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HMRC internal manual

Shared Workspace Business Manual

Information Security: Removing Hidden, Metadata and Track Changes


Metadata is data that describes how, when and by whom a set of data was collected, and how the data is formatted. It may include other information such as data sources, date of last update, and user access privileges.

Metadata is often hidden within previous versions of files. This is not an issue unique to Shared Workspace but a feature within the software used to create the file itself.

There may be occasions when you do not want the metadata to be available. For example you may not want people to see the tracked changes in a Microsoft Word file.

There are a number of ways to share information without metadata that will,


  • prevent it being automatically added
  • remove existing metadata from files

There are a number of methods of preventing and removing metadata, depending on the file type and content. Microsoft have published guidance on how to remove metadata from Microsoft files. This can be found on their Help site. Search on ‘Remove Hidden or (Meta) data’ or similar.

If you are using any other type of software and need to add information to SharedWorkspace without metadata, you should contact your BAO or DG team for guidance or to the guidance provided with the software being used.