My tools are usually Photoshop and Exif Pilot and I know how to export to XMP and import, but I was told that the full Exif data does not copy from one image to another. Is this true? This is my Exif view in Photoshop, there is also IPTC which I think is just another metadata flavor.

Image in Photoshop without Exif data

Adding my intent in posting this, it's also about the relation between Exif data and images being found with image search on Google.

Matt Cutts regarding Exif for Google Image search:

Does Google use any of this information as a ranking factor? Matt says Google reserves the right to use EXIF data in order to help people find information about an image. In a previous version of image search, Google used to show this information in a sidebar when it was available.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Given that google is the primary source of most stolen images and copyright theft, are you sure you want to go out of your way to help them profit from indexing / serving up your work? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:58

4 Answers 4


I suggest using the excellent exiftool by Phil Harvey:

exiftool -TagsFromFile fromImage.jpg toImage.jpg

See also questions 8 and 9 at the Exiftool FAQ if you're copying tags between certain RAW image formats (shouldn't be a problem if you're copying between JPEG images).

  • \$\begingroup\$ I prefer this solution because it can be implemented on a server and called from scripts. For example I was able to use this to preserve the EXIF data on user-uploaded images while manipulating them with the PHP GD library. \$\endgroup\$
    – cazort
    Commented Aug 11, 2021 at 21:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This will not copy tags considered "unsafe". These are generally speaking tags that may modify the look of the file, such as embedded ICC profile. These tags have to be specified explicitly, such as by adding "-ICC_Profile" argument. See exiftol documentation for the affected tags: exiftool.org/TagNames \$\endgroup\$
    – stativ
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 7:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ minimum-bounding-box doesn't get copied. \$\endgroup\$
    – GrayFace
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 14:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GrayFace likely an issue with the implementation of the tag for whatever image format you're looking at. For instance, this GitHub issue indicates that at least in 2020, there were different header implementations for WEBP images. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 23:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it shouldn't be. "minimum-bounding-box" wasn't the issue, instead it's extra data written as a custom PNG chunk (for Doom 1 sprites) that image editors don't preserve. \$\endgroup\$
    – GrayFace
    Commented Jun 9, 2023 at 6:59

It all depends on what you mean when you say "full EXIF data". If you mean the full data that you can see when viewing it using an Adobe product the answer is "most of the time." If you mean the full data that is written to the file when it is produced by the camera the answer is "rarely if ever when using Adobe products."

Adobe products, such as Photoshop, typically ignore much of the maker notes section of the EXIF data. When converting a raw file to DNG or when exporting a raw file into another format (TIFF, JPEG, etc.) using an Adobe product that portion of the EXIF info is stripped from the file. If all you ever use to edit photos or view the EXIF info is one of the Adobe products then you'll never miss the parts that aren't displayed or copied on export.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I did not know that about DNG files. I only ever worked with the camera RAW files, I think my Canon RAW was .CR2 and Nikon .NEF. I just did my pre-processing batch from Camera RAW into 16-bit TIFFs though. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 3:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I updated the post with a screenshot that gives a little more context for my question, namely, Google Image search results. If the EXIF does play a role -- I should probably try to get EXIF data into every image. Matt Cutts doesn't deny Google Image search uses it as a factor -- he side stepped the question in a brilliant way. goo.gl/photos/N98ve5qhg3R5tinE7 \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 4:22
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Without looking at what google specifically does/does not include in their EXIF database I would guess with a fair degree of confidence that it doesn't include any camera/manufacturer specific EXIF data contained in the maker notes section. Most of that info is leveraged by the makers' in-house raw conversion applications to set black point, white point, etc. Some of it is not useful beyond the point where the raw data is converted to a raster image format such as TIFF, PNG, or JPG. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are some manufacturers that include things such as focus distance or whether manufacturer specific options such as Canon's Highlight Tone Priority or Nikon's Active D Lighting were enabled or not at the time the image was captured. Google might or might not use such info in their database. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @4747tablemesaboulder Just to be clear, if you use an Adobe product with a raw file from a camera that includes data in the maker notes section of the EXIF info that data will be stripped when the image is exported to a raster image file (i.e. JPEG of TIFF). Anytime any Adobe product converts a camera's native raw file format to another format most, if not all, of the maker notes EXIF data is stripped (even if you didn't convert to DNG at anytime in the process). \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 7:12

EXIF data is data like any other. And like any other data it can be copied just like you can copy a part of text into another text. You only need a suitable tool for that.


A bit late here but you can use https://www.imgonline.com.ua/eng/copy-photo-metadata.php to copy most EXIF metadata from one image to another online without any tools.

I haven't used it personally and I don't know about their privacy policy. Read before using it.

edit: the site has NO privacy policy

  • \$\begingroup\$ This site has no obvious privacy policy. If you haven't used it, how do you know it even does what it says it does? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have tested it with a test image but that's about it. I wouldn't use it for my personal images, specially that it doesn't have a privacy policy.. \$\endgroup\$
    – Fanckush
    Commented Dec 18, 2019 at 8:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.