How to Delete Live Photos From iPhone But Keep the Original Ones

Have you ever scrolled through your iPhone’s photo gallery, only to find that Live Photos take up more space than you’d prefer? These dynamic images capture moments with sound and movement, making them larger than standard still photos. While they can bring your memories to life, you might find yourself needing to free up space or simply preferring the simplicity of traditional photos. In this guide, you’ll learn how to efficiently delete Live Photos from your iPhone while preserving the original still images, offering you the best of both worlds.

How to Identify Live Photos on Your iPhone

Apple has thoughtfully designed the iPhone’s Photos app with automatic albums that sort and categorize different media types for easy access. This feature is particularly useful when you need to manage specific file types such as Live Photos. These albums help you swiftly locate and organize these dynamic images without the hassle of manually sifting through your entire photo library. Follow these steps to leverage this feature and efficiently identify all your Live Photos:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the ‘Albums’ tab located at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Media Types’ section and select ‘Live Photos.’ This action filters out and displays only the Live Photos in your library, making it easy to see exactly how many you have and which ones they are.Live Photos album in photos app
This simple method allows you to view all your Live Photos in one place, setting you up perfectly for the next steps—whether that’s converting them to still images or removing them entirely.

How to Remove the Live Photo Effect and Keep the Still Image

After identifying the Live Photos in your gallery, you may choose to keep just the still part of these images. This can help streamline your photo collection by separating the motion element from the visuals. Here’s how to convert your Live Photos into static images, setting the stage for later cleanup:

  1. Open the Photos app and navigate to the ‘Live Photos’ album you identified earlier.
  2. Select the Live Photo you wish to Live Photos album
  3. Tap on the photo to view it, then tap the three dots in the upper right corner.Open Live Photo
  4. Select ‘Duplicate’ from the drop-down menu.Duplicate Live Photo in photos app
  5. Choose ‘Duplicate as Still Photo’ to create a copy of the photo without the motion effect. This will save a new version of the image that is just a static picture.Duplicate as still image

If you have multiple Live Photos you want to convert at once, here are the steps for bulk conversion:

  1. Open the Photos app and go to the ‘Live Photos’ album.
  2. Tap ‘Select’ in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Select the Live Photos you want to convert.Select Live Photos in album
  4. Tap the three dots in the lower right corner of the screen.
  5. Select ‘Duplicate’, then choose ‘Duplicate as Still Photo’ to create copies of the selected photos without the motion effect. This will generate new static versions of the images.Duplicate multiple Live Photos
This process does not delete the original Live Photos; it simply creates still versions of them. To free up space, you will need to manually delete the original Live Photos, which we’ll cover in one of the following sections.

How to Delete Live Photos Without Static Versions

If you’ve decided that certain Live Photos are no longer needed, you can delete them in bulk while keeping the original still images intact. This selective cleaning helps manage your iPhone’s storage more effectively. Follow these steps to remove multiple Live Photos:

  1. Open the Photos app and go to the ‘Live Photos’ album.
  2. Tap ‘Select’ in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Choose the Live Photos you want to delete. You can select them individually or slide your finger across multiple photos to select them quickly.
  4. Once selected, tap the trash icon to delete them. Confirm your decision if prompted.Delete Live Photos from photos app
Note that deleting these Live Photos only removes the motion part and the photos themselves remain as still images in your library if you have previously duplicated them as still photos. If you haven’t duplicated them, this action will remove the photos from your library.

How to Permanently Remove Live Photos

After you convert your Live Photos to still images, your next task is to clear the originals from your iPhone’s ‘Recently Deleted’ album. This step ensures your device keeps running smoothly, free from clutter that eats up storage space. Follow these straightforward steps to remove those Live Photos permanently:

  1. Open the Photos app and navigate to the ‘Recently Deleted’ album.
  2. Tap ‘Select’ in the top right corner.
  3. Choose the Live Photos you wish to permanently delete or tap ‘Delete All’ to remove all items from the album.Choose delete all option in recently deleted album
  4. Confirm your choice to delete, which will permanently clear them from your device.Permanently delete photos from recently deleted album

Executing these steps clears unwanted Live Photos, freeing up valuable space on your iPhone.

How to Prevent Future Live Captures

If you prefer your photos to be simple still images without the motion effect, you can easily disable the Live Photo feature on your iPhone. This adjustment stops your camera from automatically capturing Live Photos, ensuring all future shots are static. Here’s how to make this change:

  1. Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
  2. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the Live Photo icon (a set of concentric circles). If the icon is crossed out, the Live Photo feature is disabled.
  3. If the icon is not crossed out, tap it to disable Live Photos. It will then display as crossed out, indicating that the feature is off and your future photos will be captured as still images only.disable Live Photo in camera app
  4. If your camera does not save these settings between uses, go to the Settings app, select Camera, then tap Preserve Settings. Here, ensure the Live Photo setting is turned on to maintain your preference for future uses.preserve settings in camera app
By disabling Live Photos and adjusting your settings to preserve this choice, you take control over your camera settings and storage, ensuring that each snapshot is exactly as you intend.


Converting a Live Photo to a still image does not degrade the quality of the original photo. The still image is captured at the same resolution and quality as the key photo (the frame Apple software selects as the main still image) in the Live Photo. However, because Live Photos include movement and sound, removing these elements means you are left with just the single static image.
If you delete the original Live Photo before creating a duplicate still version, you cannot retrieve the specific still frame unless you recover the Live Photo from the ‘Recently Deleted’ album within 30 days of deletion. It’s important to ensure that you have created the still version or backed up the Live Photo before permanently deleting it from your device.
Yes, you can select a specific frame from a Live Photo to save as a still image. To do this, open the Live Photo in the Photos app, tap ‘Edit,’ and use the slider at the bottom of the screen to browse through the frames. Once you find your preferred frame, tap ‘Make Key Photo’ to set it as the main still image, then duplicate the photo and save the copy as a still image. This allows you to customize which moment captured in the Live Photo you want to preserve as a still image.


In summary, managing Live Photos on your iPhone involves understanding how to identify, convert, and delete them while preserving still images. Additionally, adjusting your camera settings can prevent future Live Photos from being taken, allowing for more control over your device’s storage. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively manage your photo library to better suit your preferences and device limitations.

Oleksandr Lukashyn is a QA specialist at InsanelyMac, ensuring technical accuracy across content for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS. He recently began writing articles himself, drawing on his expertise to explain complex topics. Team members rely on him for clear explanations and solutions to technical problems.
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