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8 Ways to Fix iOS 17/16 Photo Cutout Not Working

by Mehvish
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Photo cutout is an interesting feature that lets you remove the background from images on iPhone. You can drag and drop the cutout between apps or copy and paste it into other apps. If, however, you are unable to extract the cutout from an image, this guide will help you troubleshoot it. Let’s check different ways to fix photo cutouts not working in iOS 17/16.

1. Check Device Compatibility

The photo cutout feature is only available on iPhones running iOS 16+ and those having an A12 Bionic chip. That includes the following devices:

  • iPhone 14 series
  • iPhone 13 series
  • iPhone 12 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone XS series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone SE 2nd Gen

Please note that even though the iPhone X and iPhone 8 series are compatible with iOS 16, you won’t be able to use the photo cutout feature on them due to an older chip. Other iPhones that are incompatible with the photo cutout feature are iPhone 7 series, iPhone 6, iPhone 5, and earlier.

If you are still on iOS 15 even though your iPhone is compatible with iOS 17/16, go to Settings > General > Software Update to update and check your phone’s software. If you are unable to update to the latest version, learn how to fix iOS not installing issue.

2. Check App Compatibility

Next, you must make sure that you are trying to extract the image from its background in a compatible app. The photo cutout feature works in most Apple apps like Photos, Mail, Messages, Notes, and even Safari browser. However, you won’t be able to use it on third-party apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Google Photos, etc. But once you have extracted an image, you can paste it into any app.

3. Check Photo Compatibility  

Next, you must use the photo cutout feature on compatible photos and videos. Here are the supported file formats:

  • Images: JPEG, PNG, GIF, CUR, TIFF, DIB, ICO, and XBM.
  • Videos: M4V, MP4, MOV, and AVI.

To check the format of an image or video in the Apple Photo app, swipe up on the photo and you will see the format in the Camera information section.

Furthermore, the part that you are trying to extract from the image must be different from the background. If both have similar colors or they aren’t distinguishable from one another, you will not be able to use the photo cutout feature.

4. Restart iPhone

Once you are sure that the photo cutout feature is compatible with your phone, but it’s still not working, you must restart your iPhone. For that, press the Power button until you see the Power off slider. Drag it to the right to turn off your phone. Wait for a few seconds and then turn on your iPhone again.

5. Follow the Correct Steps to Use the Photo Cutout Feature

There are chances that you might not be using the photo cutout feature in the right way. Here are the correct steps to use photo cutout on iOS 17/16.

1. Open the image in any Apple app like Photos, Email, Messages, etc.

2. Touch and hold the part of the picture that you want to extract. Do not just single tap or press and hold on the background. You must hold the part whose background you want to remove. Keep holding until you see a white glow appear around the image.

3. Now, there are two ways to extract this image. Firstly, keep holding the image using your finger and slightly drag it upwards or downwards. You should see a preview of the extracted image. Keep holding the image and open the app where you want to put this image using a finger from the other hand. Drag the image to the second app and lift your finger.

Alternatively, once you press and hold the image, lift your finger when you see a white glow around the part that you want to cut out. Then, tap on Add sticker to create a sticker from the picture. Alternatively, press the Copy button and paste it into any app of your choice. Or, hit the Share button and send the cutout to any app, like Telegram, e-mail, etc. Learn how to put the picture cutout on another picture on iPhone.

6. Turn off Live Photo

If you are trying to extract the cutout from a Live photo, you should first turn it off. For that, open any live photo in the Apple Photos app and tap on the Live button at the top-left corner. Select Off from the menu. Then, try using the cutout feature. If it still doesn’t work, tap on the Off button again. Hopefully, it will work now.

Tip: Learn how to post Live photos on Instagram.

7. Enable Apple Content

Photo Cutout is a part of Apple’s Visual Lookup feature. To be on the safer side, you must enable all the settings related to Apple content. For that, follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings > Siri & Search.

2. Enable all the toggles under Suggestions from Apple and Content from Apple section.  

8. Update OS

Often, issues like photo cutout not working could happen due to a bug in the currently installed iOS version. Therefore, you must update the software to the latest version. To do so, go to Settings > General > Software update.

9. Reset Settings

Finally, if nothing helps in fixing the photo cutout feature in iOS 17/16 on your iPhone, you should try resetting the settings. Doing so will reset all the settings like notifications, permissions, etc. to their factory version. You must set them again. If a setting was making the photo cutout feature not work, resetting settings will fix it.

Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset.


Then, go to Reset > Reset all settings.


Make Use of Photo Cutouts

After you extract images using the photo cutout feature, learn how to put two pictures side by side on your iPhone. Or, put multiple images into a PDF file on iPhone. Also, know how to create WhatsApp stickers from any image including a cutout.

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