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I have a huge backup of images from students' coursework - something like 100,000 of them. Because of the way they were collected a lot of them have tags on them which are screwing up my filing system so I'd like a way to clean all of them out. Is there a way to do this? I've had 'exiftool' suggested to me, is there a way to combine this with a recursive command or something to clean it all out?

If it helps, I'm using Gnome 16.04 and the exiftool is installed - although I'm still a bit clueless about it.

  • Most of my students use Shotwell, so most of them have been tagged in there. An example of the current state of play - the first directory 'Alfa' has 1252 files in it, the only tag they should have on them is 'Alfa'. Most don't have that tag but have things like 'green' or 'nofilter' or some other idiotic hashtag saying. What I'm trying to do is to get everything in that folder (and the others) to not have a tag so I can just start over. I'm sorry but I don't know forms tags come in, so I'm not sure how to answer that part. – Dave Sep 12 '16 at 15:00
  • @Dave There is nice answer here that may help you: askubuntu.com/q/824048/57576 – andrew.46 Sep 12 '16 at 22:26
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This worked for me:

for i in *.jpg; do echo "Processing $i"; exiftool -all= "$i"; done

(remove echo after testing to actually change the files)

  • No need to script this with exiftool, just add the -r option. exiftool -r -all= /path/to/directory – StarGeek Sep 12 '16 at 15:48
  • For some reason when I add the -r in nothing happens. It does the images in the current directory and seems to make no attempt to look further. – Dave Sep 12 '16 at 16:05
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Exiftool can do this.

To clear out just tags, use
exiftool -subject= -keywords= -HierarchicalSubject= -r /path/to/directory

To clear out all metadata, use
exiftool -All= -r /path/to/directory

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