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Why doesn't Windows 7 remove all image EXIF data? The thing is that I don't remember this being an issue in the past. Could it be the case that Window 7 only looks for specific EXIF attributes, ignoring any new attributes that become standardized?

See below pic that illustrates how some attributes are not selectable and, therefore, unremovable.

enter image description here

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    There is no technical or physical reason that these attributes cannot be deleted by any program at all - this is just a technical decision by Microsoft. How are we supposed to know why Microsoft did anything? – harrymc Apr 1 at 6:38
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It seems to be a choice of those who designed / wrote the operating system.

You are asking why from the OS interface you cannot directly get rid of those fields... because it is written in this way (see tl;dr).

How to overcome it

If you want to strip (delete) them, you can install, for example, the open source program ImageMagick (search for Windows Binary Release in the download page [1]) and then use the command line

magick mogrify -strip  your_filename.jpg

or

mogrify -strip your_filename.jpg

The use of magick mogrify or mogrify depends on the installed version.

You should be able to select all the files in a directory too (*.jpg*.*).

Note [2]

-strip

    strip the image of any profiles, comments or these PNG chunks: bKGD,cHRM,EXIF,gAMA,iCCP,iTXt,sRGB,tEXt,zCCP,zTXt,date.

Exiftools

You can manage each of the EXIF fields with many programs; among the best there are the exiftools [Exiftools Help,Exiftools homepage].

ExifTool is a platform-independent Perl library plus a command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files.

P.S. You may want to give it a look to GIMP [3], which may allow you to have a simpler way to control (GUI) on the single fields, usually directly accessible when you save as or export as a file.


TL;DR

Exif is a publicly available standard (from 1995). The last releases are exif 2.2 (April 2002), then the current exif 2.31 (issued April 2010 - Revised 2016). If you wish to see the next 2.3x update update will be issued in 2019 and it is already available (with name CIPA DC-X008-Translation-2019).

I reported the tag values for the not selectable fields of your picture here below (related to the current version, taken from exiftools page and checked on the official document).

  • Mainstream support for windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015. Extended support will end on January 14, 2020.
  • For example the tag "ExposureTime" is present from the first edition (2002 and it is still unchanged even in the version that has still to born in 2019). So it was present when they develop it and when they released all the updates. So true that you see those fields in that window.

So we have to deduce that...

  • they decided to do so.

0x829a  ExposureTime           rational64u  ExifIFD
0x9204  ExposureCompensation   rational64s  ExifIFD     (called ExposureBiasValue by the EXIF spec.)
0x920a  FocalLength            rational64u  ExifIFD
0x9205  MaxApertureValue       rational64u  ExifIFD     (displayed as an F number, but stored as an APEX value)
0x9206  SubjectDistance        rational64u  ExifIFD     
0x920b  FlashEnergy            
-2

What you are seeing is the EXIF data, defined as:

Exchangeable image file format (officially Exif, according to JEIDA/JEITA/CIPA specifications) is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras (including smartphones), scanners and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by digital cameras.

The metadata tags defined in the Exif standard cover a broad spectrum:

  • Date and time information. Digital cameras will record the current date and time and save this in the metadata.
  • Camera settings. This includes static information such as the camera model and make, and information that varies with each image such as orientation (rotation), aperture, shutter speed, focal length, metering mode, and ISO speed information.
  • A thumbnail for previewing the picture on the camera's LCD screen, in file managers, or in photo manipulation software.
  • Descriptions
  • Copyright information.

This is data that is added to the image by the camera and specifies several minor items like date, but also the important information of the camera settings as when the picture was taken. This latest information may be of extremer importance for advanced image-handling products, for the correct viewing or editing of the image.

For example, the orientation data specifies whether the camera was used in horizontal or vertical position when the photo was taken, so specifies how to correctly display the image.

Usually the EXIF data is not treated as modifiable but rather as an integral part of the image itself. This might be problematic for people for keeping their anonymity. The police especially likes GPS data found in photos published by criminals.

Microsoft has decided to force the keeping of those values and not to allow their deletion, and we have no way to know why. This decision is not without justification where novice users are concerned, to avoid the deletion of metadata that Microsoft considers as essential for image viewers and editors, but advanced users need to look elsewhere.

To erase the EXIF data, you would need to use third-party software. See for example the article:
Software Roundup: 5 of The Best Apps to Remove EXIF Data from Images

  • I read this twice and am not seeing how it answers the question. What I want to know is WHY Windows 7 allows me to remove some properties like Camera Model and ISO Speed, but not Focal Length or Max Aperture ( the latter of which you even included as an EXIF attribute in your answer). – oscilatingcretin Mar 31 at 18:53
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    If the question is why did Microsoft decide not to let update the EXIF data, then nobody on this site can answer that, except to guess that without it the Photos app might malfunction. If the question is how to delete EXIF data, then the answer was given. So what is the question? – harrymc Mar 31 at 20:20
  • If you can't figure out the question after reading it then I cannot help you. And if the question was too ambiguous for you to figure out from the start, why didn't you first request additional information before providing an answer that you knew full well may not adequately answer it? For someone with 264k rep, you could have done better. – oscilatingcretin Mar 31 at 20:24
  • I'll also add that the link you provided was pretty bad. My question specifically cites Windows 7, but you provide a link to a "top 5" where only 2 of the 5 are supported by Windows. Good job. – oscilatingcretin Mar 31 at 20:28
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    I don't know why you would feel compelled to recommend any product at all as I never requested it. Your answer is low-quality, doesn't actually address my question, and will only serve as misleading clickbait to anyone coming here from Google. And "why wouldn't such a simple product work on Windows 7"? I don't know... maybe because... they're written for Mac or ANDROID? Yes, 2 of the 5 products in your link are for Android, a far cry from Windows 7. Good to know you can program your own EXIF removal tool. Maybe that will be helpful to... someone maybe. – oscilatingcretin Mar 31 at 21:38

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