How to Remove Album Art Images Embedded In MP3 Files?

Ever wondered how some of your mp3 files show up with the album art icon instead of the standard mp3 icon, when browsing through the mp3 collection on hard disk? Also, does the cover image appear at the background when playing an mp3 file using Windows Media Player or any other music player?

Thumbnail image of the mp3 files as seen in Windows Explorer.

The thumbnail image can come from JPG album art images (super-hidden) within that folder, or from pictures embedded into each mp3 file. If you need to remove the mp3 album art/images for some reason, first configure Windows Explorer to show hidden and protected Operating System files. Use these steps:

Press WinKey + R to launch the Run dialog. Type control folders and hit {ENTER}

Click the View tab

Enable Show hidden files, folders, and drives

Uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)

Click OK.

Open the folder that contains the mp3 album, and delete the AlbumArt_{GUID}_Large.jpg, AlbumArt_{GUID}_Small.jpg and Folder.jpg images.

Album art still appears?

If the album art still appears for an mp3 file or album, that could be coming from the pictures embedded into the mp3 file, and you need an ID3 tag editor to remove them. There are several freeware products available; I used Mp3tag.

Browse and locate the mp3 file. Right-click on the image and click Remove cover. Do this for every image.

That should remove all the album art images from the mp3 file.

Note that using Mp3Tag, you can also add additional album art images or change the "picture type" (cf. Picture Types at ID3.org) for the image that’s already embedded onto the mp3 file. Here are the options available.

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

63 thoughts on “How to Remove Album Art Images Embedded In MP3 Files?

  1. Sorry for yet another comment, but I have solved this issue in the only way I can. This is by going back into iTunes, locating the old mp3 entry to its new location, and updating the new artwork to the new AlbumArtSmall.jpg I created to the folder…this appears to remove the old batch mp3 image it had, and include the new custom image. Unfortunately there is no batch way currently available to me to do this. Which is part of the whole custom process. This works if you have embedded mp3 artwork, and can’t override with simply creating an albumartsmall.jpg to the folder it’s in.

  2. No disregard that last comment. This app does nothing. It’s very impossible to use it to accomplish anything. It apparently only looks for some text that is unusual and suggests to convert that into another type of code, so like anything with accents gets recognized. The only way that could be useful is if I went into ITunes with all the songs, and converted them to the Unicode and then moved them to the phone it might recognize them. This is a goose chase. As usual. Metadata.

  3. Interestingly enough, when I go into ITunes and import the folder, then I right click the song in iTunes, and select “convert ID3 tag” and under that “reverse Unicode” it comes out in all Chinese letters. So something happened here someplace, not sure where or when, got to do this and get rid of the reverse Unicode version I suspect, is where these artworks showing over the top of my self installed custom AlbumArtSmall.jpg files I put in the folder.

  4. Does not work for me. I once added artwork in iTunes, and now it’s buried deeper than the MP3tag program can go. What to do next?

  5. Thank u so much. u were really helpful. I could not find this helpful article in any other site.
    God bless u

  6. Thank you very much, mp3tag worked like charm, after modifying the mp3 file, saved it. Then I could see the new image.

  7. hi to all, you need to save in mp3tag after you remove the cover. and it work also with multiple files. good luck

  8. Hi There. I have managed to change the image however when I play the mp3 it still shows the old image. Why is this

  9. Thank you! You really help me from getting pissed! Someone modified the album art of top 100 songs in spotify. He changed it with his fucking face!

  10. Hello,
    I am using Mp3tag for more than year and now I met with first problem in using this app. I add an album art for one song on my desktop (I had more songs on desktop but I didn’t add album art for them). I move all those songs to my pendrive.
    And here is the problem: when I play any song which is saved on my desktop (when I move it to folder not – when I back it to desktop – yes) it shows artwork from this one song but when I use mp3tag it doesn’t detect any album art on thoose files.
    Please help, it’s really annoying :(

  11. Aw Yeah! Many thnx! I wanted to experiment and add some own covers on songs. But it somehow turned out messed up! Thnx to this article it could be fixed! Many many thnx

  12. It is not necessary to remove Cover Art one by one. Here is what you can do in like in Batch-mode. Drag all the MP3 files that you have including that which does not have Cover Art into MP3Tag App. Then, Select all the music file by Cntl+A. Then, right click on Disc-like image below DiscNumber drop down menu. Select ‘Remove Cover’ and press Cntr+S.

