Under the "Get Info" screen of the PDF file, More Info, How do I remove the metadata for "Encoding Software" and "Where From" ?

If I open this PDF in Acrobat XI Pro (Mac) and open File/Properties/Description/Additional Metadata then:

--- "Encoding Software" does show up but can't be deleted.

--- "Where From" is nowhere to be found. It's not searchable in the PDF at all either.

Where is this problem metadata stored?

How can this problem metadata be deleted? (without having to resort to "Remove Hidden Information" which deletes ALL the Metadata, even the fields I want to keep).


The Where From metadata is a Mac filesystem attribute rather than a property of the PDF. It can be removed using this command:

xattr -d com.apple.metadata:kMDItemWhereFroms FILE_NAME

For more information check this question https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/110239/where-is-the-where-from-meta-data-stored-when-downloaded-via-chrome

  • Great solution - can I do something similar to remove the metadata for "Encoding Software"? – su1980 Apr 13 '16 at 18:08
  • The xattr FILE command by itself will print you the list of current attributes on a particular file. It might be that the Encoding Software is there as well. – Jozef Legény Apr 13 '16 at 22:57
  • "Producer" is the key for "Encoding Software". If you edit the "Producer" attribute it'd work. – mayankcpdixit Jul 24 '20 at 10:36

To remove/update "Encoding Software" from a PDF:

  • Go to your terminal and run pip install pypdf2
  • Create a python script named override.py with:
import pprint

from PyPDF2 import PdfFileReader, PdfFileMerger

if __name__ == '__main__':
    file_in = open('old.pdf', 'rb')
    pdf_reader = PdfFileReader(file_in)
    metadata = pdf_reader.getDocumentInfo()

    pdf_merger = PdfFileMerger()
        '/Producer': 'Leave empty to remove',
    file_out = open('new.pdf', 'wb')


code courtesy: https://stackoverflow.com/a/58222282/1895600

  • Copy your pdf file in current directory with name: old.pdf
  • Run python override.py

A new file will be created with the "Encoding software" value as provided in the script above.

Cheers !🍻

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.