How to Crop Pictures on iPhone (Without an Editing App)

You don’t need a photo crop app to edit your pictures on iPhone or iPad. The Photos app makes it easy to perform minimal edits such as rotating or cropping a picture. If you want to edit a photo on your iPhone or iPad, you could buy a fancy photo editing app. But if all you need are the basic editing functions, you can simply learn how to crop a picture using only the Photos app. Cropping photos on iPhone or iPad takes no more than a couple minutes, then your picture will be Instagram ready. Here’s how to crop pictures on iPhone.

Related: How to View Burst Photos on iPhone

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Cropping a photo allows you to move the frame of the picture to include only what you want. It’s not the same as resizing a photo, which would leave the photo in-tact and just change its size. Once you learn how to crop photos on your iPhone, you might want to play around in the Photos app. There’s a lot more tweaks and changes you can make than you might have thought.

How to Crop Photos on iPhone using the Photos App

  • Open the Photos app and select the picture you want to crop.

  • If you’re using iOS 10 or later, tap the edit icon at the bottom of the screen. It looks like three horizontal lines with a circle on each line.

  • If you’re on iOS 9, tap Edit in the upper right corner.

How to Crop Pictures with the Photos App

  • Select the icon that looks like a frame with two arrows around it at the bottom of the screen.

  • Here, you can rotate the photo, tilt the photo, and crop the photo. When cropping the photo, you have two options:

    • Drag the edges and corners of the photo to manually crop your image. You can pinch your photo to change how it fits into the frame and adjust the edges of the frame to change what parts of the image are seen.

    • Or, tap the three squares in the bottom right corner. Here you can select ratios that offer various options for cropping.

  • You can also use the rotation tool to crop corners. By rotating the dial left or right, you can adjust your images exactly how you want. Once the dial is released, the edges of your rotated image will be cut off.

  • Pro-tip: Hold your finger on the image while editing to see what you’re cropping out.

If you decide you don’t like the cropping you just did, tap Reset below the image to undo the changes.


Top Image Credit: Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Rheanne Taylor is the associate editor of iPhone Life magazine. In her spare time Rheanne is an avid iPhoneographer who loves trying out the latest apps and gadgets for her iPhone camera. She recently graduated with her BA in literature and writing from Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.