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9.0.0 • Public • Published

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A node module to rotate JPEG images based on EXIF orientation.

What does it do

This module applies the right orientation to a JPEG image, based on its EXIF tag. More precisely, it:

  • Rotates the pixels
  • Rotates the thumbnail, if there is one
  • Writes 1 in the Orientation EXIF tag (this is the default orientation)
  • Updates the PixelXDimension and PixelYDimension EXIF values
  • Does not alter the other EXIF tags

It may be useful, if:

  • You need to compress your image with a tool that strips EXIF data without rotating the pixels (like the great ImageOptim)
  • You need to upload the image, but the destination application does not support EXIF orientation (like WordPress)
  • You just want to get rid of the orientation tag, while leaving the other tags intact

More information about EXIF:


This module needs Node >=14.

Install with npm:

$ npm install jpeg-autorotate --global
# --global isn't required if you plan to use the node module



Option Default value Description
quality 100 Quality of the JPEG. Uncompressed by default, so the resulting image may be bigger than the original one.
jpegjsMaxResolutionInMP jpeg-js default maxResolutionInMP option in jpeg-js (doc)
jpegjsMaxMemoryUsageInMB jpeg-js default maxMemoryUsageInMB option in jpeg-js (doc)


Rotate a single image:

$ jpeg-autorotate /Users/johan/IMG_1234.jpg

Rotate a set of images:

$ jpeg-autorotate /Users/johan/images/IMG_*.jpg

Glob support:

$ jpeg-autorotate "/Users/johan/images/IMG_*.{jpg,jpeg,JPG,JPEG}"

Passing options:

$ jpeg-autorotate /Users/johan/IMG_1234.jpg --quality=85 --jpegjsMaxResolutionInMP=1234

Node module

The Node module will load the image, apply the rotation, and return the binary data as a Buffer, allowing you to:

  • Save it on disk
  • Load it in an image processing module (like jimp, lwip, gm...)
  • ...

Sample usage

const jo = require('jpeg-autorotate')
const options = {
  quality: 8,
  jpegjsMaxResolutionInMP: 1234,
const path = '/Users/johan/IMG_1234.jpg' // You can use a Buffer too

// With a callback:
jo.rotate(path, options, (error, buffer, orientation, dimensions, quality) => {
  if (error) {
    console.log('An error occurred when rotating the file: ' + error.message)
  console.log(`Orientation was ${orientation}`)
  console.log(`Dimensions after rotation: ${dimensions.width}x${dimensions.height}`)
  console.log(`Quality: ${quality}`)
  // ...Do whatever you need with the resulting buffer...

// With a Promise:
jo.rotate(path, options)
  .then(({buffer, orientation, dimensions, quality}) => {
    console.log(`Orientation was ${orientation}`)
    console.log(`Dimensions after rotation: ${dimensions.width}x${dimensions.height}`)
    console.log(`Quality: ${quality}`)
    // ...Do whatever you need with the resulting buffer...
  .catch((error) => {
    console.log('An error occurred when rotating the file: ' + error.message)

Error handling

The error object returned by the module contains a readable message, but also a code for better error handling. Available codes are the following:

const jo = require('jpeg-autorotate')

jo.errors.read_file // File could not be opened
jo.errors.read_exif // EXIF data could not be read
jo.errors.no_orientation // No orientation tag was found
jo.errors.unknown_orientation // The orientation tag is unknown
jo.errors.correct_orientation // The image orientation is already correct
jo.errors.rotate_file // An error occurred when rotating the image


const jo = require('jpeg-autorotate')
  .catch((error) => {
    if (error.code === jo.errors.correct_orientation) {
      console.log('The orientation of this image is already correct!')


Thumbnail too large

The piexifjs module has a 64kb limit when reading thumbnails. If you get the Given thumbnail is too large error, you can try to remove the thumbnail from the image before rotating it:

import piexif from 'piexifjs'

function deleteThumbnailFromExif(imageBuffer) {
  const imageString = imageBuffer.toString('binary')
  const exifObj = piexif.load(imageString)
  delete exifObj['thumbnail']
  delete exifObj['1st']
  const exifBytes = piexif.dump(exifObj)
  return Buffer.from(piexif.insert(exifBytes, imageString), 'binary')


This project uses semver.

Version Date Notes
9.0.0 2023-02-11 Drop Node 12 support
8.0.1 2022-01-10 Remove colors package from dependencies
8.0.0 2021-11-12 Node 16 support
Drop support for Node 10
7.1.1 2020-10-11 Introduce code coverage
Fix an error if options are not passed
7.1.0 2020-10-10 Introduce jpegjsMaxResolutionInMP & jpegjsMaxMemoryUsageInMB options (#26)
7.0.0 2020-09-19 Don't publish test and linting files on NPM
6.0.0 2020-05-30 Dependencies update
Drop support for Node < 10
From jpeg-js update: images larger than 100 megapixels or requiring more than 512MB of memory to decode will throw
5.0.3 2019-12-24 Fix multiple file support in CLI
Dependencies update
5.0.2 2019-09-28 Dependencies update
5.0.1 2019-06-08 Fix CLI support
5.0.0 2019-03-03 Drop --jobs CLI option
Drop support for Node 6 & 7
Introduce new quality property in the jo.rotate callback
Public API now supports both callbacks and Promises
Update documentation accordingly
Update dependencies
4.0.1 2018-11-29 Fix rotations 5 and 7 (issue #11)
4.0.0 2018-07-15 Drop support for Node 4 & 5
Unpublish lockfile
Use prettier for code formatting
Update documentation
Update dependencies
3.1.0 2017-12-03 Output dimensions after rotation
3.0.1 2017-07-30 Node 8 support
Update dependencies
3.0.0 2017-02-11 CLI supports glob
No more node 0.12 support
Drop semicolons
Add eslint rules
2.0.0 2016-06-03 Supports buffers in entry
Returns a buffer even if there was an error
Improves tests
1.1.0 2016-04-23 Adds test suite, removes lwip dependency
1.0.3 2016-03-29 Displays help when no path given in CLI
1.0.2 2016-03-21 Adds missing options in CLI help
1.0.1 2016-03-21 Fixes NPM publishing fail ^_^
1.0.0 2016-03-21 Initial version


This project is released under the MIT License.


Bug reports and feature requests are welcome! More details in the contribution guidelines.


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