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There's a New, Hidden Way to Share Photos in Safari on Your iPhone

This low-key iOS clipping feature allows you to share only what's important from photos on the web.

Safari browser logo
The feature works only in Safari.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple introduced a new clipping feature to the Photos application with iOS 16. It's simple to use -- you press your finger down on pretty much any image in your camera roll to automatically cut out the main subject. You can then paste that anywhere else, like a text message thread or an email, to share only what's most important from the photo, and nothing else.

This works only for photos that are saved onto your iPhone, but there's a similar option that's hidden within Safari to clip images you find on the web. And it doesn't require you to download anything to your camera roll.

If you often share photos you save from the internet, here's how to take advantage of this new Safari clipping photo tool.

And if you're interested in other hidden features in iOS, check out the hidden trackpad in your iOS keyboard, how to track a flight via text messages and the best hidden features and settings in iOS 16.

How to clip any image in Safari on iOS

In the Safari web browser on your phone, find any image and press your finger down on it for about a second. The image should isolate under your finger, and a quick action menu will appear, with various options. Now, the one you want to use is Copy Subject, which will copy the subject of the photo to your clipboard.

Copy Subject feature in Safari

This shows the subject from the photo on the left isolated and pasted into a note.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Unfortunately, you can't control which subject is selected, so choose a photo with a clearly differentiated subject and background. (In the photo above, I chose to use this feature with a skateboarder in the forefront.)

After you press Copy Subject, you can go into a message, for instance, and paste in the clipped subject to share it with someone else. You can also drop it into a saved note, say, to keep the clipped subject for yourself.

The clipping won't always be perfect, so as I mentioned previously, choose an image with a large and obvious subject, and preferably an image with a uniform background.

For more on Apple, check out the best iPhone options in 2023 and which iPads you should be checking out.