How To Remove Metadata from MP3 Files
As much as the music metadata (also known as tags) is useful, some people just prefer not having it at all. Sometimes it can mess up your music collection on certain music players, especially on your mobile phone. Sometimes tracks with tags get mixed up with tracks without them. If you would like to get rid of them, stay with us to see how. It’s doable on both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Removing the Metadata on Windows
Avoiding Third-Party Programs
On newer versions of Windows, you can remove the metadata with just a few clicks without having to download any 3rd-party programs. This is not recommended if you need to strip the metadata from an entire album, but might come in handy if you want to remove it from just a few songs:
- First, enter the File Explorer (or Windows Explorer) and find the music file that has the metadata you want removed.
- Right-click on this file, then click on “Properties.”
- In the “Properties” window, go to the “Details” tab.
- You can edit any of the tags by just left-clicking on them, which will allow you to change their values. You can also click “Remove Properties and Personal Information” to delete everything at once.
- If you opt for the latter, a “Remove Properties” window will appear. It will ask you if you want to make a copy of the current file without the metadata, or if you want to remove them from the current file. If you want to remove all the metadata from the file without making a copy of it, besides choosing the second option, you need to click on the “Select All” button in the bottom-right corner of this window.
- When you’re done, click “OK.”
Note: This is an irreversible action. Also, neither of the two options is perfect, so you might still need to remove some metadata yourself in the “Details” tab of the music file’s “Properties” window.
Using a Third-Party Program
Downloading a tag remover lets you clear the metadata for whole albums in a matter of seconds. There are multiple good, free tag removers on the internet. One of them is the ID3Remover. Here’s how to use it:
- As soon as you open the program, you’ll notice that it has an empty window that says “Files to remove id3-tags from:” Here’s where you need to add the files. Dragging the files you want to remove the metadata from into the window marks them for deletion.
- Do this for each track or album if you want to handle more of them at once. If you’ve added a song by mistake, select it and click on the “Clear” button. Click on the “Clear all” button to remove the whole list.
- When you’re ready, click on the “Remove” button. It should take the program a few seconds at most. It will notify you when it’s done.
The Mac Workaround
- Open the Tag Editor.
- Add all the files you want to remove the metadata from.
- You can press and hold the left mouse button to select multiple columns, rows, or both at once. Additionally, right-clicking on a field gives you additional options, such as deleting that row or that column, or just deleting all visible tags.
If you want to delete everything, you should right-click on any column category. This opens a new menu which allows you to show all the columns. Select this option; it’s located on the bottom of the list.
- Click on the top-left cell to select every row and every column.
- Clicking on the “Clear” button removes all the metadata, but it won’t be removed until you save the changes.
- To save the changes, click on the “Save” button.
Despite Windows letting you delete the metadata from a track without installing an additional program, a third-party application still does the job much better, so make sure to download one if you do this often. You also need to use an app for this on a Mac anyway, but it will be well worth your time. Don’t forget that metadata tags don’t increase the file size.
Do you find tags distracting? Why do you prefer having yours removed? Let us know in the comments below.