Online Exif (Image Data) Viewer

Since I'm getting more interested in photography and understanding cameras and techniques, I find myself wanting to know the details under which a photo was taken. Modern digital cameras encode a lot of such data — shutter speed, lens focal length, etc. — into the image file, generally called “Exif Data” (“Exif” stands for “exchangeable image file format”).

So, I wrote a little online Exif viewer to view whatever data might be encoded. Here's a screenshot using the viewer on a picture from a recent post:

screen capture of Jeffrey's Exif viewer in action

That's just the summary — you can see the full data using the tool itself.

The amount of data encoded in the image is quite variable. Many times there's just about nothing, as the data is stripped somewhere along the way. Here's a version of the previous picture with most data missing. It's missing because it's a smaller version that's meant for web display, and for such use the data just makes the file bigger and slower to download.

Geoencoded photos get links in the summary area to Google Maps and the like, and below that is an embedded Google Maps pane. With either, you can switch between Satellite and Map, and zoom, etc..

You can also check images on your local hard drive — images directly from a camera generally have the most information. Give it a try!

If you're using Firefox or Safari, you have the added benefit that you can install an Exif-viewer button on your button-bar toolbar. Once you've done that, later, when you're viewing a page with an image you want to check out, just click the button and you'll be whisked to a new tab showing the image's data. I find this really useful. It doesn't work in IE, though, sorry.

I use the viewer a lot on images I see in the Digital Photography Review Samples and Galleries forum. Lots of nice pictures in there. Many have their Exif data stripped, but many do not.

Finally, I should note that my viewer makes use of Phil Harvey's most excellent Image::ExifTool library. Thanks Phil!

The 30 most-recent comments (out of 181; see all), most recent last...

Hi Jeffrey. Thank you so much for making this useful tool accesible for everyone ( we are writing from Spain ). We have just used it to get information about the date and place of the picture. Unfortunately it does not appear. But the rest of the information does. Can you please assist? Kind regards

If the date doesn’t appear, it’s not in the picture. Sorry. Perhaps the camera clock wasn’t set, or perhaps someone stripped it out along the way. —jeffrey

— comment by Cristina on December 15th, 2014 at 11:08pm JST (1 year, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Hi There,

Happy New Year !
I have a Nikon 3000 DSLR and the date setting was incorrect when I recently took some holiday pictures (about 100 or so). This has become annoying because when I try to index the pictures by date in the folder they are misplaced and out of order. Is there a way to change the date on the current pictures to work around this problem ? I’ve since set the date correct on the camera and I’ve tried to use the iPhoto tool to adjust the date/time – but that didn’t really make a change that stuck or was useful when sorting. Do you have any thoughts as to how I could fix this problem with the original 100 pictures that are misdated ? Thanks in advance.

The command-line version of exiftool lets you do this easily. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bob on January 1st, 2015 at 9:36pm JST (1 year, 10 months ago) comment permalink

can you post the command line args you use please, I am trying to replicate it in a for loop but it keeps just copying, thank

Do you mean with respect to the previous comment, about fixing dates? It depends on the details of what you want to change, but (for example), if you the camera was off by a day and you want the dates to be the next day, run something like “exiftool -AllDates+=24 *.jpg“. —Jeffrey

— comment by jimmy on February 8th, 2015 at 1:39am JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Sorry I meant when your exif tool viewer extracts/composes images from Composite:ThumbnailImage, thanks for the quick reply

My viewer doesn’t use the command-line tool… it works with the library directly. For command-line examples, search for “thumbnail” on Phil’s docs. —Jeffrey

— comment by jimmy on February 9th, 2015 at 4:12am JST (1 year, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeff

Would like to know how the “Light Value” in the composite data section is calculated.


According to the Exiftool docs it’s “similar to exposure value but normalized to ISO 100“. The source code says (2*log(Aperture) - log(ShutterSpeed) - log(ISO/100)) / log(2)“. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on April 5th, 2015 at 8:22pm JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

If the original thumbnail is not showing when using your webprogram, is there a way to retrive it? I mean the maker notes preview image. I hope you understand me haha 🙂

The page shows everything I know how to extract; if you know there’s a thumbnail of some sort in there that I’m not showing, please mail the image to me along with details. Thansk. —Jeffrey

— comment by James on May 4th, 2015 at 7:21am JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

This is an amazing and helpful tool. I tried it for the first time today and it exceeded my expectations. The problem I have is that before I could record the metadata of an image I uploaded, I hit the wrong key (new OS X user here) and shut the page down.

The question is: Can I recover the image and or meta data, is it stored somewhere or does it get deleted.?


It’s not stored on my server, but you can just check the image again to see the metadata again. —Jeffrey

— comment by Roy on June 5th, 2015 at 11:04am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I have been led to your blog by something very disturbing. The website [redacted] posts nude pictures of innocent young high school girls who have given no consent for this and some of the pictures even have their faces photoshopped onto naked bodies. It even provides their names and where they go to school! I was led there because I know some of them very well and know for a fact the photos are not real, not to mention they are minors. I didn’t have to do very much digging to be led to your blog. The website makes it look like you posted some of these pictures. I will not wrongfully accuse you, it seems like your blog is legit, but either you are involved or someone is using your website to post these pictures. I really don’t know how that would work, but this is so very wrong and if you have a way to find out who posted the pictures or take them down that needs to happen asap. We have already involved the police. This whole website is awful and disgusting and these young girls lives could be ruined by what is being posted on their and said about them.

My web tool merely displays information about images hosted elsewhere; it has no control over the images or their administration. I’ve added a message to the display to highlight this. I’ve also added the web site you mentioned to the block list; mean people suck. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anonymous on September 6th, 2015 at 1:13am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

What an excellent facility, thanks Jeffrey for making it SOOOOOOO easy to use.

Leeds, United Kingdom.

— comment by Kev on September 6th, 2015 at 4:31pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hello there!

Do you have a private email address? I need to ask private questions.
Thanks in advance

I’m at —Jeffrey

— comment by Janou on November 11th, 2015 at 2:07am JST (11 months, 18 days ago) comment permalink

I’m from Philippines is the exif viewer will work on android phone? Any suggestion that may help me to get the info of the picture from facebook account?thanks in advance

Facebook strips all metadata from copies presented on its site, so there’s always no data on Facebook photos. —Jeffrey

— comment by Owie on November 24th, 2015 at 2:11am JST (11 months, 5 days ago) comment permalink

I am in NC and am excited to come acroos your EXIF Tool. As part of my work we take a significant number of photos that may become evidence at a latter date. We currnetly paste the image into a word document and then add the EXIF date needed to the file. What we end up with is an 81/2 x 11 printout to pdf that has the photo on the top and the fields listed underneath. I would like to find out if your EXIF Tool is available in a format that can be utilized offline to create the photopages we need, or in a manner that can export the data to a csv file in order to then import to access to create the report we need. Again, thank you for all the great information you provide and I look forward to hearing from you.

If the data you need is basic (time, location, camera info, etc.) then you might consider the Print Module in Lightroom; it lets you overlay some basic metadata. —Jeffrey

— comment by George on December 8th, 2015 at 8:59am JST (10 months, 21 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I found your exif viewer while researching how to build, well, pretty close to what you built 😉 – a website that groups photos and videos by date and location taken. Between your exif viewer, your “blog photos nearby” and your WordPress posts, you have the big pieces I’m trying to learn how to do, so I’m curious if you’d be willing to share in broad strokes how you put the pieces together. I can learn the coding details once I’ve figured out what keywords to search for, which is the part I’m missing :-). I’m running WordPress on a GoDaddy Apache server and wondering what all goes between the WordPress page (well, php scripts) and the exiftool library and how you did the “blog photos near this location” part. I’ve never tried to talk to a perl script before, among other things. Any nudges in the right direction and/or wp plugin suggestions would be MOST appreciated!

