Live Photos are a cool but non-essential feature of the iOS photography experience that preserves the moments before and after you take a photo, including the sound. They’re great for “bringing life” to a particular photo and they’re especially excellent for making your own GIFs from photos, but they also take up a lot of storage space. The files are usually twice the size of a regular photo. That can be a problem for your photo storage, as Apple Live Photos persists by default.
Fortunately, turning the feature off is relatively easy, and you can easily (and temporarily) turn it back on if you want to take a specific shot as Live Photo. First I’ll show you how to prevent your Camera app from automatically taking Live Photos, then I’ll show you how to make Live Photos work like regular photos when you share them with other iOS users.
Disable Live Photos
Launch the Camera app.
In the photo interface, press the Live Photo icon to turn it off. It’s located at the top right in iOS 16.
That’s all! The next time you open your Camera app, the Live Photo icon should already be disabled. You can reactivate Live Photos by pressing the icon, and if this setting is active, it should stay on until you decide to turn it off.
Turn off Live Photo features in a photo you’ve already taken
This is useful for sharing older Live Photos that you took before you were informed by the information above. You can easily disable any Live Photo bell and whistle before sending it. Once you’ve done that, it will look like a regular photo when you send it. Here’s how to do it.
Open the photo you want to edit in Photos.
Press Live in the top left corner.
A pop-up menu will appear. Tap Off at the top of the list to turn off Live Photo.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t remove the Live Photo information, so these photos will continue to take up a lot of space on your phone. On the other hand, it means that it’s relatively easy to reactivate animations on a Live Photo at a later time: just go through the same steps above and press Live again.
As you can see, the menu also has other options for your Live Photo. These options determine how the Live Photo is played and you can switch between them. The default is Live, which plays the photo from start to finish. Here are descriptions of the other options:
Loop: Playback starts again and again.
Bounce: When playback reaches the end, it plays backwards to the beginning, then forwards, over and over.