How to Blur a Photo on iPhone

While DSLR cameras are still the preferred tool for professional photographers, your iPhone and the majority of Android devices can take excellent pictures with a bokeh effect just like a pro. The blur effect in portrait photographs is quite important when you want to focus all attention on the subject and keep it away from the backdrop. You may blur a photo on older iPhone models as well, despite the fact that the majority of new iPhones come equipped with strong camera hardware and software to assist you take excellent portrait shots. Check out the top 5 ways to blur the backdrop of an iPhone photo if you want to enhance your photography game and make your subjects pop.

5 Ways to Blur a Photo on Your iPhone (2022)

1. Blur Background on Your iPhone Using Portrait Mode

On an iPhone, the Portrait mode that comes with the default camera app is all you need to use to blur a photo. Uninitiated users can snap pictures with a strong focus on the subject and a blurred backdrop by using the Portrait mode, which enables the camera to produce a depth-of-field effect.

Portrait mode is supported by the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max,
  • iPhone SE and iPhone SE 3
  • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7 Plus

1. To begin, open the Camera app on your iPhone and select Portrait mode at the bottom by swiping from right to left.

2. Next, position your subject between two and eight feet from the camera as you arrange your shot. When the subject is correctly aligned, the name of the portrait lighting effect, such as Natural Light, will turn yellow. After that, simply touch the shutter button to take a portrait photo on your iPhone with a blurred background.

You should keep the following in mind when taking a portrait iPhone photo:

  • To help you capture better portrait shots, the camera app alerts you when you are too close, too far away, or if the area is too dark.
  • The iPhone Pro models (11 Pro and later) offer multiple zoom options for portrait mode such as 1x or 2x. You can tap the 1x or 2x icon to switch between the options. iPhone 13 Pro series allows you to switch between 1x and 3x magnification, though. There s no 2x zoom option on the latest iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max variants.
  • The iPhone XR and iPhone SE 2 must detect a person s face to capture a portrait mode photo. They do not work on inanimate objects.

2. Change Background Blur in Portrait Photos on iPhone

Even after you have taken a portrait photo on an iPhone, you can alter the background blur. Therefore, the Photos app can help you easily modify your photos, whether you want to employ a new lighting effect or make your portrait shots look even more appealing.

1. First, go to the portrait photo you want to modify in the Photos app on your iPhone. Tap Edit when you’re finished in the top-right corner of the screen.

2. Next, utilize the Depth control slider that displays below your shot by tapping on the F/number icon in the top-left to change the blur’s intensity. A large number weakens the background blur effect on the iPhone whereas a low number strengthens it.

3.Portrait Lighting, on the other hand, enables you to add various studio lighting effects to your portrait photos (enabled on iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and after). Select the desired lighting effect by tapping the Portrait Lighting symbol, which resembles a hexagon in the top left corner of the screen.

  • Natural Light: As the name suggests, it allows you to use natural light effects for your portrait photos. Choose it if you don t want the camera to modify the lighting effect and present you with a genuine photo.
  • Studio Light: It lets you brighten up your subject s face.
  • Contour Light: Use it to add shadows for more defined facial features.
  • Stage Light: It turns the background completely black while keeping the entire focus on the subject.
  • Stage Light Mono: Though it is basically the same as Stage Light, it adds a black and white effect to your portrait photos.
  • High-Key Mono: It creates a black and white photo with a white background, perfect for government documents and IDs.

4. When the portrait blur effect is just right, hit the Donebutton in the bottom-right corner of the screen to save your modifications. If you decide to undo your modifications in the future, go to the image and select Edit > Revert > Revert to Original.


  • It s worth pointing out that only the latest iPhone models support Depth Control. Currently, iPhone SE 2 and 3, iPhone XR, iPhone XS/ XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max support Depth Control.
  • Bear in mind that the rear camera on the iPhone XR only supports Natural Light, Studio Light, and Contour Light portrait modes.

3. Blur Background By Getting Closer to Your Subject

If you don’t have a recent iPhone but still want to blur a picture on your iPhone, what do you do? Not to worry, there is an outdated but still useful method that will enable you to blur the backdrop of an iPhone shot.

