Installing ExifTool

Note: ExifTool does not need to be installed to run. Just download and extract either the full Perl distribution on Mac/Linux, or the Windows EXE version on Windows, and run it directly. [But note that if you move the Perl "exiftool" application, you must also move its "lib" directory to the same location. This doesn't apply to the Windows version which unpacks the libraries into a temporary directory.]

However, the benefits of installation are:

See the appropriate section below with instructions for installing or uninstalling ExifTool on your specific platform:

Also see these instructions for help running ExifTool.


In Windows, there is a choice of two different versions of ExifTool to install. The Perl distribution requires Perl to be installed on your system. (A good, free Perl interpreter can be downloaded from or

If you don't already have Perl, it is easier to install the ExifTool executable version, but note that this version doesn't include the HTML documentation or some other files of the full distribution.

Windows Executable

  1. Download the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows Executable from the ExifTool home page.
    (The file you download should be named "" or "".)
  2. Extract the "exiftool-12.89_xx" folder from the ".zip" file, and place it on your Desktop.
    (Double-click on "" to open the archive, then drag "exiftool-12.89_xx" folder to your Desktop.)
  3. Open the "exiftool-12.89_xx" folder from your Desktop.

You can now double-click on "exiftool(-k).exe" in this folder to read the application documentation, or drag-and-drop files and folders to run exiftool on selected files. To install exiftool for use from the command line, continue with the following steps:

  1. Rename "exiftool(-k).exe" to "exiftool.exe".
    (or "exiftool(-k)" to "exiftool" if file name extensions are hidden on your system)
  2. Move "exiftool.exe" and the "exiftool_files" folder to any directory in your PATH (or any other directory of your choosing).

You can now run exiftool by typing "exiftool" at the command prompt (or "c:\path\to\exiftool" if the directory isn't in your PATH).
(To get to the command prompt, select "Run..." from the Windows "Start" menu, then type "cmd" and press Return.)


  1. In Windows 7, running exiftool may require administrator privileges. If necessary, this may be enabled by right clicking on exiftool, then selecting "Run this program as administrator" from the Compatibility settings.
  2. Windows 10 users have sometimes reported that exiftool hangs when run. This may be due to Windows Defender blocking or slowing down exiftool. To solve this, either disable Windows Defender or add an exclusion for exiftool (but note that exiftool may still run more slowly if you just add an exclusion).


  1. Drag "exiftool(-k).exe" (or "exiftool.exe" if you renamed it) and the "exiftool_files" folder into the Recycle bin.

Full Perl Distribution

You must have Perl installed to use this version. (A free version of Perl can be downloaded from or

  1. Download the Image-ExifTool distribution from the ExifTool home page
    (The file you download should be named "Image-ExifTool-12.89.tar.gz".)
  2. Extract the ExifTool files from the archive.
    (The archive is a gzipped tar file, and can be opened with various Windows utilities, including WinZip.)
  3. Rename "exiftool" to "" in the exiftool distribution.
  4. Move "" and the "lib" directory from the exiftool distribution to any directory in your PATH.

Now, if you have made the proper Windows associations for the ".pl" extension (an option in the ActivePerl installation), you can run exiftool by typing "" at the "cmd.exe" prompt. Otherwise you should type "perl c:\path\to\".


  1. Drag "" and the "lib" into the Recycle bin. You should first confirm that "lib" contains only the "File" and "Image" sub-directories. Do not delete it if it contains anything else.


If you have installed the BSDSDK package from the Xcode Developer Tools (ie. if you have the "make" utility), you should follow the install procedure for Unix platforms in the next section instead of the steps below. The Unix install has the advantage of making the ExifTool library available for your Perl scripts, as well as installing the man pages and POD documentation.

Otherwise, you have a choice of two packages to install: The MacOS package, or the full Perl distribution. Both of the procedures below install the ExifTool files in the same location. Installing from the MacOS package is easier, but the full distribution includes HTML documentation and some other files not included in the MacOS package. Both versions run natively on PPC and Intel Macs.

MacOS Package

  1. Download the ExifTool MacOS Package from the ExifTool home page.
    (The file you download should be named "ExifTool-12.89.pkg".)
  2. Install as a normal MacOS package.
    (Double-click on the install package, and follow the instructions. See the second item in the Notes section below if you are stopped with an "unidentified developer" message.)

You can now run exiftool by typing "exiftool" in a Terminal window.

If this doesn't work, then it is likely you have an older version of MacOS for which /usr/local/bin isn't in the default PATH. To fix this, add the following line to your ~/.profile settings using a text editor:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin

Full Perl Distribution

  1. Download the Image-ExifTool distribution from the ExifTool home page to your Desktop.
    (The file you download should be named "Image-ExifTool-12.89.tar.gz".)
  2. Launch the Terminal application from the Utilities folder in your Applications folder.
  3. In the Terminal window, type the following:
        cd ~/Desktop
        tar -xzf Image-ExifTool-12.89.tar.gz
        cd Image-ExifTool-12.89
        sudo cp -r exiftool lib /usr/local/bin
    (Note: The last step above will require you to enter your password.)

You can now run exiftool by typing "exiftool" in a Terminal window.



  1. Launch the "Terminal" application from the Applications Utilities folder.
  2. Type "open /usr/local/bin" (without the quotes) in the Terminal window, then press RETURN. (This opens a folder that you normally can't access from MacOS.)
  3. Drag "exiftool" and "lib" into the trash from the "bin" folder you opened. You should first confirm that "lib" contains only two sub-folders: "File" and "Image". If it contains anything else, don't trash it because you have the wrong "lib" folder.

Unix Platforms

  1. Download the Image-ExifTool distribution from the ExifTool home page
    (The file you download should be named "Image-ExifTool-12.89.tar.gz".)
  2. Unpack the distribution and make it your current directory by typing:
        cd <your download directory>
        gzip -dc Image-ExifTool-12.89.tar.gz | tar -xf -
        cd Image-ExifTool-12.89
    (At this point you may run exiftool by typing "./exiftool <image file name>".)
  3. Test and install ExifTool by typing:
        perl Makefile.PL
        make test
        sudo make install
    (Note: The "make test" step is not required, but useful because it runs a full suite of tests to verify that ExifTool is working properly on your system. The "sudo make install" command requires that you have su access, and will prompt for your password. This will make ExifTool and its documentation accessible to all users on your system. If you don't have su access, you can run ExifTool in your own account by moving "exiftool" and its "lib" directory to any convenient location, preferably somewhere in your PATH.)

You can now run exiftool by typing "exiftool". Also, you can consult the ExifTool documentation with commands like:

perldoc exiftool
perldoc Image::ExifTool
perldoc Image::ExifTool::TagNames


man exiftool
man Image::ExifTool
man Image::ExifTool::TagNames


  1. Type "sudo make uninstall" from the distribution directory.
    (Note: Unfortunately, newer systems may give an "Uninstall is unsafe and deprecated" message even though uninstalling ExifTool is safe because it has no dependencies. If this happens, the necessary commands to remove the installed files will be listed, and these commands must be run manually.)

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