I recently saw a comment online by a user who said that it was possible to open URLs from screenshots of text that contained URL data. This seems like an attractive function for me, as some sites I visit allow users to post text that are not clickable.

I screenshotted a URL as a test, and cropped it so that all that was visible in the screenshot was the URL, however when I opened the photo in the Photos app on my Iphone, there didn't seem to be an option to use the photo as a hyperlink.

Is there a way to open URLs from screenshots on iOS natively, or is another application needed to do this?

Running iOS 15.7.6 on Iphone 7

EDIT - The accepted answer explains that this feature is not supported natively for users with older phones, however I am still open to hearing about free apps that will detect text from images and convert to text.

  • 1
    Live Text is also in macOS, only the camera support isn't as smooth as on iOS.
    – cachius
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 5:24
  • 1
    I don't have iPhone to test, though I know that Google Lens can achieve this, if it's okay.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


The feature being referenced is called Live Text

Live Text recognizes information within your photos, videos, and images you find online. That means you can make a call, send an email, or look up directions with a tap.

I have not seen it work with a URL specifically (there are security implications with this), but it woudn’t prevent you from copy/pasting the URL into your browser.

In order to use this function, you need iOS 15 and and iPhone XS or later. Unfortunately, your iPhone 7 cannot support this feature.

  • 1
    Thanks for letting me know about the limitations of using an older device. Its sad that despite my phone not having any issues, that support for these type of features on older phones is not being developed. Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 4:58
  • FYI - there seem to be some alternatives for older phones out there. The one I just tried works, but is only a trial version, so I assume there is something free out there somewhere. I'm still interested to know about those if anyone knows which apps I can use. Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 5:11
  • There might be alternatives out there - 3rd party app recommendations are considered off-topic here though.
    – Allan
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 13:08

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