How to Remove Metadata from Excel File (3 Methods)

In this article, we will discuss 3 effective methods to remove metadata from your Microsoft Excel Worksheet with proper explanation.


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What is the Metadata of an Excel file?

Metadata is the hidden information of an Excel file that contains the author name, initials, organization name, etc. Every Excel file inherits metadata by default. The pieces of information are taken from the user’s devices. We can also modify those data according to our needs. Those metadata may contain some confidential information about the company. It may reveal the sources of the information used in the sheet, and so on. So, before we share the Excel file with others, we need to review and remove the metadata of that file.


3 Methods to Remove Metadata From Excel

We will discuss 3 methods to remove metadata from an Excel file.


1. Go to File Tab to Remove Metadata

We will view the Metadata from the File tab, and then discuss how to remove this. It is the easiest way to view and remove metadata.

Step 1:

  • First, open our desired Excel file.
  • Then click on the File tab.

Step 2:

  • Now, press on the Info option from the left side menu.
  • On the right side, we see the Properties It contains file size, tags, categories, and related dates.
  • Now, click on Show All Properties marked on the image below.

Go to File Tab to Remove Metadata

Step 3:

  • Now, click on the Author name box.
  • Press the right side of the mouse. Select Remove Person from the list.

Go to File Tab to Remove Metadata

Step 4:

  • Click on the box of each option to switch on the editable mood. After that, we can modify those options or remove the information from those boxes.

Go to File Tab to Remove Metadata


2. Withdraw Metadata from the Windows File Explorer

Let’s assume a situation, we have an Excel file in protected mode. Using Windows File Explorer is the way to withdraw Metadata from protected Excel files. The most significant feature of this method is that we do not need to open the Excel file.

Step 1:

  • From the Windows File Explorer go to the location of the Excel file.
  • Select the file and then click on the right button of the mouse.
  • From the context menu, click on Properties.

Withdraw Metadata from the Windows File Explorer in Excel

Step 2:

  • A new window will appear. Select the Details tab.
  • Click on the Remove Properties and Personal Information feature.

Withdraw Metadata from the Windows File Explorer in Excel

Step 3:

  • Now, tick the Remove the following properties from this file: option.
  • Then click Select All.
  • Finally, press OK.

Withdraw Metadata from the Windows File Explorer in Excel

If we don’t want to remove all the metadata, choose the desired options from the list. This feature will remove metadata from the present file.

But we can also make a copy of this file with the desired metadata property.

Step 4:

  • Tick the Create a copy with all possible properties removed option.
  • Now, select the Properties we want to remove on the new file. Then click on the OK.


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3. Excel Document Inspector to Extract Metadata

Document Inspector is another way to remove metadata from Excel. By applying this method, we can clean any confidential information from the Excel file.

Step 1:

  • First, open the file.
  • Go to the File Alternatively, we can do this by pressing Alt+F.

Excel Document Inspector to Extract Metadata

Step 2:

  • Then click on the Info option from the left side to see the metadata information.
  • Now, to Inspect Workbook click on Check for Issues.
  • Here, we get an option named the Inspect Document.

Excel Document Inspector to Extract Metadata

On the right side, we see the Properties.

Step 3:

  • We get a new window to inspect the file. Click on Inspect from the bottom of the window.

Excel Document Inspector to Extract Metadata

Step 4:

  • After inspection, we find information in the Document Properties and Personal Information To clear those, press on Remove All.

When any information is found, that is indicated by the exclamatory sign(!) beside each segment.

Now, notice the document inspector window.

Step 5:

  • Now, go to the Info option to see the Properties again.

Excel Document Inspector to Extract Metadata

All the fields of the Property segment are blank.

Read More: How to Remove Partial Data from Multiple Cells in Excel (6 Ways)


Additional Hidden Data Exposure and Removal in Excel

Without using the above ways, we can manually remove the hidden data from Excel. One of the advantages of doing this manually is that we can decide which information will be removed or not.

We have the following manual options.


1. Remove Named Range

We can name ranges using the Define Name option. Naming a single cell or a group of cells by the Define Name feature. We can call or use the cells by mentioning the names only. We can define a name in two ways.

Method 1:

  • Click on the Formulas tab first.
  • Then choose the Defined Name.

Remove Named Range in Excel

  • Write a name on the Name box.
  • Select the range in the Refers to box.
  • Then press OK.

Method 2:

  • We can also alternately do this. Press the right button of the mouse.
  • Select Define Name from the list.

Remove Named Range in Excel


2. Remove Link to Worksheet of Another Workbook

Our data set may be linked to the worksheet of another workbook. We can remove this linking.

Step 1:

  • Go to the Data tab first.
  • In this Queries & Connections group, the Edit Links option is active, which means there are links in the worksheet.
  • Click on the Edit Links option.

Remove Link to Worksheet of Another Excel Workbook

Step 2:

  • The Edit Links window will appear. Click on the Break link.
  • A pop-up will show. Again, click on the Break Links there.

Remove Link to Worksheet of Another Excel Workbook

Step 3:

  • Again, go to the Edit Links option of the Data tab.

So, the linking is successfully removed from the data set.


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3. Unhide Hidden Rows and Columns

We can unhide the hidden rows and columns in two ways. Hidden rows and columns may affect our calculation in Excel.

In the image below, we can see that rows between Rows 5 and 9 are hidden.

Method 1:

  • Now, press Ctrl and click Rows 5 and 9.
  • Put Cursor between Rows 5 and 9.

Remove Hidden Rows and Columns from Excel

  • Double click on the Cursor.

Method 2:

  • Press the Ctrl Keep pressing the Ctrl button and click on Rows 5 and 9.
  • Now, press the right button of the mouse.
  • From the list select the Unhide option.

Remove Hidden Rows and Columns from Excel

All the cells will be shown now.

Read More: How to Delete Empty Rows and Columns in Excel VBA (4 Methods)


Things to Remember

  • We can easily go to the file option by pressing Alt+F.
  • Break links will take the value only to remove the backlinks.

Conclusion

We discussed how to remove metadata from Excel. We also added some additional methods to get the information from a data set that does not appear normally. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please have a look at our website Exceldemy.com and give your suggestions in the comment box.


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Alok

Alok

Hello, this is Alok. I am working as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at Exceldemy. I want to provide solutions to various Excel-based problems. I completed my study at East West University major in Telecommunications Engineering. I love traveling, reading books, playing cricket.

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