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Windows: How to Easily Remove Metadata from Files via File Explorer

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Files on your computer may store information about their source, author, dates, and other details, through metadata (aka “Document Properties”). If you don’t want this information to be available to others who may have access to your files, it’s a good idea to remove all the metadata from a file.

Removing metadata from file explorerWhile programs like Word (via “Inspect Document”) and Adobe Acrobat (‘Remove hidden information”) will help you remove these potentially unwanted document properties one file at a time, File Explorer lets you do it without opening a file AND makes it easy to do it to multiple files at once. Here’s how:

  • Go to File Explorer
  • Select one or more files in Windows Explorer
  • Right-click > select Properties from the contextual menu
  • Go to the Details tab > click Remove Properties and Personal Information to open the Remove Properties dialog

Options for removing metadataYou’ll be presented with a dialog box with two options:

  1. “Create a copy with all possible properties removed” – creates a “clean” copy of the file(s), leaving the original with its metadata intact. A copy will be created, with ” – Copy” at the end of its name.
  2. “Remove the following properties from this file” – overwrites the existing file and removes the metadata (no copy is made; you cannot undo this action so use it thoughtfully!). A list of available metadata becomes pick and choose so you can select the individual fields that you want removed OR you can opt for “Select All” to choose to remove all the metadata fields with information in them.
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