How to remove all PDF metadata

If you have ever wanted to completely strip identifying metadata from a pdf file for whatever reason, you would quickly find there is no easy way to do this. Luckily, if you have any form of linux access available to you, there is a free tool that can help. Below are the steps to strip an example pdf file of all identifying metadata.

Install the Tools

apt-get install exiftool

Viewing Existing Metadata

exiftool -all example.pdf

Running this command will show you the metadata already present in the pdf file you’re working on including timezonetime stampsauthor and other potentially identifying variables.

Deleting Existing Metadata

exiftool -all:all= example.pdf

At this point, if you re-run exiftool -all example.pdf you’ll see that most of the original metadata is removed and you have a fresh pdf file stripped of metadata.