Simply go closer to your topic to make the background less visible. Yes, it is what you read. The built-in camera produces a short depth of field when you photograph a subject up close. For those who are not familiar, a shallow depth of field blurs the majority of an image while only allowing a small section of it to be in focus. Simply put, the depth of field gets shallower the closer you position the iPhone camera to your subject. To eliminate jitters and take more solid pictures and films, we advise you to get one of the best tripods for the iPhone.

But keep in mind that the camera won’t be able to focus at all if you hold it too near to the subject. The object will appear totally obscured. So, while approaching close to the subject, be sure to keep an eye on it to make sure it is in excellent focus. Make sure to maintain a blurred background and a crisp foreground topic. Fortunately, focusing your iPhone camera is rather simple.

  • Open the Camera app and tap on the spot where you want to focus on the subject. Now, a yellow box will show up on the screen to indicate the focus point.
  • Just in case, the background doesn t look blurred, get a bit closer and tap to set focus again.


  • Apple has introduced Macro mode on iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max to let you capture ultra close-up shots. What makes it a worthy addition is the ability to take photos and videos of subjects that are as close as 2cm to your iPhone s camera lens.
  • You can use this camera mode to capture shots of textures, flowers, insects, or for that matter anything small or at close distance with enhanced focus and rich details.
  • To use macro photography, open the Camera app, ensure that the Photo mode is active, and then line up the shot with your subject. Then, move in closer to your subject, which can be as close as 2cm away from the lens. You need to enable the new Macro Control option to click close-up photos. Once the lens has focused on the subject, hit the shutter button to snap the shot.

4. Use a Third-Party App to Blur Photo Background on iPhone

On an iPhone, you may blur the background of a shot using a variety of third-party apps. However, because it can create professional-level bokeh effects, Focos is one of the most well-liked and effective apps. It allows you to alter the depth of focus in any image to create one that looks like it was taken in portrait mode. The app costs nothing but requires iOS 11.2 or later.

1. Open the Focus application on your iPhone. Next, hit the photo icon and choose the picture you wish to change. The background blur of the iPhone photo can then be modified using the blur effect slider.

2. When you are satisfied with the effects, click the export button in the top right corner to save or share your photo.

5. Use Blurred Vignette Effect to Bring Your Subjects in Focus

The blurred vignette effect is something you should try out to see if you like it, even though it can’t help you get the same result as the ways previously described. Are you curious how the vignette effect operates? Well, it makes a blurred vignette at the edges of the screen rather than blurring the complete background of a picture. The resulting fuzziness draws your attention to the subject.

Additionally, Google’s Snapseed (Free) has long been regarded as a trustworthy tool for this use. It makes sense why it’s recognized as one of the top iPhone and iPad photo editing apps. Let’s examine how it functions:

To access your photo library, open the Snapseed app on your iPhone and tap the plus icon. You can now choose to take a photo, open an image from your device, or open the most recent photo. As an alternative, you can browse your photo library to select the picture you want to modify.

2. Next, select the Lens Blurtool from the Toolstab at the bottom.

3. The following step should reveal a few white circles on your photograph. The area outside the inner circle will be fuzzy while the area inside will be sharply focused. In the spaces between the two circles, your image will change from being sharp to being blurry. You can move the circle to a desired location or even change its size by pinching it with your fingers, depending on your demands.

  • If you want to adjust the blur strength, swipe up or down and choose Blur Strength . After that, swipe left or right to fine-tune the strength of the blur.
  • You also have the option to adjust the Transition and Vignette Strength in the same way. While Transition allows you to adjust how the focused area transitions to blur, the Vignette Strength lets you control how dark the edges of the image appear.

4. When you are satisfied with how your image has been modified, click the checkmark in the bottom-right corner of the screen.

5. Select Save a Copy, Save, or Export from the menu after tapping Export, and you’re done!

Blur the Background of Photos on Your iPhone

So, yes, these are the best methods for blurring the backdrop in iOS images. The easiest way to create a realistic background blur in photos is to use the portrait mode, which is now accessible on the majority of recent iPhones. Additionally, you can maximize the use of some capable third-party apps like Snapseed and Focos on earlier iPhone models by downloading them from the App Store. That being stated, what is your go-to technique for taking portrait photographs on your iPhone with a blurred background? And if you want to improve your photography even more, I suggest looking through our list of the finest night mode applications and advice for maximizing the potential of Apple ProRaw.