Edit Button Grayed Out in Photos on iPhone or iPad, How to Fix

Are you unable to edit your photos or videos on your iPhone or iPad? Some users have reported that they are experiencing problems using the built-in Photos app. In addition, the option to edit photos or videos is grayed out when attempting to use the Photos app to adjust photos or videos.

By grayed out, I mean that the edit button is disabled and cannot be selected. As such, it is impossible to edit the selected photo or video.

You can capture gorgeous photos and videos with your iPhone or iPad. Moreover, your device’s Photos app features powerful built-in editing tools. There are several editing options that gives you the ability to edit the size, angle, light, and more. Of course, you can take advantage of these editing tools only if the edit button is working. In this article, I’ll explain exactly why are some photos not editable on iPhone and what you can do to fix the issue.

Before we dive in, respond to these questions: Are the photos you take with the built-in Camera app on your iPhone not behaving as expected? Or does this issue affect all of your photos and happen randomly? If your answer is yes, then please refer to #2 below.

Or you are experiencing this issue only with your imported photos? If your answer is yes, then please refer to #1 below.

1. Are you having this problem with the photos or videos that were transferred from your computer or that were downloaded from an external source? There is a possibility some of your important photos may have these inactive edit buttons, but not all of them. And this is most likely because of compatibility issues.

This means that certain photos or videos you have are not fully supported by the Photos app on your device.

There are numerous photo and video formats. the most popular video formats are AVI, MP4, FLV and MOV . And the most popular image types are PNG, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, and RAW.

Some photo and video extensions are not editable with the Photos app. For instance, if your photos are in GIF formats, your edit button will be grayed out. The workaround for this issue is to convert the images or videos if possible. For instance, because you cannot edit GIF images, you may want to convert them to JPG or PNG. You can use a third-party app to do the job. Just head over to the App Store and look for an image converter app. Or you can import the photo to your Mac and then you can convert with Preview or you can make use of QuickTime Player if it is a video. Simply follow these steps:

  • Preview: File > Export, then select a format like JPEG or PNG.
  • QuickTime Player: File > Export As, then save to H.264.

2. Are you experiencing this issue with the photos you capture with the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad? Please try the steps below in their order until your problem is resolved.

  • Update your iPhone or iPad. Head over to Settings > General and Software Update. If you see an update, hit Download and Install and then follow the onscreen prompts.
  • Restart your iPhone or iPad.
  • Ensure that Use Cellular data is turned on for Photos and Camera. Head over to Settings and tap Cellular or tap Mobile Data, then turn on Photos and Camera.
  • Change the default Camera setting to see if this fixes your issue. This will change the capturing HEIF and HEVC format
    To JPG format.
    • On your iPhone or iPad, tap Settings.
    • Scroll down and tap Camera.
    • Tap on Formats.
    • Tap Most Compatible. This will change the default photo format to JPG.
  • Reset Network Settings. Head over to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. It’s worth noting that resetting your network settings will wipe your network settings such as your saved Wi-Fi passwords, VPN settings, and much more.

A workaround

This is not a fix but a workaround. Please follow the steps below to edit your photos again. Here is how:

  1. Open the photo or video that you cannot edit.
  2. Now, tap the share icon.
  3. Next, choose Mail. And email it to your self. I sent it to my Gmail account.
  4. Next on, navigate to your Gmail account and open the email and save the file to your photos.
  5. Finally, open the photo or video in Photos and try to edit now.

If the above steps did not fix your issue, try this, this is a little bit different:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, launch Mail app.
  2. Now, compose a new mail message. I used my iCloud account.
  3. Next, tap and hold in the text area and choose Insert Photo or Video.
  4. Next on, choose the photo that is not editable.
  5. And then send it to yourself.
  6. Now refresh Mail.
  7. Finally, open the email you just received. And save the image.

Now head over to the
Photos app
to see if you can now edit.

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