13 Tips and Tricks to Master The Photos App on Your iPhone

By Kevin Hollington - Staff Writer
7 Min Read

Photos is where all the amazing photos you take with your iPhone live. Here are the best tips and tricks to make the most out of Photos app on your iPhone.

The Photos app on your iPhone contains many helpful features, but these can be easily missed. To that end, we rounded up a list of helpful tips and tricks so that you can use the iPhone’s Photos app to its fullest potential.

Best Tips and Tricks to Master Photos App on Your iPhone

1. Undo and Redo Individual Edits to Photos

When you select an image in your Photo Library and tap Edit to make changes, if at any point in the process you’re not happy with the results, you can tap the Undo icon in the upper left corner of the screen to revert each effect one by one, right back to the original image.

What’s more, if you find you preferred a specific adjustment after you’ve undone it, you can simply tap the Redo icon to re-apply the effect.

2. Copy and Paste Edits to Photos

If you have multiple photos that you want to edit in the same way, or if you’ve made changes to one photo that you want to replicate in another photo, you can use the copy and paste edits tools on iPhone.

To use this Photos app trick on your iPhone, first open an image, then tap Edit and make the adjustments to it that you want. When you’re finished, hit Done, and then tap on the ellipsis (three dots) icon in the upper right corner of the interface.

From there, tap Copy Edits in the dropdown menu to copy everything that you did to the image to the clipboard. Then open up another photo, tap on the ellipsis (three dot) icon again, and then tap Paste Edits to get the exact same adjustments.

3. Remove Duplicate Photos

Say you’ve imported the same images more than once. Or even say you took a lot of shots of the sky as you tried to capture that eagle in frame.

A cool Photos trick can detect multiple duplicate photos like this, and deal with them. Here’s how:

  1. In the photos app, tap on Albums.
  2. Scroll down and choose Duplicates.
  3. Check through each pair of duplicates and keep or merge them.

4. Copy subject in Photos

In the Photos app , you can use a cool trick to isolate the subject of a photo from the photo background, and then copy or share it in other documents and apps.

  1. Open a photo.
  2. Touch and briefly hold the subject of the photo.
  3. When it’s outlined, tap Copy, then paste the subject into an email, text message, or note. You can also tap Share, then choose a sharing option, such as AirDrop, Messages, or Mail.

5. Use Live Text in Videos

If you ever need to extract a piece of text or perform certain actions on it in a video, you can do so easily within the Photos app on your iPhone.

To use Live Text in a video, follow the steps below:

  1. Pause the video on the frame with the text you want to extract.
  2. Tap on the Live Text button (with three horizontal lines) in the bottom-right of the screen.
  3. When it’s finished identifying the text, you can select, copy, look up, translate, or share it.
  4. If the text contains a phone number, email, address, etc., it will turn into a link. You can then click this link to reveal relevant and supported actions. Alternatively, you can directly tap the text in the video to reveal the available actions.

6. Sort People By Name in Photos App on your iPhone

You can use this hidden Photos trick on iPhone to sort the order in which people appear inside the People album. This makes it easier than ever to find people and their photos on the iPhone.

To change the sort order inside the People album, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the People album.
  3. Tap the ellipsis button and select Name. It will automatically sort the people’s list alphabetically.

7. Turn Off Live Mode on Photos Quickly

At times, there will be scenarios where you accidentally capture a live image instead of a still. Thankfully, a cool Photos trick on iPhone makes it easy to disable the live aspect of an image.

  1. In the Photos app on your iPhone, open the photo on which you want to disable the Live option.
  2. Tap on the Live menu button on the left of the screen.
  3. Select Off.

8. View EXIF Metadata in the Photos App

In the Photos app on your iPhone, you can use a hidden trick to view information about a photo in your library, including EXIF metadata such as the camera it was taken on, the lens type, and the shutter speed used.

  1. Start the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Open the image for which you want to view the metadata.
  3. Tap the info button (the encircled “i” icon) below the image, or, simply swipe up the image. This will reveal details about where the photo was taken, the camera settings, etc.
  4. If you want to edit the photo’s metadata, tap Adjust. Here you can change the date and time that’s attached to the photo.
  5. Tap Done to save or Cancel to leave the original date and time details.

9. Find and identify people in Photos on iPhone

The Photos app on your iPhone recognizes faces in your photos and sorts them in the People album. When you add names to the faces, you can search for photos by a person’s name.

To name a person in a photo, follow the steps below:

  1. Open a photo of the person, then tap the Info button or swipe up to see the photo details.
  2. People identified in the photo appear in the bottom-left corner of the photo. Unnamed people have a question mark next to their picture.
  3. Tap the face of a person with a question mark next to their photo to identify them, then tap Tag with Name.
  4. Type their name, tap Next, then tap Done.

To find photos of a specific person, do either of the following:

  • Tap Albums, tap the People album, then tap the face of a person to see all of the photos they’re in.
  • Tap Search, then enter a person’s name in the search field.

