ExifTool Windows installer and portable package

As an alternative to the "single EXE" Windows ExifTool offered at Phil Harvey's site, I offer here a convenient installer and a robust portable package of Phil Harvey's ExifTool for Windows - probably the most comprehensive tool available for accessing metadata in image and other files.


In early 2019, I started to improve the Windows environment for ExifTool with the following features / improvements:

  • Run Perl in a clean way, avoiding the self-extracting Perl Packager with its resulting problems (technical background).
  • Provide a convenient Windows installer with reasonable default directories.
  • Use the well supported Strawberry Perl with a permissive license.


As of July 2019, this package is not widely advertised, but it passes the built-in self tests and additional tests, and I'm using it successfully on my own system with Photools IMatch, a great Digital Asset Management (DAM) for Windows. It also works with ExifToolGui.


What you get is "plain ExifTool" plus a stripped "portable Strawberry Perl" plus my own tiny launcher, provided as a Windows installer or just packed together in a ZIP file:

ExifTool_install_11.72.exe Windows Installer
exiftool-11.72.zip package without installer

Caution: Do not use current ExifTool versions >11.54 with Photools IMatch up to version 2019.6.2 due to an incompatibility introduced with ExifTool 11.55.

IMatch 2019.8.2 uses the new ExifTool output.

Installer options

You may install "for me only" or "for all users".

If you select "for all", the installer requests administrative rights and suggests to install to the protected folder %ProgramFiles(x86)%\ExifTool. The advantage is that the ExifTool installation is then protected against unintentional or malicious modification.

If you select "for me only", the installation path defaults to %LocalAppData%\Programs\ExifTool. That's no protected folder, so you need no administrative rights.

Using Perl alone

The "exiftool_files" directory contains a stripped version of Strawberry Perl (portable) with just the modules necessary to run ExifTool, including the original Perl.exe. You can use it like any Perl for Windows, but the installer will not add this directory to your path.


How to build the installer yourself - if you don't trust me or want to modify it:

Get the ExifTool files from https://github.com/exiftool/exiftool/

Currently, you need to patch windows_exiftool around line 335:
from: if ($0 =~ /\(([^\\\/]+)\)(.exe|.pl)?$/i) {
to: if ($^X =~ /\(([^\\\/]+)\)(.exe|.pl)?$/i) {

and lib/exiftool.pm near line 8446
from: -r $file or $config =~ /^\// or $file = ($0 =~ /(.*[\\\/])/ ? $1 : './') . $config;
to: -r $file or $config =~ /^\// or $file = ($^X =~ /(.*[\\\/])/ ? $1 : './') . $config;

I hope that a future version of ExifTool will support this environment "out of the box". Maybe even the "standard" and "Windows" scripts will be unified some day. See http://u88.n24.queensu.ca/exiftool/forum/index.php/topic,10221.msg53439.html

Save the patched script to exiftool.pl in the exiftool_files folder together with the other ExifTool files and directories (keep the structure).

Build the "Perl launcher" exiftool.exe with the sources found in Portable-Perl-Applications (or extract it from the zip file offered above).

Add a stripped set of files from the portable Strawberry Perl distribution. I chose these files: perl- Rather likely, this archive has some superfluous files but the effort to identify them safely is too high.

License, disclaimer and contact

The small proportion of my own content is licensed under the CC0 license

See https://sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool and http://strawberryperl.com/ for the license of ExifTool and Strawberry Perl.

I make no warranties about the package, and disclaim liability for all uses of the package, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law.

Please send useful comments to ppl [št] oliverbetz [punkt] de - especially if you found bugs or improved something.