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Live Photos are a cool but inessential feature of the iOS photography experience that preserve the moments before and after you take a photo, including the sound. They’re great for bringing a particular photo “to life,” and they’re especially excellent for making your own GIFs from photos—but they also take up a lot of storage space. The files are usually twice as big as those for a regular photo. That can be a big problem for your photo storage, considering that Apple keeps Live Photos on by default.
Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to turn the feature off, and you can easily (and temporarily) switch it back on if you want to take a specific shot as a Live Photo. First, I’ll show you how to keep your Camera app from automatically taking Live Photos, then I’ll show you how make Live Photos act like regular photos when you share them with other iOS users.
That’s all! The next time you open your Camera app, the Live Photo icon should already be turned off. You can reactivate Live Photos by pressing the icon so it changes back to yellow, but with this setting active, it should stay off if you decide to turn it off again.
This is helpful for sharing older Live Photos you took before you were enlightened by the information above. You can disable the potentially embarrassing sound, or you can simply disable every Live Photo bell and whistle before you send it. Here’s how.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t delete the live photo information, so these photos will continue to take up a ton of room on your phone. On the other hand, it means it’s relatively easy to turn reactivate animations on a Live Photo at a later date: Just go through the same steps above and press LIVE again.
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