How to disable Live Photos on your iOS device

If Harry Potter-like photos aren't your thing, here's how to turn off Live Photos.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

With each new iPhone, Apple introduces a new camera feature. This year's feature is what the company calls Live Photos. A Live Photo consists of 1.5 seconds of video, the photo, then an additional 1.5-seconds of video.

The end result is a standard photo a first glance, but when touched, the photo comes to life showing the entire 3-second clip. 

The Live Photos feature is enabled by default, but luckily it's easy to turn off.

Watch this: Turn off Live Photos on your iPhone
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When you launch the camera app, find the Live Photo icon, which is made up of three concentric circles at the top of your screen. If the icon is yellow (or gold), Live Photos is currently turned on. To turn it off, simply tap on the icon. You can always turn it back on by following the same steps. It's one feature that's easy to quickly turn on or off.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Frustratingly, the camera app will re-enable Live Photo each time you launch the app. Thankfully, Apple added the option to preserve camera settings with the release of iOS 10.2.

So if your Apple device is running iOS 10.2 or higher, you can open Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings and choose whether or not you want the Camera app to remember to leave Live Photos turned on or off.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

What if you took a photo and forgot to turn off Live Photos? You can disable the video portion altogether, or remove just the audio with just a couple of taps.

When viewing a Live Photo, tap Edit, followed by the Live Photo icon at the top of the screen. Alternatively, tap the speaker icon in the top-left corner to disable any recorded audio. Doing so will turn off the motion or audio portion of the picture, but it won't delete it. You can then share the photo as you normally would.

Editors' note: This post was originally published Oct. 1, 2015, and has since been updated to reflect new features and settings.