How to Convert a Live Photo to a Still Photo on iPhone

Wondering, “How do I turn off a Live Photo?” If a Live Photo you take captures a bit of video or audio you do not want, you can convert the Live Photo to a still image and keep or delete the original.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
June 9, 2022

Wondering, “How do I turn off a Live Photo?” If a Live Photo you take captures a bit of video or audio you do not want, you can convert the Live Photo to a still image and keep or delete the original. Let’s explore how to change a Live Photo to a still picture.

This is for the iPhone

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Can you save a still from a Live Photo? Yes! It’s easy to save a Live Photo as still and keep the Live Photo intact. This is helpful if you plan to edit a Live Photo but do not want to lose the live version, or if you just want to save iPhone storage.

First, Open the Photos App. Refer to the below image:

Accessing the Photos app

Next, tap the Albums tab, then scroll to the bottom and tap Live Photos. See the below image:

Accessing the Live Photos option

Now, tap the Live Photo you want to turn into a still, then tap the Share icon. See the following image:

Selecting the Share icon

Next, scroll down and tap Duplicate. Refer to the below image.

Still Photo 3
Selecting the Duplicate option

Now, tap Duplicate as Still Photo. See the below image:

Selecting Duplicate as Still Photo option

Next, if you want to delete the Live or Still photo, locate it, and tap the Trash icon in the lower right-hand corner. See the following image:

Deleting the photo

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How to Disable Taking Live Photos on iPhone

By default, modern iPhones capture small videos called Live Photos every time you take a picture with the Camera app. These Live Photos take up a lot of expensive storage space, and if you do not use them, they could be wasting your money.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
June 7, 2022

By default, modern iPhones capture small videos called Live Photos every time you take a picture with the Camera app. These Live Photos take up a lot of expensive storage space, and if you do not use them, they could be wasting your money. Let’s explore what you should do instead.

This is for the iPhone

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Storage Space is Expensive

If you regularly enjoy taking and sharing Live Photos, they are not a waste of space. Live Photos are a neat feature. But if you never use them, you are storing a lot of unnecessary data that could be costing you money.

Storage space comes at a premium in the Apple universe, with larger storage sizes on iPhones often costing hundreds of dollars more than the lower-end models. You pay more for larger iCloud storage as well which holds your iCloud Photo backups.

An Apple Live Photo captures three seconds of audio and video in addition to a still photo. Typically, a video takes up more space than a still photo because it incorporates many still photo frames and audio as well.

Taking test photos on an iPhone 13 we examined the Live Photo file sizes. The still photo part of a typical Live Photo was about 5 megabytes, and the video file was about 8 megabytes, totaling 13 megabytes for a complete Live Photo. Multiply that out by the thousands of photos people usually store on their devices, and the 8 MB of extra video data adds up quickly. If you take 1000 live photos at 13 megabytes each, that’s 13 gigabytes of space. If you take 1000 still photos instead (at 5 megabytes each), that would only take up 5 gigabytes of space. You have saved 8 gigabytes of wasted space by turning off Live Photos.

Disable Taking Live Photos

Apple makes it easy to disable Live Photos, but the process is still somewhat confusing.

First, open the Camera app and make sure you are in “Photo” mode (not “Video” or “Portrait,” for example).

Next, locate the Live Photo button on the toolbar, which looks like three concentric circles (one of which is a dotted circle). This will disable Live Photo for this session, and you can confirm it when you see the Live Off message and a slash through the Live Photo icon. Refer to the below image:

Live Photo 1
Live Photo is off

Now, this change is only temporary; for now. By default, the next time you re-launch the Camera app, the Live Photo feature will turn back on automatically. To make sure it stays off, you will need to toggle a switch in Settings.

Next, to make the necessary change, open the Settings app, which you can usually find on your Home screen. See the below image:

Live Photo 2
Accessing Settings

Now, In Settings, navigate to:

Camera > Preserve Settings

See the following image:

Live Photo 3
Accessing the Preserve Settings option

Next, scroll down and toggle the switch beside Live Photo to the OFF position. Refer to the below image:

Live Photo 4
Accessing the Live Photo option

This switch makes the Camera app preserve your Live Photo on or off setting between sessions. So if you turn it off and relaunch the Camera app later, Live Photo will still be off the next time.

(If you change your mind, you can still manually turn Live Photos to ON at any time by tapping the Live Photo icon on the toolbar in Camera.)

After a while of taking normal still photos, you will notice that they do not take up as much space as Live Photos, and that means you will have room for even more photos on your iPhone (and in your iCloud Drive). If you already have thousands of Live Photos stored, there’s no easy way to convert them all to still photos to save space. You can do the conversion process one at a time, however.

