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How to Use Photo Cutout to Lift Subjects and Share on iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

by Subham Raj
Photo Cut Out on iOS 16

Wondering how to cut out a person or your beloved pet from an image and share it with someone? Maybe you don’t like the background? With iOS 16, Apple has introduced an easy way to cut out or lift subjects or even objects from a photo and use it wherever you want. Today, you will learn how you can use the photo cutout feature on iPhones and iPads to cut out anything and share it on any app.

What Is a Photo Cut Out

Technically, this is called Lifting Subject From the image which will allow you to precisely cut out a person, animal, or subject/object from an image with the background removed. With photo cutout on iOS 16, you won’t need a 3rd party app to remove the background from an image, which sounds perfect for more iPhone storage. Let’s see how photo cutout works on iPhone and iPad step-by-step.

How to Cut Out and Share a Photo on iPhone and iPad

The steps for both iPhone and iPad will remain the same as long as they are running iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 respectively. We are using an iPhone for this guide though.

1. Go to your iPhone’s home screen by swiping up and then swipe left until you see the App Library. Tap on Photos app icon to open it.

Pro Tip: You can also use the search bar present on the top side of the App Library to quickly find Photos if your phone is filled with many apps.

2. Once Photos opens, scroll to the photo from which you want to cut out the subject. Tap on the photo to open it. Once the photo is open, long press on the subject you want to cut out and use. For example, I’m using a screenshot of a pair of shoes here.

Note: Photo cutout works on many types of subjects like a person, animal, coffee mug, shoe, and many more.

3. When you tap and hold the subject, iOS 16 will work its magic and you will see the subject is highlighted in a white boundary. That’s when you know the subject is ready to be lifted. You can now either drag-n-drop it into another app or use the pop-up menu to Copy or Share the cutout. Tap on Share to open the share sheet to share with anyone or any app. Tapping on Copy will copy the cutout to the clipboard.

Pro Tip: You can lift out a person from a photo and use it as a contact photo by tapping on the Assign to Contact option.

4. Once the cutout is copied to the clipboard, open any app. Tap on the text field twice and select Paste. The photo cutout should be pasted into the app. You can paste the cutout from the clipboard on any app.


1. Can I do this on my iPad?

Yes, you can. The process is also identical to the iPhone one.

2. Does Photo Cutout Work in Other Apps?

Yes, the photo cutout also works in Safari and Notes apps. However, 3rd-party photo apps like Google Photos aren’t supported. So you can cut out subjects and objects from images in Apple apps only for now.

3. Can you choose which object to cut out from an image?

Right now, no. In the example of the shoe that we did above, it cut out both the shoes together. So if there are two or more persons in the same image, you cannot choose which subject to lift. Depending on the focus of the image, it will either lift all people or the one that is the primary focus of the image.

4. Why my iPhone doesn’t have this feature?

Probably, because you haven’t updated to iOS 16 yet. Here is the complete list of iOS 16-supported devices. And do note that this feature is available on iPhones with an A12 Bionic chip and later only.

Must Read: 16 Best Ways to Fix Cannot Install iOS 16

Cut and Paste Anything, Anywhere

Photo cutout on iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 is a new and innovative feature for iPhone and iPad users. The feature works in many places throughout the iOS ecosystem like photos, screenshots, Quick Look, Safari, etc., and the best part is that this is baked inside the OS and free. So no more paying for other apps to remove background or cut out objects. Simply tap and hold, and lift.

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