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How to turn a Live Photo into a video on your iPhone

Apple's Live Photos are photographs on steroids. When you shoot a Live Photo on your iPhone, it captures 1.5 seconds of video both before and after you tap the shutter. The result is not only your picture but also the scene enhanced by movement and sound as you tap and hold the image on your device. Live Photos debuted in 2015 alongside the iPhone 6S, and they are easy to create because the process is exactly the same as shooting any other kind of photo.




5 minutes

What You Need

Live Photos are fun, but there are some downsides. In their native format, they are viewable only on other iOS devices. To share your Live Photos with anyone else, you can convert them to a video or GIF. When Live Photos are shared outside the Apple ecosystem, they revert to static images. Another downside to Live Photos is that they take up more storage space than other photos, so you may want to create a video to store somewhere else so you can remove the large file from your iPhone.

To find all your Live Photos, just launch the Photos app and tap the Albums icon. That will lead you to an album called Live Photos, where you'll see all the photos shot while the Live Photo option was enabled. If you want to preserve the movement and ambient audio of your Live Photos to view elsewhere, you need to convert them into videos. We show you how to do that in iOS 16 as well as earlier versions of iOS.

How to save a Live Photo as video in iOS 16

Here's how to create a video from a Live Photo in iOS 16. iOS 16 should be the software you're running if you have an iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, or any iPhone that's an iPhone 8 or newer.

Step 1: In the Photos app, tap the Album icon and select Live Photos.

Open the Live Photos menu pane.

Step 2: Choose a Live Photo from the gallery and tap to open it.

Live Photos gallery.

Step 3: With your chosen Live Photo open, tap the three-dot More button at the top right of the screen. That gives you access to a drop down menu.

iOS 16 Live Photo More button.

Step 4: From the resulting menu, choose the Save as Video option.

iOS 16 Live Photo Save As Video.

Step 5: Navigate to the Video or Recents album in the Photos app to view the new video. From there you can share it with anyone you like, regardless of platform.

how to turn a live photo into video ios 16 3

How to save Live Photo as video in iOS 15 or earlier

In iOS 13, 14, and 15, the Save as video command facilitates saving a Live Photo as a video with a single tap. Here's how it works.

Step 1: In the Photos app, tap the Album icon and select Live Photos.

Live Photos menu.

Step 2: Select and open a Live Photo from the gallery.

Live Photo in the Gallery.

Step 3: Tap the Share button.

Step 4: Tap Save as video.

Save as Video command.

How to use Loop or Bounce with Live Photos

Apple introduced the Photos app's Loop and Bounce feature in iOS 11, and it still comes in handy for creating a special effects video or animation.

Loop turns your Live Photo into a short loop that plays continuously without pause. Bounce makes the subject of your photo move backward and forward.

Step 1: Open the Photos app and choose a Live Photo.

Live photos in Photos app.

Step 2: Tap on the image you want, then tap the Live button directly above it, and choose either Loop or Bounce from the pull-down menu.

Choose Loop or Bounce from the pull down menu.

How to use Siri Shortcuts for Live Photos

You can use the Shortcuts app — which has been integrated into iOS since iOS 13 — to convert a Live Photo to a video or GIF.

The best way of adding premade third-party shortcuts is to try them to see if they work. If you get an alert, then follow the directions onscreen. Most of the third-party shortcuts we tried worked immediately.

Step 1: Open the Shortcuts app.

Shortcuts app in iOS 15.

Step 2: Go to the Shortcuts Gallery website to access and download the Convert LivePhotos to Video ready-made shortcut.

Convert LivePhotos to Video shortcut on website.

Step 3: Tap Add shortcut on the resulting page.

Add Video converter Shortcut pane

Step 4: Once the shortcut is downloaded into your library, tap to open it.

LivePhoto to video shortcut in library.

Step 5: Navigate to the Live Photo you want to use via Photos > Albums. One tap on your chosen Live Photo will execute the conversion to video.

iPhone Photos Album gallery.

Step 6: Decide whether you want the shortcut to notify you about Live Photo conversions.

Shortcut notification pane.

Step 7: With notifications enabled, you will get a message with every conversion telling you where to find your new video.

LivePhoto Shortcut notification pane.

Once you’ve created a Live Photos video file, you can share it on social media or via email or text and use it whenever you want.

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Jackie Dove
Jackie is an obsessive, insomniac tech writer and editor in northern California. A wildlife advocate, cat fan, and photo app…
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