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” and as an acronym would normally be written as “EXIF”, but the standard creators explicitly say that it should be written “Exif”, which is nice.).

As of Dec 2016 this tool has moved to http://exif.regex.info.

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 210; see all), most recent last...

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 (1 year, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Hi,

Unfortunately the tool doesn’t give the shutter count on my Nikon D700.

The D700 encodes the shutter count in the MakerNotes section. This tool will display it if it that section hasn’t been stripped out. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jürgen on December 8th, 2016 at 10:23pm JST (1 year, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Well, the tool did not work 🙁 I wanted to remove censor of some pictures I found at twitter and Instagram, what could have gone wrong?

This is a tool for showing image metadata. It doesn’t do image manipulation, and certainly can’t create lost pixles out of thin air. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jason on December 13th, 2016 at 8:07am JST (1 year, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hey, I saw that you had to take down the site for a while. Is there any chance you could make your site into a downloadable program? There is not a single program/site that works nearly as good as yours.

My site is mostly a front end for I’ll put back the button once I decide whether I’ll keep the tool, but it’ll looking like it’ll cost a lot in bandwidth, so it’s doubtful. We’ll see. —Jeffrey

Hi Jeffrey,

I have found a flaw in your online EXIF viewer since you implemented the captcha.

I am trying to upload a file but my internet connection is slow, so it’ll take around 3 minutes to complete.

So, I select, my file, complete the Not a Robot captcha. However, the verification expires and so I complete it again while the image is still uploading.

So after I do that and the upload completes, I get a “No robots, please” message.

You might want to install the command-line version of ExifTool on your system so that you can inspect things locally. —Jeffrey

— comment by Anonymous on January 10th, 2017 at 1:49pm JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hello from Miami!

I noticed you moved the online exif viewer site but unfortunately have had no luck trying to install an exif viewer button on my toolbar. I use both chrome and safari, neither work. Perhaps I am doing something wrong? Any help with this will be much appreciated!

I’ll revisit the toolbar button once I decide whether to keep this tool or abandon it. The bandwidth is expensive. I’m all for giving back to society for all the good I receive, but only up to a point. 😉 We’ll see. —Jeffrey

— comment by Erick on January 12th, 2017 at 12:22pm JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

US. Hello Jeffrey. Read the entire comment section and didn’t find an answer to this inquiry.
I keep getting ‘no robots thanks’ numerous times. could you please explain what I may be doing wrong.
I’ve been trying to look at online websites product shots to see when they may have been shot, or at least added to the advertisement. I’ve used ‘copy image location’ and ‘copy link location’ in side menus.

Thanks for a great tool.

Maybe email a screenshot of the screen just before you submit the request (after the Captcha thing has been completed), including the URL of the image you’re trying to view… —Jeffrey

— comment by kap on January 13th, 2017 at 8:21am JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I’m a happy user of your service from Norway. I have some questions I hope you can answer:

– Do you save photos uploaded to your service for metadata-check?
– Do you save any records of the metadata in search users do?

Thanks

No to both. For the 2nd question, I have no way to know what metadata people are looking for on the page… that’s entirely within their browser. —Jeffrey

— comment by aSurfer on January 24th, 2017 at 6:20pm JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Sue in The Midlands. England

Hi Jeffrey. Love this tool and have been using it for years during esafety sessions to educationalists to demonstrate the use of location settings. Good and bad. Recently I can no longer get google maps to work and that was my party piece. Can you advise why this is and what I need to do to get it working again. It is a fabulous tool for education.

Thanks for sharing. Ps I’m not particularly techi

I’m not sure what the problem is, but I know it’s not your fault. Either I have something misconfigured with my Google API account, or they have a bug. I’m looking into it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Sue on January 30th, 2017 at 7:54am JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Thank you for Your quick answer. I’ve just donated $10 for Your great service in Exif Viewer. Keep up!

— comment by aSurfer on January 30th, 2017 at 6:20pm JST (1 year, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hello from Colorado, USA

Mirror lock-up in metadata: Is there a way of identifying pictures taken with this function?

I am shooting Nikon equipment.

Thanks.

It wouldn’t surprise me if this is recorded in the MakerNotes, but I’ve not heard that anyone’s decoded it yet. Perhaps take two identical-as-possible-shots (identical metadata-wise), one with lockup and one without, and mail them both to the ExifTool author to see whether he can figure it out. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ronald McElvain on February 13th, 2017 at 5:26am JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, first of all i want to say that i love your work with this free platform. I will donate you something.

