the memories of that time away from the grind.

Or maybe you're just taking photos in or around your home. Staycation anyone?

Thing is, do you want those photos to have associated geolocation information? Why would you not? When you share those photos (on various social networks), that geolocation information could clue people in on your whereabouts. If you're on vacation, it could key ne'er do wells in on that fact. If your home isn't under the watch of a house sitter or a surveillance system, you could be vulnerable.

With you sufficiently paranoid, let me show you how to remove the geolocation information from a Google Photos image, so you can share that photo without having to worry about the information getting too public.

Photo by photo

Unfortunately, the only way you can turn this off globally, is for photos you share with a link. Not many share in that fashion, so you're going to have to learn how to strip away that information on a photo-by-photo basis. Here's how.

Open up Google Photos and then navigate to the photo you want to work with. Once you find it, tap on the photo and then tap the more button (three vertical dots) associated with the Location (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The Geolocation information from a single photo.

When you tap that button, a drop-down will appear. From that drop-down, tap Remove Location and then, when prompted, tap REMOVE. The information will be stripped from the photo (Figure B) and you can feel safe in sharing that image on your social network.

Figure B

Figure B

Geolocation information stripped from a photo.

Share by link

If you do happen to share your photos by link, you can have Google Photos automatically strip the geolocation information, before the photo link is shared. Do note, this only works when sharing a photo via a link. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Google Photos
  2. Tap the hamburger menu button in the top left corner
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Locate and tap the Remove geo location entry (Figure C)

Figure C

Figure C

Disabling geolocation for photos shared via link.

That's it. Now, any time you share a photo, using a link, that photo will not contain any location information.

A slight security enhancement

You might not think so, but removing the geolocation information from your photos can, in some ways, give you a slight security enhancement--especially if you're on vacation and want to share those photos on social networking. Of course, you might also want to make sure whatever social networking you're sharing to isn't tagging your location (otherwise stripping photos of geolocation information is handily defeated).

Also see

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....