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Old 30. May 2014, 03:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Freeware to remove (scrub) metadata from images and documents

Hi,

I'm looking for a freeware program to remove metadata from images and documents before I email them or post them on a Web page. In my search I came across a helpful page suggested in the Gizmo's Forum which offered 5 choices, the best of which appeared to be QuickFix from Metability Software, but when I go to download the software, the Metability site won't load, giving me only a blank white screen. I also noticed that the article with the 5 choices was posted back on 5Sep11, so there may now be newer and better programs of this type.

Accordingly, if anyone knows of another site through which to download the Metability software, or if anyone has had a good experience with any freeware of this sort, I'd be grateful for any information. The software I'd like to find will be able to reliably and completely remove all kinds of metadata (Exif, Iptc, XMP, etc.) from various types of files (images, documents, spreadsheets, etc.), including all personal data, GPS location info, etc.

Many thanks to anyone who can help.

Cheers,
Al
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Old 30. May 2014, 06:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There is an entry for QuickFix on Sofdtpedia but the download link is also broken. Cnet (download.com) also have it but this is not a trusted source and you have no idea what else the file might be bundled with. Tucows should be a better option but I would scan the file before installation and maybe use something like Toolwiz Time Freeze to check it out in a virtual environment first.

http://www.tucows.com/preview/1201688/FileMind-QuickFix
http://www.toolwiz.com/en/products/toolwiz-time-freeze/
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Old 30. May 2014, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy View Post
There is an entry for QuickFix on Sofdtpedia but the download link is also broken. Cnet (download.com) also have it but this is not a trusted source and you have no idea what else the file might be bundled with. Tucows should be a better option but I would scan the file before installation and maybe use something like Toolwiz Time Freeze to check it out in a virtual environment first.

http://www.tucows.com/preview/1201688/FileMind-QuickFix
http://www.toolwiz.com/en/products/toolwiz-time-freeze/
Hi, MC,

Thanks for the suggestions. I had tried Softpedia and found, as you did, that the link didn't work, and I never trust CNET. I hadn't used Tucows in years because I'd heard some bad things about them as well, but tried downloading the program within Sandboxie. The Tucows installer turned out to be rather aggressive in pushing the user to accept at least 4 or 5 successive offers of crapware, one after the other, and it's necessary to keep clicking the "Decline" button time after time, rather than the "Accept" button, as so many unwary users automatically do. Based on this experience, I'd not recommend that anyone download from Tucows, other than perhaps experienced and hyper-vigilant users.

Once I finally got the "FileMind-QuickFix" downloaded into Sandboxie, however, I found myself disappointed with its abilities. It stripped out some metadata, to be sure, but left plenty of identifying info behind in the images I used for testing. As a result, I'm now back on the hunt for a metadata remover that does as the name implies and will indeed thoroughly remove metadata. Any suggestions of other programs to try will be very welcome.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,
Al
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Old 30. May 2014, 11:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for your feedback anyway which I'm sure will be useful for others.
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Old 30. May 2014, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am using Windows 8, and in it, if you right click an image, or a document file, and choose Properties.. under the Details tab, there is a link to remove Personal and Private information, which removes the metadata. I don't know if such a thing is available in other versions of Windows too. It's there in Windows 8 though, and it seems to work. How effectively and if it removes all metadata, that I haven't checked out in detail.
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Old 30. May 2014, 09:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi, Anupam,

Thanks for your post. I'm using W7 Pro/64 and have tried doing as you suggested. I right-clicked an image file, then Properties, then chose the option to remove all removable metadata. All it did was take out the date on which the image was created; every other bit of metadata was left in the file as it was. This isn't good for those who want to remove their personal data and maintain their privacy.

The hunt for a good metadata stripper continues.

Cheers,
Al
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Old 30. May 2014, 10:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yankiwi, I have written a partial article on File Meta and have been planning a possible future Tech Tip about it. Take a look at it and tell me what you think. Your input would be very helpful in deciding whether it is a good app for a Tech Tip article.
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Old 31. May 2014, 01:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v.laurie View Post
Yankiwi, I have written a partial article on File Meta and have been planning a possible future Tech Tip about it. Take a look at it and tell me what you think. Your input would be very helpful in deciding whether it is a good app for a Tech Tip article.
Hi, Vic,

Thanks for your post. It's an interesting article and I think that the subject of metadata needs to be more widely publicized. Though I've been aware for years that image files contained metadata, it was only comparatively recently - due in part to one of your articles - that I woke up to the fact that many other types of files do too. I'm sure there are others in my position as well, so I think that any articles you can contribute on the subject would be both very helpful and well-received.

However, while it would of course be very helpful for certain purposes to "(be) able to add metadata to txt files, pdfs, anything, editable directly in Explorer," my present concern is not with adding metadata to files, but rather with stripping out all metadata from various files in order to address privacy or security concerns. Having author information or GPS location included as part of certain images or documents isn't always desirable - and in some countries can be fatal - so I'm trying to find a program which can reliably strip ALL metadata from a wide variety of file types, leaving those files without any identifying metadata whatsoever and therefore safe to send or post.

Cheers,
Al
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Old 03. Dec 2014, 12:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Metability Software was closed.

Here are three free metadata removers that you can use for images and documents:

Last edited by Anupam; 03. Dec 2014 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Edited out blog link
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