Second, i wan’t to know if an image is copyrighted or not. My question is: What information (of your platform) i must look to know that?

Thank you so much for your work, and take a look of my webpage!

You must assume that you do not have permission to use a photo unless you explicitly know that you do. If you know that the photo has been explicitly released into the public domain, you can use it freely. If it has a Creative Commons license, you can use it based on the terms of the license. If you have explicit permission from the copyright holder (usually the photographer) you can use it. Otherwise, it’s almost certain that you can’t legally use it. Searching on this web page for “Creative” and “Domain” will bring you to relevant info if it’s there, but most images you find on the web have absolutely no info, and in these cases you must assume that you have no legal permission to use them. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ruben on February 17th, 2017 at 1:46am JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I would like to save or print a copy of the meta data report. Can you help me with this? When I save it the picture images do not save. When I try to print nothing happens.

Thanks,

Tee from NJ

Just chooses the “File > Print” option in your browser, as with any web page. If it’s not working for you, whatever problem might be causing it is not specific to my site… —Jeffrey

— comment by T from NJ on April 20th, 2017 at 4:13am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for this tool

I’m having trouble with finding the location from photos that are sent from others phones to me by imessage. Is this possible

Lynda
Canada

If the location had been there originally, it’s probably getting stripped out by iMessage. —Jeffrey

— comment by Lynda on April 21st, 2017 at 11:16am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey. Thanks for the nice programm to discover the exifs. But I have a question.

In the exifs we can see a lot of different dates.

Date in the basic image informations.

In XMP :
Date/Time Original
Date/Time Digitized
Create Date
Metadata date
Date Created.

Which of them is the date that the picture was taken ?

I did put an example on http://henlo.be/images/test.jpg

Thanks in advance.
Kind regards
Henri

The answer is “maybe one of them, maybe something else completely”. Software can write any dates they want
into these fields, and can write the wrong date by accident or on purpose. In most cases I’d think that all but Metadata Date would be the same (the time on the camera when the image was taken), but things can get out of sync with some software, after which it’s anyone’s guess. —Jeffrey

— comment by Lombaerts on April 26th, 2017 at 11:52pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I’m trying to find out the location of some photos I have. But I can’t seem to see the full data such as the GPS location. Any idea why, pls? The person sent to me the photos via the Line application (similar to whatsapp). They are also on facebook. Many thanks for your help.

Not all photos have location information. Most don’t. Even those that do can have it stripped by various software that might not preserve all metadata. Facebook, for example, strips all metadata in the copies it holds. Sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by WEN on July 7th, 2017 at 10:00pm JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I live north of Chicago in Illinois. Have just started using your tool in my workflow to derive sublocations. Tool is great, really appreciate using it and I know I am only scratching the surface. Many thanks.

— comment by Tony da Camara on August 28th, 2017 at 12:24am JST (11 months, 20 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I really like your tool. I was wondering, what are the file formats that does’nt support EXIF ? In Wikepedia, it says that PNG, GIF and JPEG 2000 doesn’t use it, but I found EXIF metadata in a PNG, so I have doubts. Thank you in advance

Marie-Eve

The term “Exif” has grown to have two meanings. In a sloppy/incorrect/generic sense, people use it to mean “any metadata in an image file”, in a similar way people use “Google” as a verb to mean “perform an internet search”. In reality, JPEGs can contain many different blocks of data, of which only one block conforms to Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) standard. PNGs don’t officially support that standard. —Jeffrey

— comment by Marie-Eve on September 9th, 2017 at 6:01am JST (11 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink

Hello from Ireland. I am trying to get an exact date a photo was taken as opposed to the date it was uploaded to a popular social networking site if you can assist please?

This site shows the data in the image… if a photo-capture time is shown, it’s there, and if not, it’s not. Not much I can do beyond that. —Jeffrey

— comment by Oonagh on September 15th, 2017 at 12:56am JST (11 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

I need help identifying where this picture was taken that someone posted on fb.

Perhaps ask the person that took it. Facebook removes all location data (all metadata, in fact) from its images. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jenny on October 5th, 2017 at 12:11am JST (10 months, 12 days ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey,

I’m in Illinois. I often get photos from people who are using photos as documentation of property they previously owned an was stolen. These photos are normally coming from cell photos but I can’t seem to get metadata indicating when the photos were taken. I have them forward the photos to me from their cell phone. I right click on the photos>properties but the “origin” metadata is blank. Does this mean it doesn’t exist? I have put them on my desktop>searched for them through your site but your reader often doesn’t have the “origin” metadata. Can you help?

