Metadata is an important aspect of any file. It reveals additional information about the file, such as its source, creator/author, time and date of creation, and origin/source device, among other things.

Although file metadata is useful, it can also compromise your privacy. And that’s why you need to remove metadata before sharing your files, especially if you’re worried about giving away too much information.

Metadata Cleaner is one of the few tools on Linux to remove file metadata. Let’s look at Metadata Cleaner in detail and see how you can use it to remove metadata from files.

What is Metadata Cleaner?

Metadata Cleaner is a GUI-based tool for removing file metadata on Linux. It uses mat2—the metadata removal utility—and is one of the few graphical tools on Linux for removing metadata from files.

Essentially, MetadataCleaner is like a GUI for mat2. So all those who are not comfortable using CLI can now get rid of metadata from their files using Metadata Cleaner with few simple clicks.

How does Metadata Cleaner work?

Metadata Cleaner takes a unique approach to remove metadata from files. It works by copying the contents of the file from which you want to remove the metadata to a new file (without its metadata) and eventually copying them back to the original file.

Although this approach works fine, and Metadata Cleaner manages to remove most of the file metadata, it has one drawback. Since it is based on identifying metadata and stripping it out when creating a new file, many times, some metadata information is not detected and copied to the new file, leaving you with a file that still has Also contains some metadata.

Additionally, since Metadata Cleaner essentially overwrites the original file after deleting the metadata, there is no way to get it back. Therefore, it is advised to back up your files before running them through Metadata Cleaner.

When prompted for confirmation, type y and press Enter to start the installation. Wait for the process to finish. This may take some time depending on your internet speed.

How to Use Metadata Cleaner to Remove Metadata from Files

After you have installed Metadata Cleaner on your computer, launch it from the Applications menu. Then, follow the steps below to remove metadata from your files.

Alternatively, you can add all the files from which you want to remove metadata into one folder and import it directly into Metadata Cleaner. To do this, click the down arrow button to the right of Add Files and choose Add Folder.

Select the folder that contains the files and hit Open. Similar to selecting multiple files, you can also select multiple folders to import them at once.

Finally, click on the Clean button to start the metadata removal process.

How to Use Light Cleaning in Metadata Cleaner

By default, when you hit the Clean button, Metadata Cleaner tries to get rid of as much metadata as possible. However, while doing so, it may sometimes replace some of the data in these files.

For example, if you remove metadata from PDF files in normal cleaning mode, the text selection method may not work at all. So if this is something that matters to you, you can use the Lightweight Cleaning mode to get rid of only the essential metadata from your files without affecting the actual data.

Metadata Cleaner Keyboard Shortcut

Metadata Cleaner supports a set of keyboard shortcuts that you can use to perform operations efficiently. Here is a list of all supported keyboard shortcuts.

Protect your privacy and never give away your metadata again

Providing file metadata can sometimes put your privacy at risk, especially when working with confidential documents and images. Metadata Cleaner can help you in such situations by helping you easily remove metadata from such files, so you don’t need to worry about giving your metadata information again and it can maintain your privacy.

If you work mostly out of the terminal and prefer CLI apps over GUIs, you might want to check out ExifTool. This is a CLI-based metadata remover for Linux that you can run inside your terminal to clean metadata from your files.

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