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How to Extract an Image From a Live Photo on iPhone

If you have ever taken a Live Photo on your iPhone,it has basically created a short video clip attached to an image. If you do not like the resulting photo (or want to use a different one), it is possible to extract a different photo from the video clip that you can save or share

If you have ever taken a Live Photo on your iPhone it has basically created a short video clip attached to an image. If you do not like the resulting photo (or want to use a different one), it is possible to extract a different photo from the video clip that you can save or share. Let us explore how to do this.

This is for the iPhone

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Edit a Live Photo

First, open the Photos app. Browse your photos until you find the Live Photo you would like to work on. Tap it to view it in detail. Now, tap the Edit button in the upper-right corner of your screen. Refer to below image:

Still Image 1
Accessing the Edit icon

Next, on the Edit screen, tap the Live Photo icon near the bottom of the screen; the one that looks like three concentric circles. See below image:

Still Image 2
Accessing the Live Photo icon

Extract an Image

A filmstrip will appear just below the photo. Drag your finger along the filmstrip until you find the image that you would like to extract. You will be making this the Key Photo, or the one you want to visually represent the Live Photo when viewed in the Photos app.

Now, lift your finger from the film strip, then tap the Make Key Photo pop-up. See following image:

Still Image 3
Accessing Make Key Photo option

The Key Photo will be set. Next, tap Done to leave the Edit screen. Refer to below image:

Still Image 3
Save your changes

When you return to the photo detail screen, notice that the image has changed to the one you selected.

Duplicate the Live Photo

To extract the image while leaving the original Live Photo intact, we are going to duplicate it.

First, tap the Share button which looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward out of it at the bottom left hand corne of your screen. See below image:

Still Image 5
Accessing the Share button

Next, in the Share menu, swipe down and tap Duplicate. See following image:

Still Image 6
Accessing the Duplicate option

Next, from the pop-up, tap Duplicate as Still Photo. Refer to below image:

Still Image 7
Selecting make a Duplicate as Still Photo

Revert Back to Original

After that, a new duplicate photo of the key frame you picked will appear in your Photos library just beside the original Live Photo.

If you would like, you can also return to your original Live Photo. On the photo, tap Edit again, then tap Revert to restore the Live Photo to its original settings.

The resolution of the extracted photo may not match that of a typical still photo on the iPhone. That’s because you have just extracted a still frame from a video, and Apple devices record video frames at a lower resolution than still photos.

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How to Tweet a Live Photo as a GIF

Starting with the iPhone 6s series, taking a Live Photo is on your device. This tip applies to iPhone and iPad.

This is for iPhone, iPad and Mac or similar devices.\

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 Photo is turned on. When it’s on, you see the Live Photo button (3 concentric circles icon) highlighted at the top of your Camera.
  3. Hold your device still
  4. Tap the shutter button

Live Photo is on by default. If you want to take a still image, tap the Live Photo button to turn off Live Photo. You can preserve your Camera settings so that Live Photo is always on or off. Go to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings.

Tweet Your Live Photo as a GIF

  1. Open your Twitter app
  2. In the bottom right hand corner, tap on the Compose button. Its icon features a feather encased in a blue circle.
  3. Locate and tap on your Live Photo in the quick-access image bar. You should see the Live icon overlayed on the thumbnail. If you are unable to find the Live Photo, select the Gallery button and then tap on your desired image.
  4. With the Live Photo loaded into the Tweet preview, tap on the “GIF” button found in the lower left hand corner. The Live Photo will be converted into a GIF and will play. You can select the Play button that appears when it stops to see the animation again.
  5. Type a brief message to go along with your GIF and tap the Tweet button.

That’s it. You are done.

How to find and play your Live Photos

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Go to the Photos tab
  3. Tap the Live Photo
  4. Firmly press the screen and hold

Also, you can Edit or add Effects to your Live Photo by tapping the appropriate option.

What if you want to transform a Live Photo to a static photo?

Instructions are for iOS 13:

  1. Open your Photos app
  2. Select the Live Photo
  3. Tap Edit
  4. Tap the Live Photo icon at bottom of the screen from the available actions
  5. Tap the Live Photo icon at the top of the screen so that it is not enabled
  6. Tap Done

Now, if you press hard on the photo, you won’t see any movement. You can always restore a Live Photo that you’ve edited by following those steps and tapping the icon to highlight it.

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Please feel free to leave a comment. I would love hearing from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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