I’m not familiar with this “origin” field, but in any case, what data exists and what data makes it to you are dependent on the phone and its settings, the app used to snap the photo (and its settings), and the method used to send it. In my (limited) experience, the native camera app seems to record the most data, with some apps (e.g. messaging apps) recording much less. If sent via Facebook, a lot (all?) data is stripped out. If sent via email, I’d think that all data would be preserved, but again, it depends. It’s an unsatisfying answer, I know, but that’s the way things are. —Jeffrey

— comment by Paul on December 21st, 2017 at 6:25am JST (7 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey,

Your site has been very helpful over the years. I was just curious, once uploading images and viewing the Metadata are the images stored on the website or do they automatically delete from the system? I’m interested in the privacy of the site.

Thanks

A sweeper robot deletes everything a few hours after the last access. About your other question (about a Canon body serial number, a question I apparently deleted by accident, sorry), you might ask the ExifTool author whether he has any insight, but I suspect that if he did, it would appear here in this tool. Just to be sure, though, I just updated the version of ExifTool that this utility uses, so maybe give your image a try one more time. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on January 4th, 2018 at 5:28am JST (7 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, I am from South Africa. I seriously need your help. A lot of my photos do not have ‘date taken’ info under properties and I need to figure out what date the photo was taken in order to organize my photos. It’s really important to me to have the date of when the photo was taken. Please, can you help me? Does this program of yours have that info? If so, where do I look? Thanks so much in advance.

Sorry, but if the data’s not there, it’s not there. —Jeffrey

— comment by Candice Boshoff on January 22nd, 2018 at 12:48am JST (6 months, 26 days ago) comment permalink

From GA, USA.

When using the on-line Exif tool, I don’t get the same display as you show on your website, specifically your display in upper right of the screen. In other words I don’t get the option to drag the browser button to my toolbar (FF56) to be able to use the tool locally.

In fact the image input section is somewhat different (upgrades?). Did you delete this function?

It’s dependent on your browser… I was able to get it to work for only some browsers )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Ivan on January 29th, 2018 at 3:55am JST (6 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I am trying to determine the location of a photo posted to Instagram. Your program gives me an error message that the URL is a webpage, not an image. Please let me know in what type of format the URL should be. For instance, I’m trying to determine information about the following image: https://www.instagram.com/p/BejHr_in8Lc/?taken-by=northtrooper.

Thanks

Instagram apparently goes to lengths to hide the actual image file, probably because they want people to link to the page an not directly to the file, which is here. In any case, they strip all metadata from the image, so your best bet is to just ask the photographer. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tony on February 1st, 2018 at 1:35am JST (6 months, 16 days ago) comment permalink

I have been trying to get the original creation date as well as the gps/location for a picture and it shows me everything but those two things. How can I get this information, as i need to authenticate photos and videos for a legal matter? The image’s URL is:

https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/…..

Nice tool though! I just have to get the hang of it.

That’s a Facebook-hosted image… they strip pretty much all metadata from images they host. If you can get the original that the FB upload was created from, you might have a chance, but no chance from the copy at Facebook. —Jeffrey

— comment by Carrie on March 11th, 2018 at 7:45am JST (5 months, 6 days ago) comment permalink

Hello,

Do you plan on adding support for HEIC?

Thank you

I’ve updated the underlying ExifTool library, which now includes some support for these files, but I still don’t have a way to extract pixels in a way that a browser can display. You can see a lot of the metadata now, though. —Jeffrey

— comment by Eric on April 27th, 2018 at 7:29pm JST (3 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Hey, I tried locating/tracking my camera with stolencamerafinder.com & was suggested to look for my serial number on here, which I did. I got a serial number for my camera but it will not give me info on the website mentioned when I enter that number. Is there a way you can track or locate with all the info on he picture I uploaded here? or do you simply just give info? This camera has been missing for years now but I still have hope…

This site merely presents the data inside the images that people point it at. Use the info here to find your serial, then I guess plug that into the other site you mentioned? Good luck! —Jeffrey

— comment by Karla on May 20th, 2018 at 10:06am JST (2 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Your very useful Exif tool came up with a location (correct) found from coordinates. But, my Pentax Q has no geotagging capability, so where did the coordinate info come from? I have not seen that from any other camera.
If you checked an image directly from the camera (and not potentially altered by other software along the way), then perhaps your camera has features you didn’t realize it had. This display tool doesn’t mnake info up out of thin air. 😉 —Jeffrey

— comment by Donald Whirlow on August 11th, 2018 at 3:51am JST (5 days, 18 hours ago) comment permalink
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