I just started to use the EXIFTool but can't figure out how to copy all meta info from one file to another without destroying the destination file's thumbnail image. Is there any way to do so ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Here it's described how to exclude a tag from extraction. Please try that, edit your question if this doesn't work or submit as an answer if it works. Maybe a possible workaround: backup the destination file, copy all metadata (including the thumbnail) from the source and after that copy the thumbnail from the backup to the destination. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 14, 2014 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you post two pictures of yours to work with (a source and a target)? \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


Save the thumbnail first:

exiftool -b -ThumbnailImage destination_image.jpg > destination_thumbnail.jpg

Then mess with all the metadata (copy from source, write into destination), and meanwhile destroy the destination thumbnail, no problem. E.g.

exiftool -tagsFromFile source_image.jpg -XMP:All= -ThumbnailImage= -m destination_image.jpg

Note that you can do any other metadata manipulation as well.

When you are done, copy back the saved thumbnail:

exiftool '-ThumbnailImage<=destination_thumbnail.jpg' destination_image.jpg

  • \$\begingroup\$ I tried with exiftool -tagsFromFile src.jpg -XMP:All= '-ThumbnailImage<=dst.jpg'-m dst.jpg and it did not worked :/ src.jpg, dst.jpg, exiftool was in the same directory \$\endgroup\$
    – Sourav
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The three commands in my edited answer should be fine. (I am using a custom-compiled exiftool, and that one supported the functionality, but I removed that line now.) \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:56

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