How to edit photos on your iPhone

Anastasiia Panchenko
PR-manager, who loves to write tips for Mac and iPhone users
September 20, 2023
7 minutes to read

We have a great opportunity to capture every single moment around us. But our photos don’t always come out looking good. Skewed horizon, not enough light, or too much bright light can spoil the picture. To make your shots look great, you have to edit them. In this article, we will cover how to edit photos on your iPhone to make them look professional. Edit photos on iPhone


  1. What is the best way to edit photos on iPhone
  2. How to edit photos to look professional on iPhone
  3. How to remove or change your edits on iPhone photos
  4. How to edit portrait and live photos on iPhone
  5. How to edit photos with third-party apps on iPhone

Tip 1 – Clean up iPhone storage, delete duplicate and similar photos

Most likely, you are keeping lots of similar photos on your iPhone or iPad. As a result, the number of unneeded photos on your device increases and can cause the “iPhone Storage is Full” problem. You can use a free application Phone Cleaner for Media Files to quickly clean up your storage, finding and removing similar photos and the biggest media files among the thousands of photos in your whole Photo library.

Phone Cleaner for Media Files

Free Download

What is the best way to edit photos on iPhone

There are many photo editing applications for the iPhone. However, you don’t always need any additional applications to make the picture look professional–you can simply use the built-in iPhone Photo editor. It allows you to adjust exposure, create contrast, straighten up the image, or add ready filters to the photos. You also have the choice to select auto-adjust. All these functions can help you make your photos look more colorful, bright, and professional.

How to edit photos on iPhone to make them look professional

The first step to get a professional picture is to take a good shot. Then during the step of editing, you’ll have less work to do.

Before you start editing a photo, we recommend you duplicate your image. When you edit the photo, the original image will be replaced by the edited version. To keep both, you should create a duplicate. This way you can easily return at any time to the original version or create new edited photos with different processing. After you create a picture you like, delete unneeded versions.

To duplicate a photo on an iPhone:

  1. Open a photo in the Photos app.
  2. Tap on the Share icon in the left lower corner.
  3. Select Duplicate.
iPhone screens showing how to duplicate a photo

How to use the iPhone build-in editor for photos:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Select the desired photo and open it.
  3. Tap Edit in the right upper corner.
iPhone screen showing the Edit option for photos You can see the instruments which will help in the creation of the perfect picture. First of all, you should straighten the image since a skewed horizon can spoil your picture. iPhone screen showing instruments of build-in editor

You should then manage light adjustments. Here is a list of light-adjustment tools:

  • Increase or reduce the amount of light on the photo by changing Exposure.
  • With the Brilliance parameter, you can brighten or shade dark areas on the picture, adding more contrast to the photo.
  • Highlight allows you to highlight the lightest parts of the picture or reduce light in overexposed areas.
  • The Shadows parameter gives you the ability to manage the darkness of the shadows.
iPhone screens showing how to manage light adjustment

The next step is to change the color adjustments. Here is a list of color adjustment tools:

  • To make the photo brighter, increase the Contrast.
  • Brightness allows you to make the picture lighter or darker without changing exposure.
  • You can manage the contrast by increasing the darkness of dark areas by using the Black point parameter.
  • Saturation gives you the ability to play with the color of the image. You can change the bright loud colors to dull black and white or opposite.
  • Vibrancy can amend the intensity of the dull colors.
  • Make the general tone of the picture colder or warmer with the help of the Warmth parameter.
  • Apply green or rose tint on the photo using Tint.
Change the color adjustments

The last instrument is detail controls:

  1. Make the photo more detailed by increasing the Sharpening.
  2. Definition can make small adjustments to the contrast.
  3. Noise reduction – usually is used for pictures in low light to reduce the noise.
  4. Vignette is a black or white border in the corners of the picture.
iPhone screens showing how to manage detail controls

You also can select Auto-adjust for quick color correction. iPhone screen showing how to use quick correction for photo

One more interesting feature you can find in the Photos app is ready filters. You can select the features you like most and apply them to any photo. You can change the intensity or add any parameters that we have already mentioned and create your unique processing.

iPhone screen showing how to add filters in the Photos app Once you finish editing, tap Done to save your changes.

How to remove or change your edits on iPhone photos

Note: even if you finish editing and save the changes, you can go back to the editing process and change any parameter you want or revert all changes.

To revert changes, follow these steps:

  1. Open the photo you edited in the Photos app.
  2. Tap Edit in the right upper corner.
  3. Tap Revert in the right lower corner.
  4. Confirm the action by tapping Revert to original.
iPhone screens showing how to revert changes in a  photo

How to edit portrait and live photos on an iPhone

Portrait and live photos on iPhones have additional editing features.

If the photo was taken in portrait mode, you have an opportunity to change the light to studio, contour, stage, stage mono, or high-key mono. Further, you can regulate the intensity of the light and change the strength of the blur background. iPhone screens showing how to edit portrait photo on iPhone

Of course, you can also adjust all standard light, color, and detail controls.

In case of editing a live photo, you can change the key photo and even crop its duration.

iPhone screens showing how to edit live photos on iPhone

How to edit photos on an iPhone with third-party apps

There are lots of photo-editing applications for iPhones. The main distinguishing feature of third-party apps from the built-in editor is providing even more tools to change the colors on the photo, add text, put together two photos, etc.

Here are some of the popular photo-editing applications for iPhone users:

  • Instagram’s Photo Editor.
  • Adobe Lightroom: Photo Editor.
  • PicsArt.
  • Facetune 2.

Instagram’s Photo Editor

Instagram’s Photo Editor allows you to get more ready-made filters. To learn about all features, you can read the full article: How to use Instagram’s Photo Editor.

iPhone screens showing Instagram photo editor in App store

Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor

This photo editor has many interesting features. One of them is the ability to change separate colors on the picture and regulate their tone.

iPhone screens showing Adobe Lightroom Photo Editor in App store

PicsArt photo editor

PicsArt can help you to add text to the picture. You can select fonts and even add stickers. It also allows combining two different pictures.

iPhone screens showing PicsArt photo editor in App store

Facetune 2

The Facetune2 application can be incredibly useful when you edit portrait photos and want to do a detailed retouch, correct skin imperfections, or even change eye color.

iPhone screens showing Facetune2 application in App store


Through this article, we have shown you how to edit photos on your iPhone. Now your photos will be even better. And if your iPhone storage is full you can use the free application Phone Cleaner for Media Files from Nektony to find and remove duplicate photos and your biggest media files.

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