How to Disable or Enable Live Photos on iPhone Camera

Oct 4, 2015 - 28 Comments

Turn Live Photos On, on iPhone Camera

Live Photos are a notable camera feature of the new iPhone, which basically allow a typically still photo to transform into a short movie clip instead, with live action from a second before and after the picture was taken with the iPhone Camera. This is definitely an interesting feature of the new iPhone Cameras and it’s particularly well suited for taking pictures of people and animals, but not all users are interested in using the Live Photos ability. Additionally, since each Live Photo is basically a tiny movie clip, they take up more storage space than usual on the iPhone.

But not everyone likes Live Photos, and some iPhone users may find it annoying to frustrating to discover so many of their pictures are basically little photo movies.

If you’d like to disable Live Photos ability on the iPhone, or turn it back on again, you’ll find it’s very easy to toggle the live action photography feature directly from the Camera app.

How to Turn Live Photos ON or OFF on iPhone Camera

You’ll need an iPhone 6s or iPhone SE or newer to have the Live Photo feature available:

  1. Open the Camera from either the iPhone lock screen or the Camera app
  2. From the Photo view, tap the little concentric circle icon near the top (or side) of the screen to toggle Live Photos ON or OFF
    • If the concentric dotted circle is in yellow, the Live Photos feature is ON
    • If the concentric dotted circle is in white, the Live Photos feature is OFF
  3. Take your pictures as usual

Turning Live Photos OFF or ON on iPhone Camera

The Live Photo toggle works beyond just the current picture, meaning if you turn Live Photos off, all future pictures won’t use the Live Photo capture until it has been enabled again. Similarly, if Live Photos is turned into the On position, all pictures will capture live until it’s turned off again. This is quite useful, and in direct contrast to the HDR toggle, which turns itself off constantly regardless of how many times you turn it back on again.

Keep in mind that turning the Live Photo feature on or off again won’t have any impact on existing Live Photo images, whether in your photo library or used on the lock screen of your iPhone.

Why is My iPhone Taking Video Pictures? How do I disable the Live Photo Camera Recording?

If your iPhone is taking pictures that are short little video clips, that means your iPhone is taking Live Photos with its camera because the feature is enabled.

Toggling the Live Photos feature OFF will turn off the video pictures and take a regular picture. As the instructions above state, opening the camera and tapping on the little concentric dotted circle button will disable the Live Photos photo video picture feature on iPhone.

Disable Live Photos on iPhone

Likewise, turning the Live Photo feature ON will re-enable the short little video pictures known as Live Photos.

A live photo

(Above animated gif picture via CultOfMac)

Of course, at the moment you will need either the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone Se, iPhone 7, or better, as those are the devices which support the Live Photos feature on their cameras currently. With that said, you can expect this feature to stick around for future iPhone releases going forward.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Wharf Xanadu says:

    I find live photo to be a gimmick. Takes up a lot of storage and it may reduce photo quality or so it seems.

  2. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Also. How do you share a live photo? I send them and they go as regular pictures. Can’t share them. Maybe we need an Instagram for Live Photos.

    • 49ers says:

      You can send a Live Photos from Messages app, as long as the recipient has iOS 9 or OS X 10.11, they can see the Live Photos as a Live Photo. If you send it to a user on older release, it will be a still picture.

  3. Tux says:

    Isn’t apples live photos just a reinvented gif image? The innovation is leaking out of apple. It can’t be contained.

  4. auto oglasi says:

    Well, you have options to enable or disable I think it’s ok.

  5. mrjayviper says:

    not even sure why some things like on-all-the-time Siri and live pictures are exclusive to the 6s phones. seems 6 (which I have) can do it.

  6. Rhoda says:

    So I went through all Live Photos that I didn’t need/want to be live and did a tiny edit. This will take off existing live pics.

  7. Mikayla says:

    I have iphone 6s but no live on my camera what can i do to get it ?

  8. Yessenia says:

    1. Update

    2.settings>General>Reset>Reset all settings.

    3. Last resort. Restore iPhone. Make sure you set up as new first to make sure created backup was not affected. If it works thenow restore from backup

    • Nopetity says:

      Resetting your iPhone will not disable or enable Live Photos on the camera, resetting the iPhone erases the device and has no impact on the camera or Live Photo settings.

  9. waqas says:

    My iPhone camera is disapear after update software

  10. Julius says:

    How to have or to activate the new live video on facebook? For IOS my phone is iphone 5s but i dont have that icon why?

  11. On the iphone 6+ there is no “Live” next to the “HDR” setting, where else can it be enabled?

  12. Love says:

    I bought an iphone 6s plus but no live photos effect?how can i find it?

  13. Kben says:

    Permanently disable live photo? I am really tired of it sucking up all my memory. Each time I turn the camera back on, it is enabled and that’s a big P I A!

  14. Phil says:

    Kben. I agree. Everytime you turn the camera on, “Live” is on. Pain in the backside. HOW DO YOU TURN IT PERMANENTLY OFFFFFFFF

  15. Phil says:

    Seek and ye shall find. Go into. Settings. Photos and camera. Preserve settings. And change that

  16. Martha says:

    I have the iPhone 6 and I can’t find the live photo icon. Plz help! I have done everything mention here and can’t find it !! HELP plz

  17. MM says:

    I have the 7+ and no Live Photo. Any clue why? Is there another feature on the phone if adjusted turns it off or something. Can’t done it anywhere

  18. Abel Angeles says:

    I have an iPhone 6+ 128 GB
    Supposedly in various sites says I should be able to have live pictures for this model.
    It’s been updated now for 11.1 and I never seen the live icon.
    What can I do to install it?

  19. Supermongie says:

    I have the 6+ too, without Live Photo icon.
    Probably region specific?!

  20. Bob says:

    I go into setting my Settings. Photos and camera. Preserve settings and it still comes back on. This is getting to be a real problem as I take 300+ photos some days and I don’t see it come on sometimes because I’m focusing on the subject, then I cannot use sometimes a once in a lifetime photo in my webpages. I need to turn this OFF AND STAY OFF unless I personally turn it back on. Any way to do that?

  21. Rick says:

    What a useless space wasting option. Needs to be defaulted to off. Useless!

  22. Alan says:

    Here is how you disable Live Photo HDR. Go to:

    Settings>Camera>Preserve Settings>Live Photo>

    Then slide the toggle to On so it is green.

    “PRESERVE the Live Photo SETTING, rather than AUTOMATICALLY RESET to Live Photo turned on.”

    If it keeps coming back on take your phone to the Apple store and talk to a genius.

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