I want to remove the embedded album cover from mp3 files using only Windows command line.

What I've tried

  • Tried ExifTool: Unfortunately the tool can only read (not write) mp3 tags as the author answered
  • Tried meta mp3: The help doesn't helped me enough. Maybe some others do understand the tool?
  • Tried tag.exe: Again the help doesn't help me and again maybe others know the right syntax

Q: How to remove embedded album covers from mp3 files via commandline?

  • 1
    any specific reason it needs to be CLI?
    – Journeyman Geek
    Aug 1, 2013 at 6:41
  • All my mp3 files have embedded album covers. A robocopy script regularly copy them to a USB stick which is used as audio source in a car entertainment system. The car audio system software is buggy and can't read files with embedded covers. (It took me agas to figure that out and an update costs about 60-70$). The only way currently is to batch remove all covers via foobar or mp3tag. But a commandline removal could be appended to the robocopy script.
    – nixda
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:20
  • Switched to metamp3: hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=49751@%20TARGET=
    – nixda
    Sep 22, 2013 at 23:23

4 Answers 4


Here are some more utilities to try :

Tag (can only remove all tags)
ID3 Mass Tagger with its review

  • Hmm, tag == tag.exe as in my question. I shouldn't have named it "tag.exe". Regarding ID3 Mass Tagger: Is there a more detailed manual? Whats the syntax to remove a picture? is it rTYPE ? How do I see what TYPEs are available? Grml. Is it me or do those command line tools always lack a good help? :-/
    – nixda
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:10
  • Most of these tools were principally for use by their own developers, so help is scarce. You might even need to resort to using strings. Which is why I wrote "try" in my answer. There are well-known libraries for ID3 handling, if you are minded to write your own tool.
    – harrymc
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:33
  • foobar2000
    • foobar2000.exe /context_command:"Remove all pictures" "example.mp3"
  • ID3 Mass Tagger
    • id3.exe -2 -rAPIC "example.mp3"
  • Hi Vlastimil. Foobar did the trick only half since its visually opening Foobar for a quick confirmation ("Do you want to remove the cover?"). I'm sorry but thats not 100% commandline. But ID3 Mass Tagger did the job after I found a more detailed help file. Since harrymc mentioned that tool a little bit earlier, the bounty has to go to him regardless of the +3 upvotes. Sorry
    – nixda
    Aug 6, 2013 at 21:40
  • @nixda: That's ok, you decide what answer was most helpful for you. However I don't like ripping snippets from my answer and copying it elsewhere. Aug 7, 2013 at 16:56
  • Did you notice the difference between those two syntax, not? O.o. Thats the official version from the help file...I would never just copy someone -.-
    – nixda
    Aug 7, 2013 at 17:23
  • id3 -2 -rAPIC -s 0 *.mp3 is official version. Aug 7, 2013 at 17:46
  • 1
    ID3 isn't abandonware it seems. Here's the github github.com/squell/id3. Last update was a couple of weeks ago.
    – Ste
    Jun 17, 2021 at 12:47

Would using a Python-based tool be out of question? It looks like a command-line tool named "eyeD3" does what you want. Here's the documentation for the plug-in that does a lot of MP3 tag operations for eyeD3: http://eyed3.nicfit.net/plugins/classic_plugin.html

  --remove-image DESCRIPTION: Remove image matching DESCRIPTION.
  --remove-all-images   Remove all images from the tag

If this doesn't have to be from the command line, I read that a tool called Mp3Tag can remove album art as well: http://www.mp3tag.de/en/

  • Hello bora, unfortunately it has to be a commandline tool. Python requires some installation (?) on a Windows system which I was trying to avoid. :/
    – nixda
    Jul 30, 2013 at 17:53
  • I'm guessing this is going to run on a box you can't control/change? If you can install it though, you can grab the Python that comes with Cygwin which works fine on Windows. Of course, I don't know if eyeD3 would work right out of the box. It may require some Python extensions/libraries to be installed to handle the codec stuff for MP3.
    – Bora
    Jul 30, 2013 at 19:58

Download mp3tag. Put a song, folders, albums, etc. in it and select them all or just some. Right click on any of them and choose extended tags. On the right side there's a box where you can see album covers, click on the delete icon next to that box and click ok. You should see how it's deleting all the album covers if there are any ... I'm happy to help :).

  • 1
    There is a reason why I explicitly asked for command line.
    – nixda
    Mar 11, 2014 at 17:52
  • Please make sure that your answer actually answers the question being asked by the user. This can really help you avoid downvotes!
    – G Koe
    Mar 11, 2014 at 18:00

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