Here’s how to view EXIF data on WhatsApp photos:
Simply put, you cannot view EXIF data on a WhatsApp photo.
The WhatsApp service intentionally scrubs away all EXIF data before transmitting a photograph.
If you want to see EXIF data, then you will need to reach out to the picture’s original owner.
So if you want to learn all about viewing EXIF data on operating systems, then this article is for you.
Let’s jump right into it!
What Even Is EXIF Data?
Before we get into the how’s of EXIF (also called Exif) data, it might be best to cover the why’s.
Why are you looking for EXIF data?
Are you even sure what EXIF data is?
Some of you already know, so skip ahead.
For everyone else, let’s talk about what EXIF data means and why you might care.
Digital photographs ultimately are made up of coded information.
That’s how computers work, after all.
When you have a digital photograph, some of the information tied to that picture comes in the form of EXIF data.
It stands for “exchangeable image file format”.
As the name suggests, the EXIF data has a lot of information about the formatting of the image.
That’s very important for computers to get the image right.
But, why does a human need EXIF data?
For the most part, you don’t, but within the EXIF data are a few nuggets of information that you might find useful or interesting, and they will be found specifically in the EXIF meta tags.
For those who don’t know, meta tags are things added to a digital file to help identify the information within.
If you’ve ever uploaded a YouTube video, you get to add your own meta tags that more or less categorize the video.
The tags might be “finance” or “comedy.” There are a lot.
With EXIF data, the meta tags provide information about how the picture was taken.
These tags can tell you what camera was used, the exposure time, focal length, location of the picture, and a whole lot more.
Generally speaking, when people look for EXIF data, these tags contain the information that they really want.
How Do You View EXIF Data on WhatsApp Photos?
Now that we have everything covered, let’s talk about WhatsApp.
How do you see EXIF data on a picture that was sent via WhatsApp?
That might feel disappointing after all of this time, but that’s the simple truth.
WhatsApp is in lockstep with the vast majority of communications platforms on this one.
They deliberately get rid of all of the EXIF data when the photograph is sent through the system.
The primary reason to do this is that EXIF data can include sensitive information, like where you are, and removing the data is good for privacy.
Regardless of how you feel about the decision, that’s the way it is, and there’s no reason to think that WhatsApp is going to change their mind on this one.
So, you can’t view the EXIF data, but that doesn’t mean all is lost.
If you really want information about the photo, you can always try another method.
Ultimately, you got the photo from a person.
If they have the original, then they can look at the EXIF data and tell you what you want to know.
They can even copy the metadata and send it over to you.
It’s all pretty easy.
Now, if this is a photo that was shared many times over (like a meme), then asking might not do you much good.
You would need to track down the original person who sent it to ask them for the data.
That’s not a fun prospect, but since WhatsApp removes the data, you don’t have a lot of options.
If you’re really trying to figure out how the photo was taken, you can also try asking professional photographers.
They might be able to analyze the picture and speculate about the technique used to take it.
How Do You View EXIF Data When It’s Present? (4 Computer Systems)
If you do ask someone for EXIF data, they might need help finding it in order to share it.
Also, you might be interested in the EXIF data on any of your own pictures.
With that in mind, I’ll show you the steps to view EXIF data on the four most common computer systems: Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS.
#1 On Windows
Windows is pretty easy.
Find where the picture is saved on your computer.
When you do find it, right-click on it.
A little menu will pop up. On that menu, click on “properties.”
It’s usually the very last option.
This will open a new window.
There are a few tabs across the top.
You want to click on the one that says “Details.”
That will change what you can see on the window, and everything listed here is part of the EXIF data.
At this point, you might find that there isn’t much information available.
That means you probably downloaded this particular photo, and the EXIF data was scrubbed before it was uploaded.
If you got the photo from WhatsApp, then that’s exactly what you should expect.
But, if you upload your own photo directly to the computer, there will usually be more data available.
#2 On iPhone
If you’re going to view EXIF data on an iPhone (or other iOS device), open the Photos app.
Find the picture of interest, and tap on it.
At the bottom of the screen, there will be four icons.
One of them is the letter “i” in a circle. That’s the “information” button.
Tap it, and the EXIF data will be displayed under the photo.
If you take a photo with your phone right now and then look at the EXIF data, you’ll see most of the information that is usually included in the tags.
#3 On Android
Open up Google Photos.
Find the picture you want to inspect.
Swipe up on the photo, or tap the three dots.
This will display the EXIF data.
Yes. That’s really all there is to it.
#4 On Mac
Use Finder to pull up the picture in question.
Right-click on it (or cmd-click on it). This will pull up a menu. Choose “Open With Preview.”
Once it’s open, click on “Tools” on the menu at the top of your screen.
Then click on “Show Inspector”.
This pulls up a window with a few tabs.
One of them is labeled “Exif.”
Click on it, and you can see all of the EXIF data.