Take and edit Live Photos

Capture photos that come alive when you touch them. Then you can pick a different key photo, add a fun effect, edit your Live Photo and share with your family and friends.

With Live Photos, your iPhone records what happens 1.5 seconds before and after you take a picture. What you get is more than a great photo; it's a moment captured with movement and sound. You take a Live Photo just like you do a traditional photo.

How to take a Live Photo

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. Make sure that your Camera is set to photo mode and that Live Photos is turned on. When it's on, you see the Live Photo button  at the top of your Camera.
  3. Hold your device* still.
  4. Tap the shutter button .

Live Photos is on by default. You can turn Live Photos off temporarily or permanently.

How to find and play your Live Photos

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Tap the Albums tab.
  3. Scroll down to Media Types and tap Live Photos.
  4. Tap one of the photos to open it.
  5. Press and hold the screen to play the Live Photo.

You can enjoy your Live Photo every time you unlock your device too. Just set it as your Lock screen wallpaper.

How to change the key photo

  1. Open the Live Photo.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap the Live Photos button .
  4. Move the slider to change the frame.
  5. Release your finger, then tap Make Key Photo.
  6. Tap Done.

You can also toggle the Live Photo effect between off and on. When you're editing a Live Photo, tap the LIVE button at the top of the screen to turn Live Photo off or back on.

How to add Live Photo effects

  1. Open the Live Photo.
  2. Swipe up until you see Effects.
  3. Choose Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure.

Loop: Turn a Live Photo you love into a video loop. Choose an image yourself, or look in the For You tab to see photos that would make great loops.

Bounce: Make your Live Photo rock back and forth. Watch your Live Photo as it happened, then it instantly plays in reverse.

Long Exposure: Capture the elements of time and movement. Create a beautiful effect that used to be possible only with a DSLR camera. Fireworks become bright streaks across the night sky. A waterfall becomes a magical blur.

How to edit Live Photos

  1. Open the Photos app and tap the Photos tab.
  2. Tap the Live Photo that you want to edit.
  3. Tap Edit, then make your adjustments.
  4. When you've finished, tap Done.

If you edit your Live Photo in a third-party app, you might lose any Live Photo effects that you've applied.

How to share your Live Photos

  1. Open the photo that you want to share, then tap the Share button .
  2. If you want to share the still photo and not the Live Photo, tap Live in the upper-left corner.
  3. Choose how you want to share your photo. Note that if you share via Mail, the Live Photo is sent as a still image.

When you receive a Live Photo on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch via Messages, tap the photo to open it, then firmly press and hold to see it come to life.

If you're using Messages on your Mac, double-click the Live Photo to open it. The Live Photo plays through once. To play it again, click the LIVE button in the bottom-left corner of the photo.

How to turn off Live Photos

Tap the Live Photos button  to turn off Live Photos. A slash through the Live Photos button means the feature is off.

The Camera app turns Live Photos on again automatically. To keep Live Photos off permanently, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Camera > Preserve Settings.
  3. Make sure that the switch next to Live Photos is turned on.

Learn more

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