Apple Logo Hero - July 2020

If you’ve ever taken a Live Photo on your iPhone, you’ve basically created a short video clip attached to an image. If you don’t like the resulting photo (or want to grab a different one), it’s possible to extract a different photo from the video clip that you can save or share. Here’s how.

First, open the Photos app. Browse your photos until you find the live photo you’d like to work on. Tap it to view it in detail. Then tap the “Edit” button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Tap the "Edit" button in Photos on iPhone.

On the Edit screen, tap the “Live Photo” icon near the bottom of the screen. (The Live Photo icon looks like three concentric circles.)

A filmstrip will appear just below the photo. Drag your finger along the filmstrip until you find the image that you would like to extract. You will be making this the “Key Photo”—the photo that visually represents the Live Photo when you view it in the Photos app.

RELATED: How to Edit Live Photos on Your iPhone

Use your finger to select a key photo on the filmstrip in Photos on iPhone.

After you lift your finger from the film strip, a bubble will pop up that says “Make Key Photo.” Tap it.

Tap "Make Key Photo" in Photos on iPhone.

The Key Photo will be set. After that, click “Done” to leave the Edit screen.

Tap Done while Editing in Photos on iPhone.

When you return to the photo-detail screen, notice that the image has changed to the one you selected.

To extract the image while leaving the original Live Photo intact, we are going to duplicate it. First, tap the “Share” button (which looks like a square with an arrow pointing upward out of it).

Tap the Share button in Photos on iPhone.

In the Share menu, swipe down and tap “Duplicate.”

Tap Duplicate in the Share menu in Photos on iPhone.

A pop-up will appear asking if you want to duplicate the photo as a Live Photo or as a still photo. Tap “Duplicate As Still Photo.”

Tap "Duplicate as Still Photo" in Photos on iPhone.

After that, a new duplicate photo of the key frame you picked will appear in your Photos library just beside the original Live Photo. From there, you can process or share it however you wish.

If you’d like, you can also return to your original Live Photo, tap “Edit” again, then “Revert” it back to its original key frame. That will restore the Live Photo to its original settings.

Keep in mind that the resolution of the extracted photo may not match that of a typical still photo on the iPhone. That’s because you have just extracted a still frame from a video, and Apple devices record video frames at a lower resolution than still photos. Still, it’s a pretty nice feature to have. Have fun!

RELATED: How to Use the iPhone Camera App: The Ultimate Guide

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
Read Full Bio »