iOS 16 gave users a very interesting photo-editing feature in the form of Visual look up aka photo cutout. Its functionality has been enhanced in iOS 17. This feature basically allows users to separate the subject in a picture from its background and save the extracted image as a new picture with a transparent background. You can use the photo cutout feature to remove the background from pictures, create stickers, add a photo to another photo, and do much more. Let’s check the best tips for using photo cutout in iOS 17/16.
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1. Create Stickers From Photo Cutout
If you are on iOS 17, you can now create stickers from photo cutout and use them in any app that supports emojis. That could be the Markup app or a messaging app like iMessage, Telegram. Let’s learn how to create stickers on iOS 17/16 using photo cutouts:
Make Stickers from Photos (iOS 17+)
Follow these steps to create sticker from a picture in iOS 17:
1. Open the Apple Photos app and go to the photo from which you want to create a sticker.
2. Long press on the object until you see a white glowing light. Tap on Add Sticker to create a sticker from the photo cutout. The sticker will be automatically added to the list of stickers on your iPhone. Tap on Add effect to add an effect to your sticker.
3. Now, to use the newly created sticker, open any app. Let’s say iMessage. Switch to the Emoji keyboard and you will find the newly created sticker in the sticker section.
Tip: Know how to use and customize Standby mode on iPhone.
Make Stickers from Photos (iOS 16)
For iOS 16, you will need a third-party app to create stickers from photo cutouts. To do so, follow these steps:
1. First, you will need to install a third-party sticker app that supports drag-and-drop functionality. We will be using the Drop Sticker app. Install the Drop Sticker app on your iPhone.
Tip: You can also use the Make stickers with drag n Drop app to create photo cutout stickers.
2. Open the app and follow the on-screen instructions to set it up.
3. Now, launch the Apple Photos app (or any other Apple app) and open the photo from which you want to create a cutout.
4. Touch and hold the subject until a white glow appears on it. Slightly swipe up or down to see if the photo cutout has been created. If the cutout is fine, then without lifting your finger, minimize the current app and open the Drop Sticker app using another finger. Drag the photo cutout to the Drop Sticker app.
5. That’s it. Your photo cutout sticker is ready.
To send the photo cutout sticker on WhatsApp, add up to three stickers in the Drop Sticker app to create a sticker pack. Then, tap on the Synchronize with WhatsApp button to add the pack to WhatsApp.
Pro Tip: To send the sticker in iMessage, open the iMessage app dock and tap on Drop Sticker. Select the sticker that you want to send.
2. Add Photo Cutout on Another Image
Besides sharing the photo cutout in messaging or note apps, you can even paste the cutout on another photo. You can do it natively using the Markup tool in iOS 17. Check our other post that covers different ways to put a picture on another picture on an iPhone.
3. Use Photo Cutout in Any Apple App
It’s no secret that you can use the photo cutout feature in the Apple Photos app. But did you know that you can use it in other apps as well? For instance, Notes, Messages, Notes, Files, etc.
The following steps will work in any Apple app (3rd-party apps are not allowed as of now). For the sake of simplicity, we will be using the Apple Mail app.
1. Launch the Mail app on your iPhone and open the email containing the image.
2. Tap on the photo in the mail whose subject you want to extract to open it in full view.
3. Then, touch and hold the subject that you want to cut out until a white glow appears around the image. Then, drag the cutout and without lifting your finger, open the app with another finger in which you want to paste the cutout. Lift your finger to paste the cutout.
Or, lift your finger when you see a white glow around the image. Then, either tap on Copy or press the Share button.
Tip: Drag the photo cutout on the same picture in the Notes app to create its duplicate copies.
4. Remove Background from Picture Using Apple Files App
If you don’t enjoy the manual process of selecting the subject first, you can use the Remove background feature in the Apple Files app to create a photo cutout. This method lifts the subject without its background and saves it automatically as a new PNG file on your iPhone.
Follow these steps to create a photo cutout and save it in the Files app:
1. Open the Apple Files app on your iPhone.
2. Go to the folder containing the picture from which you want to create a photo cutout.
Pro Tip: To save any photo from the Photos app to the Files app, tap on the Share button in the photo and select Save to Files.
3. Without opening the picture, long touch on its thumbnail. Select Quick Actions from the menu.
4. Then, tap on Remove Background. That’s it. Wait for 2-3 seconds and your new PNG image cutout without a background will be ready in the same folder.
Tip: You can also combine multiple pictures into one PDF on your iPhone making it easier to share across the internet.
5. Use Photo Cutout in Safari Browser
You can use the photo cutout feature to remove the background from any image on the web. Please note that this method only works on the Safari web browser and not on third-party browsers. Also, kindly give credits if you lift subjects from someone’s picture on the web.
Follow these steps to use photo cutout in the Safari browser on iOS 17/16:
1. Launch the Safari app on your iPhone.
2. Find the image from which you want to create a photo cutout.
3. Touch and hold the image until you see a menu. Select Copy subject from the menu.
4. To save the cutout on your iPhone, open the Apple Notes app and create a new note. Long touch the text field and press the Paste button to paste the photo cutout into the note.
5. Then, double-tap on the photo in your note to view it on full-screen. Press the Share icon at the bottom to open the Share sheet. Select Save Image from the share sheet.
The saved photo cutout will show up in the Apple Photos app. Alternatively, you can open any app where you want to paste the photo cutout and use the Paste button.
6. Create Photo Cutouts from Video
Similar to pictures, you can lift subjects from any video on your iPhone, provided it’s playing in the Apple Photos app. Follow these steps:
1. Launch the Apple Photos app and play the video from which you want to lift the subject.
2. Press the Pause button to pause the video on the frame whose subject you want to extract.
3. Then, touch and hold on to the subject until you see a white glow animation around the subject. Now, just like pictures, you can either drag and drop the subject into another image, copy it, save to photos or files (shown in the next tip) or directly share it.
7. Save Photo Cutout to iPhone
To save the cutout object on your iPhone after removing its background, follow these steps:
1. Touch and hold the object in the photo to activate the photo cutout feature.
2. Once you see the white animation glow, lift your finger from the subject. Tap on the Share button.
3. Scroll down in the Share sheet and tap on Save image if you want to save the photo cutout to the photo gallery. Or, tap on Save Files to download the photo cutout to the Files app.
Fix Photo Cutout Feature
In case you are unable to use the photo cutout feature to lift subjects, check our troubleshooting guide to know how to fix photo cutout not working on iPhone. Also, check out other ways to remove the background from an image on iPhone.