10. Use Visual Lookup in Photos to Identify Landmarks, Plants, and Pets

A cool ‌Photos‌ app trick on your iPhone lets you identify various objects, landmarks, animals, books, plants, works of art, and more in your image library, and then offer information about them that it draws from the web.

This intelligent feature is called Visual Lookup, and the following steps show you how you can use it to get more clued up on the things you’ve taken pictures of with your ‌iPhone‌ through the years.

  1. Start the Photos app on your ‌iPhone‌ and select a picture with a clearly defined subject, such as a flower or animal.
  2. Check the info ("i") icon at the bottom of the screen. If it has a little star over it, tap it – this indicates there’s a Visual Lookup you can examine.
  3. Tap the little icon in the center of the photo to bring up the Lookup search results.

11. Create an iCloud Shared Photo Library

With a Shared Photo Library, you can share your snaps with as many as five other people. You’ll receive suggestions to share group photos that include anyone who’s a member of your shared library. If you do, the shared items pop up in each person’s Photos app, so they’re readily available. Other members can view, edit, favorite, and delete the photos and videos in the shared library, and even add their own.

To set up an iCloud Shared Photo Library, you—and anyone you wish to invite—must be running iOS 16.1 or later.

If you’re not already using iCloud Photos, you’ll need to enable that option. On your iPhone, go to Settings, click on your name, then open iCloud > Photos. Turn on the switch for Sync this iPhone and give your device a moment to sync your photos. The people you invite also must be using iCloud Photos.

To create a Shared Library on your iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings > Photos.
  2. Select Shared Library and then tap the Get Started button.
  3. Select Add Participants to add people to your library.
  4. Type the name, email address, or phone number of someone you wish to add. You can also tap the icon to access your contacts and choose people from that list. Review the invited participants and then click Add
  5. when you’re ready to proceed. Review the list of people at the Add Participants screen and then tap Next.
  6. You are then asked to choose which photos you want to move into your Shared Library. You can opt to move all your photos and videos, ones chosen by date or people, or ones chosen manually.
  7. To grant people access, you can choose Invite via Messages to send an invite through the Message app. Otherwise, tap Share Link to generate a shareable link to send out to people.

12. Hide Photos on iPhone

Hear me out. We’ve all handed our phone over to someone to show them a few photos before. Maybe you want them to check out your vacation shots, or perhaps you want to show off your new apartment or remodeled bathroom.

But in the back of your mind, you’re hoping, praying they don’t swipe too far through your photo roll. Maybe you’re a bride preparing for your wedding and you don’t want your partner to see your dress. Maybe you’ve taken a photo of a potential birthday gift you don’t want your friend to see. Perhaps you’re embarrassed about the pictures you took of your beagle wearing a tu-tu. Or maybe you’ve got photos of…well, something else entirely.

You can use a neat Photos trick to keep your photos hidden and locked behind a password or Face ID.

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the photo or video that you need to hide.
  3. Tap the More button , then tap Hide.
  4. Confirm that you want to hide the photo or video.

To unhide photos on iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone and tap the Albums tab.
  2. Scroll down and tap Hidden under Utilities.
  3. Use Face ID or Touch ID to unlock your Hidden album.
  4. Tap the photo or video that you want to unhide.
  5. Tap the More button then tap Unhide.

13. Quickly Select Multiple Photos on iPhone

Whether you want to delete a few photos or share a bunch with another app, there are times when you need to select multiple photos on your iPhone at once. This would usually be annoying since you’d have to tap every photo you wanted to select. Stop tapping on each photo individually and try this instead.

  1. Pictures in the Photos app on your iPhone are automatically sorted into collections by year, date, and location. Open the collection you want to select photos from.
  2. Tap Select in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Drag your finger across the photos you want to select. You will see a blue check mark on each one.
  4. Drag down to select an entire row of photos.
  5. Once you’ve selected your photos, you have a couple of options. You can tap Share to share them via a variety of apps (Gmail, iCloud Photo Sharing, Twitter, etc.). This option also lets you print photos or create a slideshow. The Trash Can icon lets you delete photos, while the Add To option lets you place them in an album.

Master the Photos App on iPhone With These Tips and tricks

Now you know some of the best tips and tricks to help you use Photos app on your iPhone efficiently. Hopefully, the tricks we’ve covered introduced you to some iPhone Photos features that you weren’t aware of previously. What are your favorite Photos tips and tricks? Drop a comment and let us know!

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By Kevin Hollington Staff Writer
Kevin Hollington is a seasoned tech journalist based in Los Angeles with a penchant for all things Apple. He started writing about Apple products in 2007 and it’s been a love affair ever since. He has spent over a decade testing and writing about iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other Apple products. In his spare time, he likes nothing more than catching up with the latest news and sports podcasts on the beach.
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