How To Blur a Picture on iPhone

Woman Taking Picture With Iphone

There are many reasons why you may want to blur a part or background of a picture on your iPhone. Perhaps you wish to make the subject stand out, make a face unrecognizable, hide something that would otherwise be embarrassing, or make a license plate unreadable, etc. Whatever the reason, it’s good to know how to blur a picture on iPhone.

Quick Answer

One common method to blur a picture on iPhone is to use the Portrait Mode feature available on recent iPhones. Another method is to shoot close to your subject, and the image’s background will appear blurred. You can also use third-party applications such as Photoshop Express, Snapseed, and Blur Photo Effect Background.

We’ll discuss the three methods in a step-by-step manner below. So, continue reading to learn this essential skill and blur your pictures like a pro.

Three Methods to Blur a Picture on iPhone

Method #1: Use the Portrait Mode

It’s easy to blur the background of a picture while keeping the subject in focus using the Portrait Mode. The feature is available on iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11, iPhone XS, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone Plus.


Do you have a 2020 iPhone SE or an iPhone XR? Well, you can ONLY use the Portrait Mode when capturing people. The Portrait Mode won’t work when photographing inanimate objects and pets – the back camera must detect the face of a person. 

The following are the steps to blur the background of a picture on an iPhone using the Portrait Mode:

  1. Launch the ”Camera” on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the “Portrait” option.
    The setting for Portraits is “Natural Light” by default. However, you can scroll through the various lighting options and choose one and then frame your shot. Make sure your subject is between 2 and 8 feet from the camera lens. 
  3. Check the screen before hitting the shutter button. The subject should be in focus and the background blurred
  4. Press the shutter button to capture a photo.

As you can see, the process is as easy as ABC! Read more about using the Portrait Mode on various iPhone Models, including editing options here.

Method #2: Shoot Close to Your Subject

Some iPhones don’t have the Portrait Mode. But, you can still blur the background of a picture on the iPhone even if your device doesn’t have the feature. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Tap on the ”Camera” app on your iPhone.
  2. Move the camera lens close to your subject.
  3. Hold the finger on the subject to activate the ”Auto Focus”.
  4. Ensure you get as close as possible to achieve the perfect blurring effect.
  5. Press the shutter to take a picture. 

Method #3: Use Third-Party Apps

In Methods #1 and #2 above, you can only blur a picture when you’re capturing it. But what if you want to blur an image you already have in your gallery? That’s where using third-party apps comes in.

There are many user-friendly, reliable picture editing apps for iPhones that you can use to edit your photo after taking it. We found Snapseed, Photoshop Express, and Blur Photo Effect Background very useful.


  1. Download Snapseed and install it on your iPhone.
  2. Open the app and permit it to access your pictures.
  3. Touch anywhere to add a picture.
  4. Click on “Tools”.
  5. Scroll down and click on the “Lens Blur” option.
  6. You’ll see a circle appear over your picture. Drag this circle across the picture to choose the area you wish to blur.
  7. Widen or pinch your fingers across the screen to enlarge the circle or make it smaller.
  8. Press the “Checkmark” in the lower corner once you’re satisfied with the results.
  9. Tap “Export” and select “Save” to add the picture to your photo library.

Photoshop Express

  1. Download the Photoshop Express app and install it on your iPhone.
  2. Open the app and select a picture to edit from your gallery.
  3. Click on “Adjustments”. Scroll down and tap “Blur”.
  4. You’ll see a circle appear on your screen. Drag it over your photo.
  5. Utilize the slider to decrease or increase the degree of blur. Make the circle bigger or smaller with your fingers.
  6. Choose the “Upload” option on your screen to save the image to your library.

Blur Photo Effect Background

  1. Download Blur Photo Effect Background and install it on your iPhone.
  2. Open the app and tap “Blur” under ”Editing Tools”.
  3. Select the photo you wish to edit from the library.
  4. You can even crop it if you want. Once you finish, click on “Done”.
  5. Tap “Effect” to select the blur effect you want to add.
  6. The free edition allows you to select either a motion or blur effect.
  7. Use the slider to increase or decrease the amount of brightness on your photo.
  8. Utilize your pinched fingers to enlarge your image to achieve a more detailed blur.
  9. Click on the “Next” option to add a filter.
  10. Once satisfied with the final image, tap “Upload” to save your blurred picture to the iPhone’s library.


The above was our article on how to blur a picture on iPhone. We’ve discussed three methods to do that. In Method #1 (using the Portrait Mode) and Method #2 (shooting close to the subject) above, you can only blur a picture at the time of taking it.

On the other hand, Method #3 (using third-party apps) allows you to blur an image that you already have in your library or gallery. We hope that you found the methods easy and that you’ll be able to use at least one of them to blur your picture.

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