Daily Tip: How to easily crop a photo on your iPhone

How to easily crop photos on your iPhone

Ever wish you could easily crop a photo right on your iPhone? Well, if speed is more important than resolution you can. We'll show you how after the break!

Here's how to easily crop a picture on your iPhone (or iPod touch or iPad):

  1. Tap on the Photo app
  2. Tap on Camera Roll (or one of your Photo Albums)
  3. Tap on the picture you want to crop
  4. Use pinch to zoom to expand the photo until just the part you want to keep is filling the screen
  5. Take a screenshot

That's it! Your cropped photo is now saved to the Camera Roll! Sure it's lost some megapixels (down to 960x640 on an iPhone 4 or iPod touch 4, or 480x320 on older devices) but it's fast and perfect for on screen viewing or sharing via email or MMS.

If you have any questions or any other cool photo tips to share, leave them in comments!

[Thanks to Brian for sending this in, and his adorable son Dean for modeling! We'll be sending a reward -- and iPhone case! -- your way!]

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, hosts the ZEN & TECH podcast, and should be followed on Twitter @Georgia_Prime.

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There are 30 comments. Add yours.

stldirty says:

i was just thinking to myself that this would be a good post. oh and FIRST

stephen007 says:

That is very clever. As much as I thought I knew about the iPhone I had never thought of this. Clever indeed.

Chris says:

Thanks for the tip!!! I never thought of that.

ebedoun says:

this is exactly how I was forced to crop photos on my blackberry. And even then it was a third party app. I love all the photo editing apps on iOS.
Great tip Georgia.

JeffPom#IM says:

Awesome tip... But then again - with so many awesome apps - many free (Photoshop Express is AWESOME for being free!)... or some that are either discounted or will be free from time to time....
Why wouldn't you just download a free app that will crop? Instead of going through this?

Bryandung says:

Cuz some will just want to do it on the spot instead of going through the app, pic the photo, then find the crop option, zoom in or out and then crop and then save and then....
Ya, you get the point.

Georgia says:

Cause we are lazy and this way totally rocks.
It is easy and fast. Luv it

OneOfDaKine says:

I wish apple will bring back the crop, rotate function when they had it in one of the 4.0 or 4.1 beta.

Iggy says:

Filterstorm crops wonderfully on iPad or iPhone.

FLskydiver says:

Another thing you might want to take a screenshot of is the bottom of the "Settings"/"General"/"About" page, with your iPhone's serial number. Then email the snap to yourself for future reference.

TotallyBrit says:

I am actually surprised you didn't know about this little trick Georgia being a blogger and an iPhone devotee this long!
But then again it goes to show, not everybody knows everything about these devices, even the simplest trick and can evade some of you veteran bloggers.
It's also proof to people on here that always comment negatively on how easy some of the tips on here are, trying to prove their less than macho 'I'm not a noob' attitude.
There's always that ONE person out there who dis never aware of the simple things, and as far that person exists... keep dropping these tips.
Thank you guys.

CadillacE says:

Some of u guys must do nothing but call on your iPhone. This is extremely old or am I just missing something?

Tekoo says:

Bullcrap... that's one of the worst tip ever!!! Gosh that was lame and uber noob stuff...
Easy yes, but make sure to never view these pics other than on your iphone screen!!

Analog Spirit says:

Thanks very much for posting this, Georgia. I'm still fairly new to the iPhone (I've had it for 3 months now, and couldn't be happier with it; best device I've ever had), and this comes in really handy.

Eprisencc says:

Is this cropped or zoom photo? When I think of cropped, I think of selecting a rectangular portion of the photo and cutting out the rest without changing the resolution of the remaining crop. Wouldn't this trick just zoom in on the crop and save it at a new higher resolution?

FLskydiver says:

It takes a screen capture. Therefor, the image dimensions will be whatever resolution your devices display is. The application here is for photos you will only view on your phone or email to friends at low quality, not for archiving. The new photo may lose quality, depending on they quality of the original photo and how much you crop, but the new photo is saved as a copy so the original remains untouched.

Auntiewiv says:

Good tip! I use the same trick to grab photos from the Facebook app to use as contact pictures.

Yiannis says:

Thanks for the tip.
There is also a free app called "CropForFree" that can do the crop and rotate.

Hedwig says:

I have a variation of this tip. By accident, I recorded a movie of my daughter with a santa hat on, when what I really wanted was a photo. Played the movie, paused it, selected the frame I wanted and then took a screenshot. Now I have a photo to share the moment.

Georgia says:

@totallyBrit thanks for the compliments. This tip is perfect because it takes something we already have and uses it a bit differently. I think it's brilliant.
Have a great tip of your own send em in

ricki says:

I forget how to do a screen shot. Someone remind me please!

Judas says:

If you look at the date of that link, it's one day AFTER Georgia from TiPb posted it! They lifted it from this blog.
Great job, Georgia!

mrsFAB says:

Great tip. I've done this before in fact. It's always good to be able to have quick short cuts for things.

Ryan says:

It's nice to find a quality article. I enjoy lots of the blog posts on your site.

Amanda says:

My question is: How do I make a picture fit in the "square" space that crop and save gives me when the picture is too big for that square? i cant seem to do it! it never changes it sizes, so when I use a photo app like instagram, I can never get the "whole" picture I took, just the part thats inside the square.

Swissmiss says:

Yeah, but you get an entire screen shot -- with the ATT/time header and Navigation buttons on the bottom.

Evy says:

Thanks for the tip, but it's not working for me. I've done it before, so I don't understand it.

Btp907 says:

I saved a photo after cropping it but I wanted original to be saved still. Possible?