9 Ways to Fix if Portrait Mode is not working on iPhone

Smartphone cameras have come a long and a lot of the improvement credits go to software-based enhancements like portrait mode. Apple was the first one to introduce portrait mode in their iPhone cameras, allowing the user to click photos with blurred backgrounds. But a lot of iPhone users are experiencing that the portrait mode is not working.

If you are also facing this issue, then here I am going to share a couple of working ways to fix this issue. Let’s get started.

Fix iPhone Portrait Mode Not Working

Here are the tips and fixes to consider if you are not able to use Portrait Mode on your iPhone or if it is not working properly.

1. Maintain sufficient distance from the subject

There is a minimum distance requirement between your iPhone camera and the subject in order to click good portrait photos. iPhone automatically displays a message saying “Move further away.” on the top of the camera screen.

So, if you are too close to your subject and are trying to click portrait photos, please move further away until the message stops showing on the screen.

2. Force Restart your iPhone

If the portrait mode is not glitching due to some software bug, restarting your iPhone serves a high chance to resolve this issue.

To force restart your iPhone:

1. Press and release the volume-up and volume-down buttons one after the other.

2. Now, hold down the iPhone’s side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen.

3. Let your iPhone restart and then check if the portrait mode is now working.

3. Update your iPhone

Outdated iOS version can also lead to issues with software-based features like portrait mode. Hence check for the iOS update and if there is any, install it.

To check for software updates on iPhone:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Go to General.

ios settings general fix photo shuffle
iPhone settings

3. Tap on Software Update and let the iPhone check for available updates.

Update software on your iPhone

4. If there is an update available, go ahead and install it by following the on-screen instructions.

4. Avoid Portrait Mode in low-light

Portrait mode is a software-based feature that requires a good amount of information in the clicked photos to simulate the background blur. And in low-light situations a lot of details get washed out from the photos, making it harder for the algorithm to analyze and segregate the subject from the background.

If you have a Pro or Pro Max version of iPhone 12, 13, or 14, then the LIDAR sensor on the rear camera module will assist the portrait shots at night. But for non-pro models or models with no LIDAR sensor, low-light portrait shots are not going to be that good.

With that said, make sure to avoid low-light or dark-lighting conditions while capturing portrait-mode photos from your iPhone.

5. Try capturing photos of human subjects

In some iPhone models where there is only a single rear camera, the users can only click portrait photos of human subjects. Portrait Mode for objects, animals, plants, etc. will not work. Some examples of such iPhone models are iPhone 8, XR, iPhone SE, and SE 2022.

Hence try capturing photos in portrait mode of human subjects to check if it is working properly.

6. Avoid capturing too many people at once

If you are trying to capture a photo with more than one human subject then it is possible that one of the human subjects will get blurred out. This mostly happens when one of the people is recognized as a part of the background plane.

Hence, either consider including people in your frame that are close to you or just completely avoid having them in the frame.

7. Clean the Camera lens

A dirty camera lens can lead to distortion in the clicked photos. The same also makes the task for the algorithm hard to properly analyze the subject and the background. This will ultimately result in improper edge detection, leading the unwanted objects getting blurred.

8. Reset All Settings

It is possible that there are some faulty settings on your iPhone, causing the Portrait Mode to not work properly. In that case, you should consider resetting your iPhone settings. To reset your iPhone settings:

1. Open the Settings app and go to General.

ios settings general fix photo shuffle

2. Scroll to the bottom and tap on the Transfer or Reset iPhone option.

transfer or reset iphone settings

3. Tap on Reset.

reset iphone settings

4. From the popup list, tap on the Reset All Settings option.

reset all settings iOS 16

9. Contact Apple Support

Lastly, if nothing works then you should consult Apple Support for the resolution. It is also possible that your iPhone unit is faulty. In that case, visit a physical Apple Store nearest to you and explain your problem to the Apple technician to get the issue resolved.

Click Photos with blurred background on iPhone

And with that said, here comes the end of this fixing guide. I am hoping that the provided fixes would have helped you in resolving your iPhone Portrait Mode issues. These few yet key methods should be enough to get the portrait mode up and running back on your iPhone.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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