My cousin showed me that every photo I take has detailed location information included. Yikes. How do I disable this feature on my Samsung Android phone??
In their zeal to be helpful, all smartphones now tag the photos you take with lots of information, including your location. It’s cool to be able to explore photos by time and location, of course, but the price of that is that every photo you share still includes that info. Don’t panic, though, the major social networks automatically strip out this info before images are posted (imagine if they didn’t!) but still while some people appreciate this feature, plenty of others are horrified to learn about geolocation tagging.
Before I show you how to turn it off – and it’s pretty easy to do so – let’s have a quick look at the feature. To demonstrate, I am going to take a photo from within a local Starbucks store in Longmont, Colorado, about 45mi due northwest from Denver. Just like any other photo, the basic step is to frame your image and tap on the big white button:
Before we do so, however, notice the various controls and features that help you get a great image every time. Definitely worth exploring so you can get better with your gear.
What I really want to highlight is the gear icon on the top left. We’ll come back to that shortly, but for now, I’m going to just tap on the button and take the photo. Here it is, off the Samsung Galaxy J7:
Even with the horrible morning light spilling over the boxes on the right, it’s still a nice image. Modern smartphones have some pretty sweet cameras, I have to say!
But open the image in Gallery and you’ll see that there’s a location tagged:
See it on the lower right? “Longmont”. Tap on the three vertical dots button on the top right in Gallery and you’ll find a menu of additional features for the program:
Choose the “Details” option and you’ll be astonished by just how much information is stored within this photograph. As it is with every photo you take on your Android smartphone!
It not only shows that there’s a geotag, but even puts it on a map so you can see exactly where the photo was captured. Great if you don’t mind sharing, not good at all if you prefer some privacy (and don’t forget those home selfies get all this info too, but about your home address).
To disable geolocation tagging in Android Camera, go back to the Camera app itself and tap on that gear icon I highlighted earlier. You’ll get a menu of choices:
Quite a bit you can change and modify, but swipe down further because the specific setting you want is a bit further down…
There’s the setting: Location tags. As Android explains, “Attach, embed, and store geographical location data within each picture and video”. Disable it by moving the switch to the left (like “Review pictures” in the image above).
That’s it. Now you know how to see if your photos are being location tagged with GPS (latitude / longitude) information and how to turn it off if you’d prefer a bit of privacy about where images are captured.