Apple's Live Photos, introduced in 2015, are photos that capture 1.5 seconds of video before and after you take a picture, with the aim of adding a little bit of life and movement to still images.


When you take a photo with an iPhone, not every shot comes out crisp and clear, but with Live Photos, if you get a blurry image, you can open it up and see if other frames you captured are clearer. If so, you can choose a new "key photo," aka the main photo that you see in your camera roll. Here's how:

  1. Open up the Photos app.
  2. Choose a Live Photo.
  3. Tap on "Edit" in the upper right hand corner of the display.
  4. Using the photo navigation bar at the bottom of the image, tap the thumbnails to browse through the frames captured for the Live Photo.
  5. If you find a better still, tap on "Make Key Photo" to select it.
  6. If you like your original still image best, tap "Cancel" to exit out of the editing interface.

Once you've selected a new frame and tapped on "Make Key Photo," the new still image selected from the photo will be the main image that you see in your camera roll and the image that's sent if you share the photo with someone else.

Selecting a key photo from a Live Photo is a feature that was introduced in iOS 11, so to edit your photos and choose a new main photo, you'll need an iOS device that's running iOS 11. You can also make these edits on a Mac running macOS High Sierra.

It's worth noting that choosing a new key photo from a Live Photo does change the resolution a bit and lowers the overall quality of the photo. On a standard iPhone X, for example, a regular shot is 4032 x 3024, but when changing the key photo, that drops to 3662 x 2744.

Top Rated Comments

zorinlynx Avatar
56 months ago
Just a warning; this may seem obvious but a lot of people won't realize it.

If you choose a new key photo in a live photo, the new photo will essentially be a video frame grab rather than an actual photo. The resolution is a bit lower and the photo won't be as clear. This is even worse on older devices that can't do 4K video. Therefore it's only worth using this feature if the original photo is complete garbage and a frame from the live photo's video is much better.

The best way to take multiple photos of a moving subject and pick the best shot is to use burst mode, as this takes a full quality photo for each shot.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
56 months ago
Oh, do people actually use the Live Photo’s settings?
I switch it off on every device/every software update.
If I want a video, I’ll use the video function.
It’s actually really cool to use. It’s great for kids for obvious reasons but also great because when you do the Memories videos and such it’ll use the video part and still. I never thought I would like Live Photo but I end up liking it a lot. Of course I turn off the high compression options and use mp4 instead of their hevc/heif.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
56 months ago
Additional info on this:

1. Selecting a new key photo purges HDR data and can completely ruin a snapshot helped by the HDR setting. Haven’t found a fix, and would welcome hearing about one.

2. You can also do this in macOS/Photos but, as I found out recently, not under El Cap, which I’m still running. Need Sierra or better.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 2

Apple's AR/VR Headset Nearing Completion as Board Gets Demo

Thursday May 19, 2022 9:52 am PDT by
Apple last week demonstrated its upcoming AR/VR headset to Apple board members, indicating that the device is in an advanced stage of development and could see a debut in the not too distant future, reports Bloomberg. Apple has also ramped up development of the software that runs on the headset, with that software expected to be called "RealityOS," or rOS for short. Render via designer Ian ...