Cropping pictures leading to loss of geolocation data in new version Photos app

Hi all, I always use Photos (in Microsoft Office) to crop my observation images. With the new version of Photos (introduced Aug/Sep 2023) it turns out that all metadata of a picture are lost when cropping an image - including the geolocation!
This makes it really tricky to upload effectively (as the location is lost).
Are others having the same problem? Would anybody have a recommendation or solution to this?
Many thanks - I understand this is not an issue with iNaturalist itself but I’m keen for feedback as I would expect that many others in the community are encountering the same problem…


Yes, I’ve experienced the same thing with the Microsoft photo viewer/editor recently. Frustrating! Also looking for a solution…

1 Like

Temporary solution: make a copy to crop and start by uploading the originals with metadata intact. You can add the cropped version to it in the upload page (and delete the original or keep it).


I don’t use Photos, so I can’t comment on the issue itself, but I would consider this loss of metadata to be completely unacceptable. I’m not sure what effect it might have, but I’d consider contacting Microsoft feedback and encouraging as many other people as possible to do the same. I know it’s a big problem with these giants, but who knows, if enough people complain, they might just listen and solve the problem in subsequent versions.

1 Like

I crop with IrfanView. That might be nice to try.

1 Like

You could try GIMP. I’ve always cropped photos in there and the metadata is conserved.


i don’t think Office has a photos app. are you talking about Microsoft Photos? what version are you using? i just tried a crop my machine, and i’m not seeing it stripping GPS metadata from cropped files.

I’ve just given it a try on my PC (Photo version 2023.11090.12017.0) and it maintained the EXIF GPS metadata for me too. I did notice though that it stripped out all IPTC data… could this be in some way relevant?

Me too! My machine “upgraded” itself to the new Photos (Ver 2023.11090.12017.0) a couple of days ago. Yesterday I noticed that the GPS data was disappearing when I cropped photos. Very annoying! I have spent ages searching through the Microsoft “help” trying to find a setting to turn off this “feature”, but with no success.

The work-around I’ve used so far is what @egordon88 mentioned - uploading the uncropped version at the same time, then deleting it. I hate “updates” that make extra work and take longer!


That is the exact same version that I tested yesterday and it kept all my EXIF data, including GPS. Would you be willing to send me via mail one of your original photos so I can test it on my machine?

Concur. But use the crop feature and then Export as (or just export if you wish to overwrite), do not copy and paste a selection.


it’s possible that MS Photos handles only certain metadata tags. GPS can be stored in a few different ways. so maybe it handles certain variations but not others?

1 Like

Yes, that’s what I hypothesise… that’s why I’m curious to experiment with an example of a photo where this occurs.

I’d forgotten about your request, @lynkos. I’ve just emailled you a cropped and uncropped pair of photos. I’ll be interested to see what you discover.

You’ve got mail :wink:. As you’ll see though, I’m afraid I’m not able to help as when I cropped your photo with my version of Photos, all the GPS data was preserved perfectly :roll_eyes:.

For those who lose the GPS data, do you have Windows Home or Windows Pro? I have Pro and lose the GPS settings, but @lynkos using Home kept the settings cropping the same photo with the same version of the Photos application.

Not the exact same problem but sometimes after cropping a picture on my iPhone it does the same thing. The date and location will both no longer be attached for some reason. Usually I will click the unedited image first so iNaturalist picks up the date and location, and then remove the picture from the observation, crop the original again, then add that one to the observation that has the date and location already attached. It’s an extra step, and it’s also echoing what others have suggested, but it’s not too time-consuming and it works well for me.

1 Like

Yours is also Windows 10 and mine is Windows 11, so that could also be a factor. Looks like the combination of Windows/Photos could be a factor. Would be really interesting to know if others have or don’t have the same problem with various combinations.

i don’t lose GPS lat/long after cropping on MS Photos in either Win 10 Pro or Win 11 Home.

if folks are still losing metadata, maybe it has to do with where the source photos are stored? if not saved locally, maybe save the file locally first and the try cropping

1 Like

Are you using the new version of the Photos app?

My photos are stored on my local drive.

Strangely this morning I have cropped about 20 photos, and 2 of them kept their location. I have no idea what is going on.