Here’s how to view EXIF data on Facebook photos:
You cannot directly view EXIF data on a Facebook photo.
Facebook intentionally removes this data from all uploaded photos in an effort to protect privacy.
You can still get some metadata related to the photo by looking at the post’s metadata.
Or, you can ask the uploader about the photo directly.
So if you want to learn all about viewing EXIF data on Facebook photos, then this article is for you.
Let’s delve into it!
What Is EXIF Data? (3 Things)
I’m going to talk about Facebook in a bit, but we should probably start a little earlier in the conversation.
Why are you looking for EXIF data in the first place?
It’s probably because you want to figure out specific information regarding the photo that you saw online.
That data is often included in the EXIF data, so I’m going to take a minute to talk about this and make sure everyone is on the same page.
EXIF stands for the exchangeable image file format.
This is basically a bunch of information that is attached to digital photos.
It includes all kinds of specific information, and I’ll take you through some of the more prominent stuff, piece by piece.
As the acronym suggests, there is formatting information in EXIF data.
This is the digital description of the photograph’s properties, like its dimensions, file format type (such as JPEG), and display information for the computer.
Most of the photo’s raw info is in the format data included in the EXIF information.
If you want to know about the exposure, lens, timing, or other mechanical aspects of the photo, this is where you’ll find it.
#2 Discrete Cosine Transform
This is still a part of formatting, but it specifically involves image compression.
A lot of times, images are compressed if they are shared online, and the compression formatting data helps the computer know how to deal with a compressed image.
For anyone unfamiliar, compression is something computers do to make a file smaller without destroying the information within.
It’s mostly used for uploading and downloading information to make the process a little faster and easier.
#3 Metadata Tags
The other important thing that you might want to view is the list of metadata tags.
Metadata is a bunch of stuff that describes a file.
So in the case of a photograph, the metadata would include a timestamp for when the photo was taken, a geotag to tell you where it was taken, the name of the photo, and similar information.
Chances are if you’re looking for EXIF data, you either want the format information or the metadata tags.
Where Can You Normally View EXIF Data?
EXIF data is attached to the digital photograph file.
So, you can view the data by looking at the details of the photograph itself.
I’ll walk you through the steps to do this on a photo you have on a Windows computer to clarify.
- Navigate to the photo in question.
- Right-click on the photo.
- Click on “Properties” in the menu that appears.
- On the new window, click on the “Details” tab.
You can now see the EXIF data.
It’s displayed in this window, and it shows you everything that happens to be attached to the metadata for that photograph.
Now, if you followed along with these steps on your computer, you might not see much data.
If that’s the case, it means that the metadata was stripped at some point.
If you’re looking at a downloaded photo, then that’s pretty common.
A lot of photos that are put online have this data stripped for privacy reasons.
But, if you upload your own photo to the computer (and you don’t take steps to strip the EXIF data), then the window you see should include information about the exposure time, focal length, and a lot more.
If you want steps for viewing EXIF data on other devices, this guide is pretty handy.
How Do You View EXIF Data on Facebook Photos? (2 Alternatives)
Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s talk about how to view EXIF data on Facebook photos.
The short answer is that you can’t.
Facebook, like many online platforms, deliberately scrubs EXIF data from photos when they are uploaded.
Mostly, this is for privacy reasons.
For all the jokes we could make about social media and privacy, Facebook does this because EXIF data could be used to locate people.
If you don’t want strangers on the internet to find you from photo metadata, then it’s nice that this feature exists.
So, when you’re browsing Facebook, you can’t pull EXIF data off of any photo you see on the site.
That doesn’t mean that you’re completely out of luck.
If you’re really curious about a photo, you can still find a lot of important information.
It just won’t be in a nice little computer window.
Instead, you can try any of these alternative methods.
#1 View Post Information
If you want to know when or where the photo was taken, Facebook has non-EXIF resources to help with that.
Every picture that is posted has a timestamp, so you know exactly when it was uploaded.
This doesn’t tell you when the picture was taken, but if you know anything about the person who posted it, you can more or less figure that out.
As for locations, if they geotag the photo, then you know exactly where it was taken too.
Technically, you know where they were when they uploaded a photo, but if they’re using geotags on a photo, it’s usually because they want viewers to know where it was taken.
#2 Contact the Poster
If you’re looking for different kinds of data, then it might be easier to just contact the person who uploaded it.
Facebook is called “social” media for a reason.
You can try to talk to people.
The easiest thing would be to ask for the EXIF data.
If they have the original, they can share that data, and it will tell you what you want to know.
If for any reason EXIF data is a no-go, you can also ask questions about the picture.
Especially if they are related to picture technique (like what kind of lens or exposure was used), many people are happy to answer those questions.