ExifTool: Read, Write, Edit Meta information

I was searching for a good EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) tool to view a complete meta information for jpeg pictures. After a long search, I found this nice little application “ExifTool” a pearl-based command line application which gives us tons of information about metadata.

ExifTool is a platform-independent Pearl library plus a command-line application for reading, writing and editing meta information in a wide variety of files – and it’s a portable application.

The usage is very simple just drag the file and drop it on exiftool(-k).exe – and this action will open in a command prompt with all the meta information. Or you can rename the .exe to .pl and use it as a command line application.

Read, Write, Edit Meta information

Here is  little explanation on how to use the app for the developer’s website:

From the command line:

The Perl application (“exiftool“) is run by typing “perl exiftool“. Alternately, you may be able to rename it to “exiftool.pl” and type “exiftool.pl“, but this requires that the proper Windows associations have been made for the “.pl” extension.

The stand-alone version (“exiftool(-k).exe“) should be renamed to “exiftool.exe” to allow it to be run by typing “exiftool” at the command line.

If the ExifTool executable (“exiftool.pl” or “exiftool.exe“) is not in the current directory or your system PATH, then its directory must be specified on the command line (ie. by typing “c:\path_to_exiftool\exiftool.pl” or “c:\path_to_exiftool\exiftool“).

Note that when typing commands in the “cmd.exe” shell, you should use double quotes instead of single quotes as shown in some examples.

Stand-alone version in the Windows GUI:

Double-click on “exiftool(-k).exe” to read the application documentation, or drag-and-drop files and folders to run exiftool on the selected files.

Simple options may be added inside the brackets in the name of the stand-alone executable. (But note that the characters /\?*:|"<>may not be used because they are invalid in Windows file names.) In this way, the behavior of the drag-and-drop application can be customized.

Output Example:



  • Powerful, fast, flexible and customizable
  • Supports a large number of different file formats
  • Reads EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, JFIF, MakerNotes, GeoTIFF, ICC Profile, Photoshop IRB, FlashPix, AFCP, ID3 and more…
  • Writes EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, JFIF, MakerNotes, ICC Profile, Photoshop IRB, AFCP and more…
  • Reads and writes maker notes of many digital cameras
  • Decodes a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma
  • Numerous output formatting options (including tab-delimited, HTML, XML and JSON)
  • Multi-lingual output (cs, de, en, en_ca, en_gb, es, fr, it, ja, ko, nl, pl, ru, sv, tr, zh_cn or zh_tw)
  • Geotags images from GPS track log files (with time drift correction!)
  • Generates track logs from geotagged images
  • Shifts date/time values to fix timestamps in images
  • Renames files and organizes in directories (by date or by any other meta information)
  • Extracts thumbnail images, preview images, and large JPEG images from RAW files
  • Copies meta information between files (even different-format files)
  • Reads/writes structured XMP information
  • Deletes meta information individually, in groups, or altogether
  • Sets the file modification date from EXIF information
  • Supports alternate language tags in XMP, PNG, ID3, Font, QuickTime, ICC Profile, MIE and MXF information
  • Processes entire directory trees
  • Creates text output file for each image file
  • Creates binary-format metadata-only (MIE) files for metadata backup
  • Automatically backs up original image when writing
  • Organizes output into groups
  • Conditionally processes files based on value of any meta information
  • Ability to add custom user-defined tags
  • Support for MWG (Metadata Working Group) recommendations
  • Recognizes thousands of different tags
  • Tested with images from thousands of different camera models
  • Advanced verbose and HTML-based hex dump outputs.

ExifTool download

For more documentation and download visit the developer’s website.

See how you can Remove Properties and Personal information from photos, files in Windows 10/8/7.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.

One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Very in-depth program! Thanks

    I’m wondering if they might be a GUI for it eventually.

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