It was only a few years ago that photos were just photos, and videos were just videos. But in 2015, Apple released Live Photos with the iPhone 6S series, and the photography game was forever changed.
A Live Photo is a 1.5-second animation that captures not only the moment you press the shutter button but the moments before and after, as well. By pressing on a Live Photo, you’ll see — and hear — the full version of the moment in time you were photographing.
Whether you want to start using Live Photos as a photographer or want to learn how to convert videos and GIFs into Live Photos, this guide has you covered.
Live Photos to videos and videos to Live Photos
Live Photos aren’t always compatible with social media platforms. While Facebook supports sharing Live Photos, Instagram has not yet developed that capability. For this reason, many users turn Live Photos into videos (or vice versa) in order to share them on their desired platform.
In this section, we’ll go over all of the ways to turn a Live Photo into a video and vice versa.
How to save a Live Photo as a video
Thankfully, Apple has made it easier than ever to convert a Live Photo into a video. However, the steps differ for different iOS versions.
If your iPhone is iOS 13 or later, here’s how to do it:
- Open Photos.
- Navigate to the Live Photo you wish to convert.
- Press the share button at the bottom left of the screen.
- Scroll down and press Save as Video.
iOS 16 or later
If your iPhone runs iOS 16 or later, follow these steps:
- Open Photos.
- Select the Live Photo you want to convert into video.
- Tap the ellipsis top right.
- Tap Save as video.
Your newly converted video will be saved in your Videos folder at the timestamp it was originally taken. If you’d like to give it a touch-up (say, remove noises in the background), try one of these video enhancer apps we like.
How to turn a Live Photo into a video with iOS Shortcuts
There’s an even faster way to turn Live Photos into videos thanks to Apple’s Shortcuts app and the Shortcut Convert LivePhotos to Video.
After saving the Shortcut to your Shortcuts gallery — which you can do by opening the link above in your iPhone’s web browser — you need to make sure you have your settings turned on to allow untrusted shortcuts. Here’s how to do that:
- Open your iPhone settings.
- Scroll down and select Shortcuts.
- Toggle the Allow Untrusted Shortcuts option to the On position.
Now that you’ve got your Convert LivePhotos to Video shortcut saved and your settings are ready, here’s how to turn a Live Photo into a video via Shortcuts:
- Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.
- Press the Convert LivePhotos to Video shortcut.
- Navigate to the Live Photo you wish to convert.
- Select it.
From there, Shortcuts will automatically convert your Live Photo into a video and save it to your Camera Roll. You can find the video in your Recents album.
How to make a video into a Live Photo with IntoLive
Now, if you want to switch it up and turn a video into a Live Photo, you’ll have to expand your search outside of Apple’s pre-downloaded apps and find a third-party tool like IntoLive.
IntoLive is a free app that allows you to turn your videos or GIFs into Live Photos so you can use them as a live wallpaper on your iPhone. Here’s how to use the app to turn a video into a Live Photo:
- Open the IntoLive app.
- Scroll up and select the video you wish to use.
- Use the tools to edit the video by adding filters, changing the background color, adjusting the speed, zooming in, or muting it.
- When you’re done editing, press Make at the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select the number of repeats you want to Live Photo to do.
- Press Save Live Photo.
Your new Live Photo will be saved to your Camera Roll. While the app is free to download and use, there are in-app purchases available for editing tools, filters, and repeated loops.
Live Photo to GIF and vice versa
In addition to turning a Live Photo into a video, you can also turn it into a GIF. In this section, we’ll go over the multiple ways to turn a Live Photo into a GIF and vice versa.
How to make a Live Photo into a GIF with iOS Shortcuts
One of the easiest ways to turn a Live Photo into a GIF is by using iOS Shortcuts. Because this shortcut is already available in the Shortcuts Gallery, you don’t need to download any additional shortcuts or third-party tools.
Here’s how to turn a Live Photo into a GIF via Shortcuts:
- Open the Shortcuts app.
- Press the Gallery button at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Type “Make GIF” into the search bar.
- Press the Make GIF shortcut.
- Tap Add Shortcut.
- Next, tap My Shortcuts at the bottom-left of the screen.
- Scroll down until you find the Make GIF shortcut and press it.
- Press the play button at the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- Navigate to the Live Photo you wish to use and select.
The shortcut will run, and your new GIF will be saved to your Camera Roll.
How to turn a Live Photo into a GIF using Lively
Another option for turning your Live Photos into GIFs is by using a free third-party tool like Lively. Lively is a free app that converts Live Photos into GIFs for you to save and use as you please.
Here’s how to use it to turn your Live Photo into a GIF:
- Open the Lively app.
- Navigate the Live Photo you wish to use.
- Press Export GIF at the bottom of the screen.
- Select Save.
From there, your new GIF will be saved to your Camera Roll. While Lively is free to download and use, you will have to pay a fee to remove the watermark.
How to convert GIFs to Live Photos with GIPHY
If you want to do the opposite and turn a GIF into a Live Photo, you’ll have to enlist the help of a third-party app like GIPHY, which is free to download from the App Store.
Here’s how to use GIPHY to convert a GIF into a Live Photo:
- Open GIPHY.
- Search through the trending GIFS or use the search bar at the bottom-center of the screen to find one you want to use.
- Select your desired GIF.
- Press the three vertical dots at the right of the screen.
- Select Convert to Live Photo.
- Choose either the full-screen or fit-to-screen option.
From there, your Live Photo will be saved to your Camera Roll.
Whether you’re trying to share your Live Photo on Instagram or you want to use your favorite GIF as a live wallpaper for your iPhone, we hope this guide answered all of your questions about converting Live Photos to videos and GIFs.