I want to shoot all my photos as Live Photos but only if I can quickly review and delete the video part of the Live Photo to save space. Is this possible?

  • I've updated my answer with a way to remove the "Live Photo" part of a photo. Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 12:39

10 Answers 10


Starting with iOS 9.3 and macOS El Capitan 10.11.4, Photos can strip the video portion of a Live Photo natively.

  • On your Mac, right-click the Live Photo, then Duplicate 1 Photo.
  • On iOS, open the Share Sheet from your Live Photo, then tap Duplicate.

Select Duplicate as Still Photo, and you are then free to delete the original Live Photo.

You can even select multiple Live Photos and process them as a batch this way. This can prove especially useful starting with iOS 10.3 and macOS Sierra 10.12.4, which provide a new built-in smart album containing all your Live Photos. Simply go into Albums view and scroll down to Live Photos right below Selfies.

  • 3
    You can use the cmd+d shortcut to avoid the right click on each photo you want to have only as still. It's also annoying that Photos doesn't ask you if you want just the image when you disable the live photo in the editor mode. Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 12:26
  • 2
    Note that the image will be duplicated as JPEG and not HEIF, and will consume approximately twice as much disk space as the original live photo (according to Get Info pane).
    – frin
    Commented Nov 30, 2018 at 11:10
  • @frin Wow, that's just insanity. It's almost like Apple wants to fill up your device Commented Mar 9, 2019 at 12:37
  • 1
    Thanks! While this method will technically work, it will create the duplicate with current timestamp (don't know about location though). It will be added to the end of all photos.
    – synthomat
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 19:28
  • 1
    On iOS, Duplicate just duplicates the live photo, with no option for a still.
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 15:58

Just open your live photo in photos, tap on share, then duplicate and then choose "duplicate as still image". Then just delete the original live photo.


You can remove the video portion by editing the photo on your iOS device. When viewing a Live Photo, tap on Edit, and then make an adjustment. I've found any changes made using the tools will prompt an alert, letting you know any changes made will remove the video portion. On the other hand, using the "magic wand" to automatically optimize the photo will not remove the video.


Since the size of the live video portion of the image (sound and frames) is generally twice the size of the still. On iOS 10 the edit function on iOS only hides the data and doesn't strip or free the space.

  • iPhone 6s and 6s Plus captures 4032 x 3024 in landscape
  • The average of 10 still images is 1.95 MB
  • The average size of the 10 corresponding live videos is 3.67 MB - this inlcudes the sound and motion portion of the data.

You can also strip the video easily by connecting either phone to Photos v 11.1 app and you will see both the "traditional still" photo and the associated video file to import.

  • that's wrong. the option to delete the live part of a live photo is available,
    – pre
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 9:54
  • @pre awesome! Do you have a screen shot you could share to show the control in action? I'm not sure I can measure any savings by toggling iOS only.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 10:14
  • 2
    @Pre, that option only hides the Live Photo; in fact you can click it again to re-enable it.
    – fregante
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 13:25

You are able to delete the live photo part be entering the edit mode of a live image. Tapping the live photo symbol there will deactivate it and removes the live part of the photo.

  • 6
    Tapping the live photo symbol will simply hide the live photo in the Photos app, but the actual file will not be deleted and still keep consuming an inordinate amount of space on your phone. Extremely annoying.
    – user151197
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 4:48
  • 1
    @benlee unfortunately you're right ... the live photo is just hidden, and can be reenabled the same way.
    – pre
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 17:32

There's an app on the App Store called Lean that does just what you're asking. I haven't used it myself, but it does comes recommended from CNET---http://www.cnet.com/how-to/this-free-app-helps-eliminate-the-live-photos-you-dont-want/ ---and it's free so it's worth a shot.

For quick results, one could just take a screenshot (press lock and home button together) of the image and delete the original Live Photo.

However, when I imported some Live Photos I took on my iPhone 6S into Photos on my MacBook Pro I was given the regular photo and what appeared to be the Live Photo, separately.

  • 10
    The screen on an 6s plus only gives you 2 megapixels, much less than the camera does. So you'll loose a lot of resolution that way.
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 6:17
  • About the last paragraph: Yosemite's Photos doesn't support Live Photos and therefore shows a photo and a video separately. El Capitan's Photos supports them so they're joined.
    – fregante
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 13:24

I am using the app called Lean, it does the job very well. You can download it at here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lean-clean-up-your-live-photos/id1051075379?mt=8

I read the review about this app before at http://foxyios.com/tips/how-to-remove-the-video-part-of-a-live-photo


On Yosemite Photos.app displays video portion separately from JPEG portion*. You can delete the video portion, in my testing the JPEG portion remains. The deleted video portion is seen in "Show Recently Deleted" and when permanently deleted ("Delete All") the JPEG persists.

  • My wife accidentally turned Live Photo so I had to delete hundreds of videos. For some I'm not seeing the expected separate video though she though she was doing still images.

The simplest way to achieve this is to enable My Photo Stream in iCloud Photos settings as it strips the video from all Live photos when viewed in 'My Photo Stream'.

If your device is synced with Mac OS/X Photos then it also has the [unexpected] affect of not storing the video portion of the live photos - so it will only keep the still image.


If these photos are under MacOS (or have been exported to a particular folder), fire a terminal in this folder and:

mv *.pvt/*.HEIC .
rm -r IMG*.pvt

This will move the still photo out of the bundle and suppress it.

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