How to Turn off Live Photos on iPhone and iPad

Live Photos is an iPhone and iPad camera feature that captures a 3-second (1.5 seconds before and after) moving image. A Live Photo is different from a still photo. Live Photos are not videos but they are three seconds of video and sound.

The Live Photo setting is the default camera setting. Meaning it is enabled by default.

You may want to turn off Live Photos for various reasons. For example, they take up approximately twice the space of a normal photo. Thus, you may want to disable it to save some space. This article explains how you can turn off this feature. There are three different ways to turn this off:

  1. You can turn this feature off (or on) when you want to take photos. However, this solution may not be ideal for you as the Camera app will turn on Live Photos automatically again when you open the app. This is a temporary solution.
  2. You can turn off Live Photos permanently. If you do this, the Camera app will not turn on Live Photos. You can disable this if you want.
  3. You can also turn off Live Photos for existing pictures.

1. How to turn off Live Photos Temporarily

Follow the steps:

  1. Open the Camera App on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Locate the Live Photo icon. It is located at the top of your Camera that looks like a bullseye with three concentric circles.
  3. Tap this icon. When you turn it off, a line slashed across the icon means it is disabled.
  4. You can enable and disable the feature by tapping the Live Photos icon at any time while you are taking photos.

The negative thing about this method is that the Camera app will turn on Live Photos, usually when you open Camera. See the next method for a permanent method.

Turn off Live Photos in Camera

2. How to turn off Live Photos permanently

The good news is that you can preserve your camera settings so that the Camera app will not turn on this feature automatically. Here is how:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Camera.
  3. Tap Preserve Settings.
  4. And toggle Live Photo to the ON position.

Now what this setting will do is that your iPhone or iPad will preserve the Live Photo setting to off or on. If you turn off Live Photos, it will stay that way.

Live Photos Preserve Settings

3. How to turn off the Live Photo features in photos you’ve already taken

Another good news is that you can turn off Live Photos for pictures you’ve already taken. For example, you may want to do this before sharing. When you do this, your Live Photo will look like a regular photo. Here is how:

There two methods:

Method 1:

  • Open Photos on your iPhone or iPad. Find the image that you want to edit (please note that you can find all of your Live Photos by going to Albums > scroll down and Media Types > Live Photos).
  • Tap the Edit button in the top right.
  • Tap the Live Photos icon at the bottom.
  • Tap the yellow LIVE button at the top (it will turn white) and tap Done.
  • Now it is a standard photo.
Edit Live Photos

However, doing so does not really remove the Live Photo status. It just removes the sound and animation and the photo appears to be a standard, normal, still photo. This means that this photo will still continue to take up a lot of space. The good thing is that you can change this back. Meaning you can turn on Live Photos for the photos you edited to turn off the Live Photos effect. Simply open the image and this time tap the white LIVE button and tap Done.

Method 2:

The above method may not work for you if you want to turn a lot of Live Photos back into regular photos. But do not worry there is another way.

Please note that you can disable Live Photo features in multiple photos at once. Here is how:

  • Find the Live Photos you want to edit. Use the Live Photos album.
  • Tap Select in the top right corner.
  • Tap each photo that you want to edit. You can use the Select All button if you want to edit them all.
  • Tap the Share icon.
  • Choose Duplicate. A message will appear saying “You can duplicate these Live Photos, or just duplicate the still photos”. Tap Duplicate as Still Photos.
  • Your photos will be duplicated. Duplicated ones are the still photos. Since they are not now Live Photos, you cannot find them in the Live Photos album. Go to the Recents albums to find them.
Duplicate as still

See also:

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University.

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