How to Blur iPhone Photo Backgrounds

Being able to blur the backgrounds of iPhone photos (and unblur them) is a boon for anyone interested in portrait photography. One of the most important aspects of portraiture is achieving separation between the subject of your photo and its background. This is done by blurring the background, isolating the subject against a distraction-free background, allowing the viewer to focus only on the person in the portrait.

That said, blurring isn’t the only technique used in portraiture, and you may not necessarily want it in your photos. Sometimes, for example, a photographer wants to encapsulate a subject in its surroundings, if the background has contextual significance to the photo or to who the subject is as a person. Either way, blur or no blur, what’s important when shooting portraits is having the ability to control what’s happening in the background.

On a full-size DSLR or mirrorless camera, you would do this by adjusting the lens aperture, which is measured in ‘F-stop’. The wider the lens aperture (aperture), the greater the ‘F-stop’ and shallower the depth of field, resulting in more background blur, and vice versa. On the best iPhones, there’s a super simple but not too obvious trick to let you do the same thing.

In Portrait mode, there is a depth control slider to let you customize the background blur of your images. It doesn’t actually control the physical aperture of the iPhone lens like an aperture control ring on a camera lens would, and instead uses software to add or remove blur to give the effect of changing depth of field. That said, it’s a great way to give you, the photographer, control over your images and make them look more professional.

This is just one of the reasons the iPhone makes it to our best camera phone list. Whether you have an iPhone 13 or an older iPhone, here’s how to blur the background of an image on iPhone.


As well as our helpful tutorials, we also offer a range of expertly designed buying guides to help you make the right purchase. If you’re in the market for a new phone, be sure to check out our guides on the best phones and best cheap phones.


How to Blur iPhone Photo Backgrounds

  1. Open the Camera app
  2. Head to Portrait Mode
  3. Press the F button
  4. Move the depth control slider
  5. Take your picture
  6. Adjust using the Edit function

Read on to see detailed instructions for each step.


1. Open the Camera app and choose Portrait from the camera mode bar. Position your subject (if they stay still).

(Image credit: future)

2. Press the F buttontop right.

(Image credit: future)

3. Use the depth control slider down and adjust background blur. By default, it is set to a depth equivalent to f2.8common use F-stop in portrait mode to get shallow depth of field.

(Image credit: future)

4. Drag the bar to the right lower the equivalent F-stop and set a shallower depth to blur the environment more. Beware of going too low, though – as this is really just a software setting, going too far can result in too much blur and an odd image.

(Image credit: future)

5. Swipe the bar to the left increase the equivalent F-stop for greater depth of field and less blur.

(Image credit: future)

6. Drag the bar up F-stop value for minimal blur. Once you are happy with the amount of blur you have, press the shutter to take the picture.

(Image credit: future)

seven. If you decide you are unhappy with the blur and want more or less, open the Photos app and select picturethen tap Edit.

(Image credit: future)

8. Make sure you are on the first effects tab downstairs. Then, top left, press the F buttonwhich will display the current equivalent f stop assess.

(Image credit: future)

9. Drag the depth control bar left or right to adjust the blur in your image. when you are happy, tap Done.

(Image credit: future)

And There you go. Now you can take portraits of people and dogs and control background blur like a pro.

If you want to learn more about iPhone tips and tricks, be sure to read our guide on how to set custom battery alerts on iPhone, how to share Wi-Fi password from iPhone to Android, and how to use iPhone Guided Access before lending your phone to someone.

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