Update: (Solved) Windows Live Writer removing EXIF data in uploaded photos

Six months ago I noticed this problem, which removes your photo’s EXIF data silently while uploading them to WordPress. Now I solved it.

The reason to my particular case is that, I have been using watermarks on photos, before I noticed this feature removes EXIF data and therefore stopped using it. However, simply removing text string in “Watermark” setting does not stop Windows Live Writer from putting watermarks onto the pictures. In fact, if you clear the text string after using this feature, it will put BLANK watermark on your photos.

The reason why WLW’s features such as watermarks, resizing, framing, etc stripe EXIF data is, IMO, that it uses some old-fashioned JPEG codec library (DLL file) which does not support EXIF processing. I can remember there used to be an Intel JPEG Library DLL file inside Live Writer’s installation folder. Althogh now the standalone file is gone, and I guess it is using some newer version of it and includes the library in its own, WLW still fails to handle EXIF properly.

In this post, the author also discovered that framing (adding borders to) the phoros also removes EXIF. It’s interesting that the article was posted no sooner than I visited, when I also found this issue of WLW. But at that time I thought that article did not help. But now, re-visiting this post, with a flash in my head I knew what is going on.

Anyway, here’s your solution.

DISCLAIMER: MODIFYING WINDOWS REGISTRY MIGHT CAUSE SEVERE DAMAGE TO YOUR OPERATION SYSTEM. YOU DO THIS OPERATION AT YOUR OWN RISK. THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE TO ANY UNEXPECTED RESULT DUE TO READER’S MISOPERATIONS.

The idea is you have to remove all picture effects provided by Windows Live Writer. In the above example, simply leaving the watermark string blank does not help, because WLW will put a blank watermark then. You have to remove, from its default settings, the “watermark” entry entirelly. This involves system registry operations, so use with caution.

  1. Close Windows Live Writer properly. Launch regedit.
  2. Go to registry location: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\Weblogs. In this key, you can see all the blogs that are managed by WLW. Double click to open a blog, then you will see a subkey called ImageDefaults
  3. Under this subkey, there are several items to be modified.  In this subkey, a value called Decorators contains all the picture effects to be deployed upon newly added pictures. Remove “Watermark” and the proceeding single comma and white space in the text.
  4. Under this subkey, remove subkey Watermark.
  5. Make sure you haven’t done anything other than the above 3 steps, otherwise you might have damaged your system, and I don’t bear the responsibility. Now you can close Registry program.
  6. Re-launch WLW and you should see changes on new-added photos. Older photos, especially those you have posted already, won’t get changed at all. You have to delete and re-insert all the photos in draft posts in order to keep EXIF during uploading.

Conclusion: This method at least solves the particular problem that Watermark feature removes EXIF data in photos, and even though you stop using Watermark feature by clearing the watermark text, it continues removing EXIF because it then leaves blank watermark. The reason why watermark, as well as many picture effects, removes EXIF is that WLW uses a JPEG codec library which does not support EXIF processing.

– END –

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  1. Windows Live Writer is automatically shrinking pictures and wiping EXIF while uploading | 仰望天空_hover_in_the_sky

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