Apple originally debuted Live Photos in 2015, alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, marking it as a feature that enhances the smartphone's photography with pictures that move when a user performs a 3D Touch on them. With the launch of iOS 11, Live Photos can now be edited in a few useful ways, and this guide will help you make a new key photo (which shows up first in your Photo Album), as well as explain how to add new animation effects to a Live Photo.

To begin, taking a Live Photo hasn't changed with the new iPhone software: simply open your Camera app, tap the circular Live Photos icon at the top center of the screen, and take a picture.

Making a New Key Photo

how to edit live photo 1

  1. Open Photos.
  2. Tap the "Albums" tab, then navigate to the Live Photos album to find your image.
  3. Tap "Edit" in the top right corner of the image you select.
  4. At the bottom of the screen, scrub through your Live Photo and find the exact spot you want for a new Key Photo.
  5. Tap "Make Key Photo."
  6. Tap "Done."

Changing a Live Photo Effect

how to edit live photo 2

  1. Find the Live Photo you want to edit and select it.
  2. From the center of the screen, swipe up.
  3. Here you'll find three new Live Photo effects.
  4. Choose Loop, Bounce, or Long Exposure.
  5. Swipe down to see the effect in full screen.

Live Photos now have the full suite of editing options previously available to traditional still photos only, including: rotating, cropping, filters, and light and color balancing. You can also choose to mute the Live Photo (volume icon at the top left in edit mode), and automatically enhance it (wand icon at the top right in edit mode). Markup is one editing feature that does not support Live Photos, however.

After you choose a new Key Photo and find a new effect, you can replay your Live Photo like before by performing a 3D Touch action anywhere on the screen of an iPhone 6s device or later.

Related Forum: iOS 11

Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
57 months ago
I've discovered that if you pick a new "Key photo" in a live photo, the quality is quite a bit lower than the original "actual photo".

It seems the live photo video is taken in 4K on the iPhone 7, but 4K video is still less quality than a full resolution still photo. So be careful, and only pick a different "key photo" if the actual photo you took is useless.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
57 months ago
Isn’t only the picture itself taken as the photo while the rest is just video?
This would mean that choosing a new key photo would decrease the quality, wouldn’t it??
This is a good assumption to make, but I did wonder if Apple found a way to make the entire live photo full resolution, so I wanted to check for myself.

I confirmed that it's indeed not full resolution, like I expected. But Apple doesn't make this obvious so it's to everyone's benefit to be aware of the reduced quality when you change the key photo.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
unobtainium Avatar
57 months ago
None of the new effects are particularly useful. One of them should have been “export gif” since that’s what non-iOS 11 users can actually see. If you send a photo with the new effects to a non-iOS 11 user they get a short video clip. Lame.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ldubrov Avatar
57 months ago
When you export a Live Photo to, say, an email, it will export the JPEG of your selected Key Frame. Be advised that if you select any other frame except the original, you’ll get a 10 megapixel still of a video, which will be not as sharp as the original Key Frame. AirDrop and iMessage will send the full Live Image.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ldubrov Avatar
57 months ago
That’s unfortunate. The 10 MP resolution indicates that the iPhone 8 still uses the pic + video for live images. Ah well.

Also, you can mute a live image: edit, and click the audio button in top left corner.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...