Stands for "Exchangeable Image File Format." EXIF is a standard means of tagging image files with metadata, or additional information about the image. It is supported by both the TIFF and JPEG formats, but is most commonly seen in JPEG images captured with digital cameras.

When you take a picture with a digital camera, it automatically saves EXIF data with the photo. This typically includes the exposure time (shutter speed), f-number (aperture), ISO setting, flash (on/off), and the date and time. Some cameras may save additional EXIF data, such as the brightness value, white balance setting, metering mode, and sensing method. Many smartphones and some newer digital cameras also include GPS information, which is used for "geotagging" photos.

When you view a digital photo on your computer, the EXIF data is typically hidden by default. Therefore, you may need to select an option such as "Get Info," "View Properties," or "Show Inspector" from within your photo viewing application in order to view the EXIF data. In Photoshop, for example, you can select File → File Info…, then click the "Advanced" tab to view the EXIF properties.

NOTE: The PNG and GIF image formats do not support EXIF data.

Updated May 28, 2012 by Per C.

quizTest Your Knowledge

Windows 10 brought back which user interface feature missing in Windows 8?

Task Bar
System Tray
Start Menu
Correct! Incorrect!     View the Windows 10 definition.
More Quizzes →

The Tech Terms Computer Dictionary

The definition of EXIF on this page is an original definition written by the TechTerms.com team. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, please use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about this definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.