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[[!meta title="Removing metadata from files"]]
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What is metadata?
Metadata is "data about data" or "information about information" that is embedded in computer files, usually automatically. Metadata is used to describe, identify, categorize, and sort files.
However, metadata can also be used to deanonymize users and expose private information.
Examples of metadata include:
In image files:
the location where a photo was taken
the date and time a photo was taken
the model and serial number of the camera used to take a photo
In text document files:
the author of the document
changes to the document
To learn more about how metadata can be used to identify and reveal personal information, see [Behind the Data: Investigating metadata](https://exposingtheinvisible.org/en/guides/behind-the-data-metadata-investigations/).
<p>It is impossible to reliably find and remove all metadata in complex file
formats. For example, <i>Microsoft Office</i> documents can contain embedded images,
audio, and other files containing their own metadata that Tails cannot
remove.</p>
<p>You should remove metadata on any files before you embed them into another
document.</p>
<p>Also, you should save files in simpler formats whenever possible.
For example, instead of saving a text document as a .docx file,
you can save the document as a plain .txt file.</p>
Removing metadata using *Metadata Cleaner*
Tails includes [*Metadata Cleaner*](https://metadatacleaner.romainvigier.fr/) so you can remove metadata from files before you publish or share them.
*Metadata Cleaner* works on many file formats, including: