Easily Blur the Background of Photos on iPhone 15

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you have an iPhone 15 and love taking photos, this tip is for you. You can now easily blur the background of a photo you have already taken. Read on to find out more about how to add Portrait mode after taking a photo.

Why You’ll Love This Tip:

  • Use your iPhone 15 camera to easily blur the background of photos without worrying about enabling Portrait mode.
  • Snap photos without having to manually switch to Portrait mode.

How to Add Portrait Mode after Taking Photo

System Requirements

This tip works on an iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max running iOS 17 or later. Find out how to update to the latest version of iOS.

When snapping photos with an iPhone 15, it will automatically capture the necessary data for Portrait mode. This means that you can edit the photo after you’ve taken it and blur the background. For more iPhone photography tips, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. Now, here’s how to add Portrait mode after taking a photo:

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  1. Capture a photo with a clear subject (whether it’s a person or a pet). No need to switch to Portrait mode; you’ll know your phone is capturing the necessary data when you see the F-stop symbol.

    iphone camera app with f stop icon circled in red
  2. When viewing the photo in the Photos app, you’ll see a Live icon with an F-stop symbol next to it, if you have Live Photos enabled. If you don’t have Live Photos enabled, it will just say Portrait with an F-stop symbol next to it. In any case, tap the Live/Portrait icon in the upper left corner.

    iphone photos app with live/f-stop icon circled in red
  3. Tap Portrait to add a blurred background to the photo.

    iphone photos app displaying a menu with portrait mode option circled in red
  4. If you want to change the focus of the photo, tap Edit.

    iphone photos app with edit button circled in red
  5. Tap the Portrait icon if it is not already selected.

    iphone photo editor with portrait mode icon circled in red
  6. Drag the slider left and right to change the focus of the photo.

    iphone photo editor with red arrow pointing left and right indicating to drag the slider left or right
  7. You can also tap different areas of the photo to change where you want the focus to be.

    iphone photo editor with a red box around the yellow focus square, indicating that the user can tap different areas of the photo to change focus

Note: This only works with existing Portrait photos or photos that have been captured with the iPhone 15. Even if you now have an iPhone 15, photos in your Library taken with older iPhone models cannot be converted to Portrait mode.

That’s how to blur the background of a photo you’ve already taken on iPhone 15! Now, you can snap photos without switching over to Portrait mode and rest easy knowing you can simply enable the bokeh effect later.

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Author Details

Rhett Intriago's picture

Author Details

Rhett Intriago

Rhett Intriago is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life, offering his expertise in all things iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods. He enjoys writing on topics related to maintaining privacy in a digital world, as well as iPhone security. He’s been a tech enthusiast all his life, with experiences ranging from jailbreaking his iPhone to building his own gaming PC.

Despite his disdain for the beach, Rhett is based in Florida. In his free time, he enjoys playing the latest games, spoiling his cats, or discovering new places with his wife, Kyla.