How to Remove Depth Effect from Portrait Mode Photos on iPhone in iOS 11

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 16 Sep 2017

iPhone 7 Plus camera

Even though it didn’t make it out of the beta for a couple of weeks, Portrait Mode is one of the best things about the iPhone 7 Plus. And it keeps getting better with time.

But when it comes to the software, Portrait Mode photos have been an island of their own. You’d get two different photos – one with depth effect and one without. And that was it. In iOS 11, Apple has made a lot of improvement with the depth effect software. And the biggest change, at least on the face if it is the fact that there are no longer two different photos when you take a Portrait mode photo.

How to Turn Off Depth Effect in Photos

In iOS 11, depth effect photos work more like Live Photos. The effect is baked right into the photo.

Previously, if a Portrait mode shot didn’t turn out well, you’d delete the depth effect photo and you would still be left with the original one. To do the same in iOS 11, follow the steps below.

It’s important to note that this method only works for photos taken after upgrading to iOS 11. Pre-iOS 11 photos will follow the same, two photos system. And if you’ve already deleted the original photo, there’s no way to remove the depth effect from those photos.

Step 1: Open the Photos app find a Portrait mode photo. It will have a Depth Effect tag on the tap (similar to Live photos).

In iOS 11, you’ll find all Portrait mode photos in a new album called Depth Effect.

Step 2: After opening a photo, tap on Edit.

iOS 11 Edit Live Photos 1

Step 3: At the top, you’ll find a yellow Depth button. Tap on it and you’ll disable the depth effect. Tap on it again to bring back the effect.

iOS 11 Disable Portrait Mode 1

Tap on Done and the photo will be saved without the depth effect.

iOS 11 Disable Portrait Mode 2

Portrait Mode in iOS 11 Gets a Big Update

Thanks to the new HEIF format, you can have both the original and depth effect in one photo. Plus you end up saving up to 50% storage space.

Apple has improved the depth effect technology in iOS 11. It now uses optical image stabilization, which leads to sharper focus. Portrait mode also supports HDR mode now. This should result in some epic nature photos.

And to top it all off, Apple is opening up the entire Portrait mode feature to developers using the Depth Map API. This means developers will be able to create custom depth filters. We might just see third party apps for editing photos with depth effect.

Do you take a lot of Portrait mode photos on your iPhone? Share with us in the comments below.