How to Remove Album Art Images Embedded In MP3 Files?

Have you 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 the hard disk? Also, does the cover image appear in 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.

Remove Album Art from MP3 Files

The thumbnail image can come from JPG album art images (super-hidden) within that folder or 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:

  1. Press Win + R to launch the Run dialog.
  2. Type control folders and hit Enter.
  3. Click the View tab
  4. Enable “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.”
  5. Uncheck Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)

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

Does the Album art still appear?

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, which supports Windows 7 through Windows 10.

Select one or multiple mp3 files in Mp3tag.

Right-click on the image and click Remove cover.

Note: There can be more than one image for each mp3 file. Do this for every image if you’ve selected an individual mp3 file. However, if you’ve selected multiple files and clicked on the Remove cover option, it removes all the cover art images from all the mp3 files. This bulk removal method is very handy!

From the File menu, click Save tag.

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 ID3) for the image that’s already embedded onto the mp3 file.

The above are the available options.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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

  1. 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?

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

  3. 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?

  4. 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..

  5. 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! 😀

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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??

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!!

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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 🙁

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

  21. 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?

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. Great help! The art was interfering with mp3’s I use in my marathon running. I almost felt like I hit a brick wall when J had to stop to skip through the album art! Now I can enjoy the run the whole way through! Thank you!

  25. Thanks so much for sharing this. it works, but when playing the mp3 the cover images is still shown what can cause this

  26. If the album art is still appearing in Windows Media Player do the following:

    Type: control folders
    Press Enter
    Click “View”
    Click the dot for “Show hidden files, folder, and drives
    Uncheck the box for “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
    Next on the bottom right pres “Apply” then “OK”

    Next click on your (C:) drive if that is where your user account is located and click the following in order to get to the album art cache:
    Media Player
    Art Cache
    LocalMLS (this is where the album art cache is)

    Next delete the album art you don’t want and delete it from the Recycle Bin, refresh the folder or restart your computer if it still isn’t disappearing when you go to play the mp3 and it should be gone. If not, make sure you have deleted all the hidden album art files in the folder where the mp3 is located.

  27. How I use MP3TAG to remove two or more thumbnail images from an mp3 music. I do the following exactly to have perfect result. In your folder of mp3 files, click to select all mp3 files you want to work on. Some mp3 files may not have thumbnail or cover art, you can still drag them over as they will not have any effect. Again Select all music files by highlight them or by Ctrl+A then drag onto MP3TAG WORK SPACE . Again, drag selected files onto work space.
    Then with cursor in workspace hit Ctrl-A to select all files on workspace then notice that square bottom left turns blank with a blank disc image.
    Then, put cursor over that image then right click on that Disc image in large SQUARE in lower left corner, to see when you RIGHT CLICK popup with option to REMOVE COVER (means thumbnail) so click Remove Cover.
    After that while leaving cursor over the disc square, you MUST HIT ctrl – S to SAVE and see popup showing progress of removing covers.
    Then to clear mp3s from workspace as changes made to actual files in their folder, click a blank area in workspace then select all again or Ctrl A then hit Delete key.
    Note – assure you select Remove Cover and press Ctrl+S to Save result – and – SEE A POPUP showing progress of removing cover thumbnail art. Then as mp3s still on workspace, do Select all using Ctl-A, then click Delete key to clear workspace.
    Sorry if any typos as english not my first language.

  28. Awesome my friend. This solved a pesky image problem embedded in some of the tracks in my music collections. Appreciate your help.

  29. This is fantastic, I have 2500+ unique tracks in a folder in the car, the family keep changing the source when I’m not in the car, I changed all the cover art to a picture of my car, now I just glance at the in car screen to see if it’s my stuff playing, as we share a few tracks across several folders I dontt always know right away if it’s my folder playing, but now I do, and the bonus is the never changing art work drives the kids mad, hey it’s my job, I’m a dad !!


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