  13. Thank you for your advise, didn’t have to delete anything, I did what you said and all album art is gone, before that every time I tried to delete it would just copy them.

  14. Thanks a lot. U made my day. was fed up with an image of a A****** coming up everytime i play a set of songs in my mob

  15. This still isn’t working. What do you do if the affected mp3 is not in a file. My problem is with the individual mp3’s that show up at the bottom of the library. They do not have their own files.

  16. Thanks a lot man… u made my day… i hv been searching for this for a long time… :-)

  17. Hi thanks for the info, you can remove all album cover at once too.
    select all files, right click on the picture box (no image will be displayed for multiple files) and remove cover.

  18. Thank you.. Just Thank you my friend. I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to find why these embedded tags weren’t going away. Met retards on the way, Unless I found you sir. Thank you for making my day. And also if you could suggest a good automatic album art tagger, like Gracenote for android phones. I’d be glad. Much thanks again!!

  19. There’s a step missing in the instructions. You have click “Save” each time in the Mp2tag remover after you’ve removed a cover or covers embedded in the MP3.

  20. THANK YOU so much. I was so annoyed with the stupid album art it seems everyone is trying to GET it and I am trying to get rid of it. I do not need to see some person’s face staring at me every time I play a song and it seems all MP3 players these days support pics and videos. I missed my old player until I found your very helpful thread.

  21. There has GOT to be a better way to remove the image embedded in an MP3. I’ve got literally thousands of MP3’s that have that annoying image, and removing them one by one by right clicking in MP3tag is not an acceptable option.

  22. You can also use a program like 7z (freeware) or any .zip or .rar files opener. Chose the 7z program and then search for the folder where you want to delete hidden picture files and that’s it, choose them and delete them. This is a better way if you don’t want to complecate your life by changing windows folder options.

  23. Thank you! Really big help! I don’t get why some dudes use their annoying photos as album art. I mean really. What’s up with that??

  24. I would like to add to this a bit. For the VLC player, whenever you add songs (containing album art) to a playlist, VLC copies and stores that album art inside an appdata folder for VLC. Even if you remove the album art from the songs themselves, the playlist will still have it.

    You have to make sure to edit the playlist file with a text editor and remove the references to that album art. Optionally, you can also remove the art itself in that appdata folder after doing this.

  25. Thank you – thank you & thank you again. Now when looking at my music files on my Dvico all the album art work does not come up. Thank you again

  26. super thanks!!!!…I hated the album art of my mp3s for the longest time because it was a pic of an ugly guy…brrrrr… ugly.. but now its gone! yay! :D

  27. Tried a few times, didn’t make it work, lazy album arts still shown on wd tv live.
    But after a few more tries with the folder options and pressing F5 to refresh the explorer view, album arts shown and deleted them all.
    Thank you..

    Btw, for batch removing of id tags from mp3’s to be able to view the names as you edited on win-amp, MP3tag works great..

  28. OK, it’s great advice, but I need to see these album arts in Windows Explorer. My problem is that my music (all my MP3s) have a cover art in their tags, but the explorer don’t show them. This problem is only with my MP3s, all other file types are fine. Can somebody help me?

  29. Thanks! I’ve been looking forever for how to remove those annoying albumarts.
    Worked really well and easy too :)

  30. I am using the MP3Tag but still the album art cover is not showing for some files. It still exists. And some files, though I delete the image, it still remains there. What do i do?

  31. Perfect! Finally got rid of those annoying covers that didn’t match the album. Also, great recommend on the idtag editor.

Comments are closed.