How to take a photo using the volume up button with your iPhone or iPad

How to use the the volume up button to take a photo with your iPhone or iPad

Apple makes it easy to take a photo with your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad simply by tapping the big, round shutter button right on the screen. If you're trying to take a photo one-handed, however, or even just depending on your position, even that big, round button can be out of reach. Luckily, Apple also lets you activate the shutter and take a picture with the volume up button.

How to use the volume button on your iPhone or iPad to take a picture

  1. Launch the Camera app from the Home screen.
  2. Frame the picture you want to take, just like normal
  3. Press the hardware volume up button to activate the camera shutter and take a picture.

Bonus: Use a headset as a remote!

Because many headsets now come with control modules, which include volume up buttons, they can also be used to trigger the camera shutter. Because headsets have long cords, and some are even wireless, you can use them to trigger the camera shutter over a longer distance.

Note: Originally published June 2011. Updated June 2014.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 13 comments. Add yours.

Shrike says:

It's a nice addition as it would theoretically reduce some camera shake. Pressing an on-device button always introduces some shake.
Also, it sounds like the camera app is intercepting the volume up signal to activate the "shutter" in the camera if it works with the remote in the earphones. If it is doing something like this, then it should also work with Bluetooth headsets with volume controls. Should it not?
Apple may get rid of this and limit it to only the volume button on the device, who knows.
If they can put the camera at the center of the phone, with really low F-stops (2) for fast low-light shooting, I think that would be the great. The current camera position just isn't great. The lens really needs to be in the center.
Then again, it's a cell phone.

Marcus Sanford says:

I'm also wondering about the possibility of using the volume button on a bluetooth headset. Would be so nice to be able to do that.

Jazzdab says:

This will be great for taking clean shots. A good photographer always uses a remote with a tripod —whether near or far — to avoid moving the camera.

JohnPA2006 says:

Thanks to your comment I have the Nat King Cole song stuck in my head. Thank a lot.
:o)... unforgettable.. thats what you are......
Yes this remote shutter feature will be cool.

David Silverstone says:

On, this guy has been posting a video everyday about hidden features on iOS 5, and the video he posted today was about this. The others are pretty interesting too.

icecrystal23 says:

Would this work with BT headsets? That would be awesome.

Makoto Miyamoto says:

That's what I want to know too!
Tipb-TV field test!

Nicholas Heilweil says:

Definitely a good thing for any non-daylight pictures!
Now the question is, "will I be too lazy to bother?!"

tennenho says:

You'd still need the camera app open.

Lisagri says:

i've been dreaming about being able to use remote controller with the iphone - now this is more or less possible! awesome! ,)

Anonymous2 says:

This is such a ridiculous situation haha. I have an iPhone and I doubt I've ever been in the middle of taking a picture and decided I had to turn the volume up right then. Even if it did come up, just wait until you're done taking the picture and then change the volume or like you said, double tap home and swipe right. Using the volume up button makes it so much easier to take a picture without moving the phone, especially because I would always take my eyes off the subject to see where the on-screen shutter button was.

escorte says:

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I'm happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

dyp says:

Anyone know if this works with the last gen of iPod Touch?