EXIF data is stripped from photos sent via "Quick Photo" option in iMessage


macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2014
Hi guys,

I've been working on uploading my huge photo library from iPhoto to iCloud Photos using Air Drop to transfer from my Mac to my iPhone. I am currently noticing some inconsistencies and I am curious if someone can help me out to test my theory.

Some of the images I am transferring to iCloud Photos are organizing themselves in the Moments section of the Photos app as a photo taken today... instead of on the day it was actually taken. I'm beginning to notice these Photos are ones I have sent using the "Quick Photo" feature in iMessage that is similar to how SnapChat works. It looks like using this Quick Photo feature causes iMessage to strip lots of EXIF data like location, Make & Model of camera (iPhone 5S etc.), and most importantly the Date of Creation. This seems to be a security feature which is awesome but sucks for those of us doing what I am doing.

In order to test this I need some help, my back camera is no longer working (dropped my 5S) and the Quick Photo feature of iMessage wont come up for me anymore, it seems to get freaked out by the lack of a front camera. If someone can do one or all of the following it would be sweet:

1. Take a picture using the Quick Photo feature of iMessage and then download the photo from the message. Transfer it to your computer and upload it to http://exifdata.com/. Under the preview of the image where it says "(click for original)" there should be some fields like GPS Position and Date of Creation. I want to know if these fields exist on the upload of the file. If they do not, it confirms my theory!

2. Further questions arise.. such as if you sent an image you've taken normally, does it also strip the data? My suggestion is to take a picture normally and send it via iMessage, then download the picture from the message and follow the instructions above. If there is no GPS Position and Date of Creation then iMessage strips this private information from all outgoing images which is a nice security feature.

From what I can see, iOS also doesn't save GPS or Date of Creation EXIF data when you take a screenshot (home & power button at the same time), which is interesting itself.

If my above theories are true:

1. Is there a program on iOS or for the Mac that allows the editing of this exif data? I'd like to put the proper data on there so everything sorts properly in Moments as it really messes with my small obsessive problems with having everything perfect.

2. Anyone see any settings where this security feature of stripping EXIF data can be turned off? My girlfriend and I shared hundreds of pictures of our trip to California using iMessage and now all the pictures she sent me have no location or data data and its making Moments unhappy. :(

Cheers MacRumors!
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macrumors member
Oct 11, 2010
Bringing up an old thread probably won't be an issue since it's an iOS 8 subforum, so here goes:
looks like OP was right, and this was baked in on iOS7 (at least).
Also doing a mass migration, and missing EXIF drives me nuts.
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