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How to Edit Photos on an iPhone

Photo edit with mobile phone and smart app. Man adjusting sliders. Image editing, manipulation, improvement or enhancement with smartphone.

Whether you’re documenting your travels across the globe, taking a family photo, or snapping a quick selfie with a friend before a night out, photographs are the perfect way to capture the most beautiful moments in life. And thanks to smartphones, creating and sharing these treasured memories is easier than ever.

There’s often no need to go looking for a third-party app either. With built-in photo editing tools available at the touch of a finger, transforming good pictures into great ones with the iPhone Photo Editor is simple. It’s suitable for beginners and lets you edit images directly from your Camera Roll. Here’s how to use it.

Accessing the photo editing tools

Firstly, make sure your phone is running the latest version of iOS to ensure you can use the most up-to-date features.

Here’s how to access the photo editing tools.

1. Open Photos.

Open Photos

2. Navigate to the image you’d like to adjust.

Navigate to the image

3. Tap Edit to open the editing features.

Tap Edit

Now you’re in Edit mode, here’s how to use each photo editing feature to create beautiful, eye-catching images.

How to crop and rotate photos

It can be hard to get the perfect shot the first time around. Luckily, the iPhone lets you crop and rotate your pictures easily so you can nail the composition of your image even after you’ve taken it. Here’s how.

1. In Edit mode, tap the Crop/Rotate icon.

Tap the Crop/Rotate icon

2. To crop, simply drag the corners of the photo to the desired size. Alternatively, you can use preset crop sizes.

Using preset crop sizes

3. To rotate, tap the Rotate button until you reach the desired orientation.

Tap the Rotate button

Using iPhone filters to quickly edit photos

A well-composed photograph is one thing, but an image that pops, with deeper colors or higher contrast, is another. The iPhone editing tools make it easy to add a sprinkle of magic to your photographs with Filters. Here’s how.

1. In Edit mode, tap the Filters icon (it looks like 3 overlapping dots).

Tap the Filters icon

2. Scroll left and right to select your desired Filter.

Scroll left and right to select your desired Filter

3. When happy, tap Done to save your edits.

Tap Done to save

4. To remove the Filter, return to Edit mode, tap Filters, then scroll back to Original. Tap Done.

Scroll to Original filter

How to edit photos using the adjustment tool

Have you ever taken a photo that came out too dark? Or too yellow? Or too cool? Don’t worry; the iPhone lets you adjust colors and brightness to create images that look just right, every time. Here’s how.

Light adjustments

1. In Edit mode, tap the Adjustments icon (it looks like a clock surrounded by small dots).

Tap the Adjustments icon

2. Select the Brightness icon (it looks like a sun).

Select the Brightness icon

3. Drag the slider to adjust the brightness of your image.

Drag the slider to adjust the brightness

Color adjustments

1. In Edit mode, tap the Adjustments icon (it looks like a clock surrounded by small dots).

Tap the Adjustments icon

2. To increase saturation, select the Saturation icon (it looks like a rainbow circle). Drag the slider to adjust the saturation of your image.

Select the Saturation icon

3. To change the temperature, select the Warmth icon (it looks like a thermometer). Drag the slider to adjust the warmth of your image.

Select the Warmth icon

Black and white adjustment

Black and white is a popular style of photography that can help create dramatic, timeless images. Again, it’s easy to do on the iPhone. Here are two ways to turn your pictures black and white.

1. In Edit mode, tap the Filters icon (it looks like 3 overlapping circles).

Tap the Filters icon

2. Scroll until you find the black and white filters.

Scroll to the black and white filters

3. When happy, tap Done.

Tap Done

4. Alternatively, in Edit mode, tap the Adjustments icon (it looks like a clock surrounded by small dots).

Tap the Adjustments icon

5. Select the Saturation icon (it looks like a thermometer). Decrease the saturation to create a black and white image.

Select the Saturation icon

6. When happy, tap Done.

Tap Done

How to auto-enhance photos

Not quite sure what your image needs? Well, you’re in luck. The iPhone can make image enhancement suggestions for you. Here’s how to use the auto-enhance feature.

1. In Edit mode, tap the Wand icon. Your iPhone will automatically enhance your image with brightness, contrast and color adjustments.

Tap the Wand icon

2. Like what you see? Tap Done.

Tap Done

How to remove red-eye from photos

Often when using the camera flash, the bright light can cause your subject’s eyes to glow red. If you want to improve your photo by removing red-eye, follow these simple steps.

1. In Edit mode, click the Remove Red-eye icon (it looks like an eye with a cross through it).

click the Remove Red-eye icon

2. Tap directly on the red-eye you want to remove and a small circle will appear. You can tap on more than one eye at a time.

Tap directly on the red-eye

3. When happy, tap Done.

Tap Done

How to revert to the original photo

If, at any stage, you’d prefer to keep the original photo — no problem. You can revert your images at any time. Here’s how.

1. In Edit mode, tap Revert.

Tap Revert

2. Tap Revert to Original.

Tap Revert to Original

Limitations of the iPhone photo editor tool

While the iPhone offers some fantastic built-in photo editing tools for beginners, it does come with its limitations. So if you’re looking for greater functionality — such as vignettes, healing/cloning tools, or selective brush adjustments — you’ll need to download a third-party app. Here’s our guide to the best free and paid-for photo editing apps if you’re looking to make more advanced edits to your images.

Create beautiful memories with Motif

When you’ve edited your favorite photos, why not turn them into a photo book with Motif? Perfect for sharing with friends and family, our photo books are easy to build and make lovely presents or memory books. Download the app today.

Bring your photo memories to life with Motif.

Experience the joy of creating personalized photo projects with Motif. Our photo book app seamlessly works with Apple Photos in macOS and iOS, doing the heavy-lifting while leaving the creative freedom to you.