South Lyon, Michigan, about 50 km from your closest blog photos of Detroit Metro Airport. Love that fountain, and the tram, which actually only runs back and forth inside the terminal, which is how it stays so clean, compared to, well, anything outside in winter 😉

I have an underlying database (I use the MySQL server that my WordPress blog uses) that maps each photo to its location (latitude/longitude) and blog post. Whenever I publish a new article, a script running locally on the server inspects the photos and adds them to the database. There’s another local script running as a CGI that can query the database for nearby images, creating the “blog photos nearby” result page. It’s all fairly simple, but requires the ability for local processing. —Jeffrey

— comment by Rick on January 24th, 2016 at 2:01pm JST (9 months, 5 days ago) comment permalink

Dear Jeffrey,

first of all, thanks a lot for poviding this excellent online tool! I like it very much and don’t know any other tool with such a good functional range. Of course, my thanks go to Phil Harvey too!

I like it to be an “Image Metadata Viewer”, not only an “Exif Viewer”.

Therefore I can’t understand, why you write “Jeffrey Friedl’s Image Metadata Viewer” at the top right corner and “Jeffrey’s Exif Viewer” at the top left corner.

My suggestion is, to write “Jeffrey Friedl’s Image Metadata Viewer” at the top left corner too.



Good catch, thanks; updated. —Jeffrey

— comment by Eckhard Henkel on January 26th, 2016 at 3:06am JST (9 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, I’ve been viewing on how your Photo inspection system works. So, When this message pops up after submitting a photo: “WARNING: No color-space metadata and no embedded color profile: Windows and Mac web browsers treat colors randomly Inspection system” so What I’ve learned is that the photo is “FAKE”?

Not at all, it’s a technical consideration completely unrelated to the content of the image. If you’re interested in whether the content has been faked, the color-space information can be ignored. —Jeffrey

— comment by Christian Santana on January 26th, 2016 at 9:28am JST (9 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

First off: thanks for providing the excellent online exif tool! One feature request though, the site I use it for the most uses some kind of CDN and thus responds with a 301 redirect to the actual url.

It would be great if the tool followed the redirect to the actual image instead of giving up, so that I don’t first have to paste in the url in another tab and get redirected and then copy paste that url into the tool.

my 0.02€

Sorry, but that would open up the system to even more abuse than it’s already getting. —Jeffrey

— comment by Simon on February 6th, 2016 at 4:24am JST (8 months, 23 days ago) comment permalink

Is it possible for the URL of the currently fetched image be autoloaded in the URL box? It would be more efficient when you want to look at a batch of URL’s that are similar to each other.

Makes sense. Good idea. Done. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anon on February 10th, 2016 at 5:03am JST (8 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, I have a question about interpreting the metadata from a photo. I used your Exif tool to extract the metadata from a photo. When I view the ICC-profile info, there is a line in that table labeled “Profile Date Time”. Is that the date and time the picture was taken, or the date and time associated with the ICC profile used? Thank you! By the way, this question comes from Fresno, CA.

I believe that’s when the profile was created. If the photo is directly from the camera, it implies that the photo was after that time (that time would be no later than the last firmware upgrade, one would imagine). It’s probably not very useful information. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jon W on March 13th, 2016 at 4:58pm JST (7 months, 15 days ago) comment permalink

Hi, when I get the pictures from the cloud of google do the information changes?

If you upload a photo to an online site (Google Photos, Facebook, Flickr, etc.), most sites do not maintain the full metadata in copies of the image then presented to users. Facebook strips all metadata, for example. Other services remove all/most metadata for smaller copies, at least. —Jeffrey

— comment by Marla on April 17th, 2016 at 2:36am JST (6 months, 12 days ago) comment permalink

Is there a way to open a picture locations directly in Google Earth? Like adding a “Open in Google Earth” button? Thanks!

Not that I know of, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by mslang on April 24th, 2016 at 5:11am JST (6 months, 5 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Thanks a lot for your free wonderful metadata reader.
You mention in your presentation on top of page that it is possible to add a button in the button-bar tool bar. Do you mean a favorite tab in the browse ? If not, how do you proceed ? I use Safari.

I couldn’t get it to work on Safari, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by Robert on April 25th, 2016 at 5:45pm JST (6 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m writing from Auckland, NZ.

