Live Photos – All Things You Need to Know

Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by Peter Wood

Many customers prefer iPhones because of the advanced camera technology. And Apple engaged in developing and upgrading camera hardware and software consistently. Live Photos is one of the advanced camera features on the iPhone 6s. With the Live Photos feature, users could capture movement and sound one second and a half. iPhone 6s will save the movement and sound as animated pictures rather than videos. That is amazing because a picture uses less space. Considering it as a new technology, many people still feel confused about Live Photos. Therefore, we will introduce all the necessary things you should know about this new iPhone feature.

Live Photos

Part 1. How to take Live Photos

Before learning to capture Live Photos, you should understand how iPhone produces Live Photos. You can catch a 3-second video and audio with this iPhone feature. And it will turn the video into 1.5 seconds of living memories. When you want to take a live photo, follow the steps below.

Step 1. Unlock your iPhone and go to the Camera app on the home screen.

Step 2. Set to Photo Mode in the Camera app and hold your iPhone still.

Step 3. When you are ready, tap the big circle button and take a live photo.

Once you tap the shutter button, the built-in camera will capture the moment before and after. In another word, the moment you hit the shutter button is the mid-point of the live photo.

take Live Photos

Part 2. How to turn on or turn off Live Photos

Live Photos feature is on by default on iPhone 6s and later. If you want to switch to still-image mode, it is simple to operate.

Step 1. Go to the Camera app; press the Live Photos icon on top of the screen to turn it off.

Step 2. Open the Settings app on home screen and locate Photos & Camera.

Step 3. Hit the Preserve Settings option on the right side and turn on the Camera Mode. It is in still-image mode when you open the Camera app next time.

Step 4. If you want to turn on Live Photos, you need to hit the Live Photos icon in the Camera app again.

turn on or turn off Live Photos

Part 3. How to view and edit live photos on iOS

After taking a live photo, you may want to look at it immediately.

Step 1. Go to the Photos app on your iPhone and open the Photos.

Step 2. Find out the live photo you took and tap it.

Step 3. Firmly press our screen and hold. You can see the photos come to life.

Like still images, you can edit the live photos on your iPhone. If you edit the live image in third-party apps, the Live Photo effect will lose.

Step 1. Access the Photos app on the home screen and go to the Photos.

Step 2. Tap the live photo you’d like to edit and hit the edit icon on top of the screen.

Step 3. You can crop the live photo, adjust its light and color, or add filters on it as you wish.

Live Photos is only available on iPhone 6s or later, so you cannot take a live photo on iPhone 5. But if your friends capture a live image and share it with you, you can see the live image on any older iPhone and iPad. Ensure the older iPhone or iPad has been updated to iOS 9 or later. When receiving the live photo, you can keep it as an animation.

edit live photos

Part 4. How to view and edit live photos on Windows and Mac

How to view and convert live photos on Windows 7/8/10/11? WidsMob HEIC is the desired program to manage the live photos from your iPhone. It not only enables you to view the live photos on Windows, but also convert live photos to animated GIF, JPG, TIFF, and PNG. Moreover, there are some basic editing features to resize the photos, rotate the live photos, or adjust the photo quality.

  1. Preview the live photos in full size or thumbnail in Windows and Mac.
  2. Convert live photos to animated GIF, JPG, TIFF, PNG, and other file formats.
  3. Provide editing features to resize, rotate, and edit the live photos.
  4. Support HEIC, Live Photos, animations sequence, and burst shots.
Win Download Mac Download

Step 1: Download and install WidsMob HEIC for Windows/Mac, launch the program on your computer. Click the Import button to import the live photos from your iPhone. You can also drag-n-drop the live photos to view the photos on Windows or Mac directly.

Add HEIC Photos

Step 2: To view the live photos in full screen on Windows, you only need to double-click the photo. You can browse all live photos with a slider.

Open HEIC in Windows

Step 3: It also enables you to edit the live photos, such as rotate, resize, and convert live photos to different file formats, including GIF/JPG/TIFF/PNG. You can also tweak the photo quality if you need to further edit the live photos with other photo editors.

Convert HEIC to PNG WidsMob Win Download Mac Download

Part 5. How to share a live photo

Step 1. Locate the live photo you want to share in the Photos app.

Step 2. Tap on the Share button on top of the screen and press the LIVE overlay on the photo to switch between Live Photo and still photo.

Step 3. You can hit any service you want to share the live photo.

If the receiver wants to view the shared live photo, they must have the latest iOS or Messages. And the services will turn the live photo into a still image automatically.

share a live photo

Part 6. How to set a live photo as wallpaper

After taking a perfect live photo, you may want to see it once you open your iPhone. Fortunately, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus equip with 3D Touch technology, so you can set a live photo as wallpaper and activate it on the locked screen.

Step 1. Navigate to the live photo you want to set as wallpaper.

Step 2. Tap on the Share button and choose the Use as Wallpaper option on the share sheet.

Step 3. Adjust the frame of the live photo by swiping and pinching.

Step 4. Preview the effect of the live photo by pressing it down to make sure it works as you wish.

Step 5. Select the Live Photo button, then hit the Set button and choose Set Lock Screen to complete the process.

set a live photo as wallpaper

Part 7. How to convert Live Photos to GIF or video

Another way to view and share a live photo on other platforms, such as Android phones or PCs, is to convert the live image to a GIF picture or video. Google released an app called Motion Stills to convert live photos to GIF pictures.

Step 1. Install Motion Stills on your iPhone from App Store. Run this app and permit it to access your photos.

Step 2. Tap on any live photo to convert it to GIF. Then you can share the live photo in a compatible animate picture format.

Step 3. Motion Stills also can stitch multiple live photos and produce a short movie.

Motion Stills


In this article, we have discussed the new feature, Live Photos on iPhone 6s and later. A picture is worth a hundred words. Then an animate picture must be worth more than a thousand words. iPhone’s Live Photos feature allows users to capture 1.5 seconds of movement and sound and save it as a picture. And live photos could be shared and viewed between iOS devices. If you have an iPhone 7, you can use a live photo as your wallpaper and activate it by 3D Touch. Unfortunately, live photos do not support other platforms. So, if you want to share your live photos, you’d better convert them to GIFs or videos.

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