Best Ways to Fix Portrait Mode Not Working On iPhone

Best ways to fix iPhone's portrait mode

Portrait mode photos on smartphones since the iPhone 7 Plus. Portrait mode allows you to take photos with a DSLR-like effect. It is useful for clicking human and pet items. But, it is rather annoying when it stops working or does not work as intended. There may be cases where you don’t get any background blur at all or only parts of your image are blurred. If you are facing issues with portrait mode on your iPhone. Then here are the 8 best ways to fix iPhone’s portrait mode.

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Sometimes, however, the portrait mode feature on your iPhones camera may stop working for reasons unknown to you. While you may try to make the shots as perfect as possible, you just can’t seem to get that bokeh effect that differentiates portrait mode photos from regular images.

Why Is Portrait Mode Not Working on iPhone?

If the portrait mode feature refuses to work on your iPhone, there’s usually a problem causing that. Software issues are usually the easiest to fix and are often not your fault, while hardware problems are a lot more complicated. Regardless of what the problem is, you should be able to tell why you can’t use this feature.

In this section, I’ll show you some reasons some iPhone users, including you, may not get portrait mode working on their devices. Here are some reasons portrait mode may not be working on your iPhone.

1. Your iPhone doesn’t support the feature

2. You’re using the feature in low light

3. You’re too close to the portrait mode subject

8 best ways to fix iPhone’s portrait mode

Below we have some of the best ways through which you can fix the portrait mode of your iPhone.

1. Maintain the correct distance from the subject

Portrait mode on iPhone works best when you maintain a certain distance from your subject. Make sure your subject is at least two to eight feet away from the iPhone. To make things easier, follow the instructions while clicking the portrait mode image in the Camera app. If the screen shows that you are too close or too far, move forward or backwards accordingly so that you can see the effect of the image on the screen.

2. Look for a well-lit environment

One requirement for a relatively okay portrait mode shot is sufficient lighting. By sufficient, it means you’re not taking a picture at night and expecting a perfect bokeh effect. Portrait mode is only for afternoons when you have distracting elements in the background.

If you’re trying to take a photo indoors or at night, consider ditching the portrait mode effect. Photographers have been able to come up with award-winning images using an iPhone that isn’t even capable of taking a portrait mode photo.

3. Try clicking pictures of a human subject

Select iPhone models (those with a single rear camera such as iPhone 8, iPhone XR, iPhone SE 2020, and iPhone SE 2022) can only click portrait mode photos of human subjects. If you have any of these iPhone models, portrait mode will not work when trying to capture an object or pet.

Try taking a picture of a human subject in portrait mode to check if it works well.

4. Clean the camera lens on your iPhone

A dirty viewfinder often results in poor photos or, in this case, no photo effect. Hence, it is a good practice to clean the camera lens(s) before clicking the image.

5. Use an external camera app to apply a portrait mode effect

There are hundreds of camera apps on an iPhone that may help you apply a portrait mode effect before or after taking a photo on your iPhone. You can simply search “portrait mode” on the App Store to get recommendations for apps that let you enable it somehow.

If you’re comfortable manipulating your photos in Infiltr, you can install the app from the App Store to apply a portrait mode effect after the fact. Besides that, some services will add portrait mode effects to your photos after the fact when you use their cloud service.

6. Don’t include too many people in the frame

Portrait mode works best with one subject in the frame or with two faces at most.

7. Decrease the aperture value in the Camera app

Step 1: Open the Camera app on your iPhone and go to the Portrait option.

Step 2: Tap the small arrow at the top of the screen to reveal additional settings.

Step 3: Select the f button in the lower right corner.

Step 4: Use the slider at the bottom to set the aperture value to appear between f1.6-f2.8 for best results. Swiping to the left increases the value and swiping to the right.

8. Update iPhone to the latest IOS version

If none of these methods helped you solve your problem, then you can try to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version. It is possible that a particular software version is restricting the camera from working properly. Updating your iPhone to the latest software can fix portrait mode not working on your iPhone.


So, these were some of the best ways to fix the iPhone’s portrait mode. Often, there are some software bugs as well, a simple restart might help as well, if none of these works, then you can try resetting your phone, or visit the nearest Apple service centre to get it checked if the issue is from the hardware side.

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