What does “Profile Date Time” tell? Does it tell us the date and time the picture was taken or the date and time the camera was first set up?

And what about “Date Acquired” under XMP? Is that the date when picture was captured / taken?

Please advise.


“Profile Date Time” tells when the embedded color profile was created, which is entirely unrelated to the photo time. For most practical purposes, it’s meaningless information. “Date Acquired” is likely the photo-taken date, though this can be easily wrong for accidental or malicious reasons. —Jeffrey

— comment by Teresa on May 3rd, 2016 at 7:55am JST (5 months, 26 days ago) comment permalink

This is an amazing and very helpful tool. Thank you so so much!

— comment by Quan Nguyen on May 24th, 2016 at 2:59am JST (5 months, 5 days ago) comment permalink

Hi, I’m from the UK, and have been frantically trying to find the copyright situation of a photograph. I’ve uploaded it onto your EXIF tool and it says ‘copyright profile FB’. Is this Facebook?? It is a really old image. Any help GREATLY appreciated.

I’m guessing it says “Color profile” is Facebook’s. Facebook strips all metadata from uploaded images, and they add their own tiny color profile. If the photo is from Facebook, metadata is a dead end. Perhaps try uploading it to Google Image Search. —Jeffrey

— comment by Angela on May 31st, 2016 at 9:50pm JST (4 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

hey thank you for making life a lot easier. but i dont speak english well, so i want your help. i have a photo and i want to know who send it first on internet. and who are they. its really a personal thing and i need to mail you but i couldnt find your mail. can you give me?

My mail address is on my blog’s “Contact Me” page, but I’m sure I won’t be able to tell you anything about who first put up a photo on the web, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by carmen sky on June 15th, 2016 at 10:33am JST (4 months, 14 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I have successfully used your fine tool to review the metadata for MOV files. I am primarily interested in dates (created, modified, etc.). It would be great if you could point me to a legion that provides some additional meaning to the labels associated with each date. Today I tried to look at the metadata for a 50MB MP4 file and I got a message that the file was too large. What are the file size limitations? Is there a difference if I put the file on the internet and provide a URL vs. browsing for the file on my local hard drive in terms of size limitation?


I have some size limits to stop some kinds of abuse… I don’t recall exactly what they are, but 50MB sounds about right. If you’ve got big files to check, it makes sense to use ExifTool locally. (My web interface is just a pretty front end on ExifTool.) Video/Image metadata is a horribly confusing mishmash of standards and mistakes… The ExifTool Tag Names page is perhaps a good place to start trying to understand things. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ron on August 25th, 2016 at 4:51am JST (2 months, 4 days ago) comment permalink

Hello. I am trying to get the metadata from a video file that I have. It is an MOV file that is 48,797KB, which is too large to upload in your tool. Is there a way to compress it so that I can upload it, without losing the integrity of the original video? Thank you so much for your help.

I’d recommend using an app locally, such as the ExifTool app that my site uses behind the scenes. —Jeffrey

— comment by Melissa on September 9th, 2016 at 4:02am JST (1 month, 20 days ago) comment permalink

I use Firefox 48 and I have not been able to drag the button into place on my toolbar. Have you go any advice on how to do that? Thanks!

Can’t think of any advice, sorry; it’s working fine for me with FF48. —Jeffrey

— comment by Sam on September 13th, 2016 at 12:09am JST (1 month, 16 days ago) comment permalink

I’m trying to find the shutter count for my Canon Mark III

Not all cameras put this info. If you don’t see something with “Actuations” or “Shutter” in the name that seems to be it, it’s likely just not there. —Jeffrey

— comment by Val on September 22nd, 2016 at 3:41am JST (1 month, 7 days ago) comment permalink

Really like your exif tool. Which makes it more exasperating when the browser tab keeps crashing. Any suggestions? Mark from Pennsylvania

I’ve not had reports of browsers crashing. Perhaps report it to whomever makes the browser… —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark on October 2nd, 2016 at 2:38am JST (3 weeks, 6 days ago) comment permalink
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