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How to crop and rotate photos on an iPhone

Chop and change

iPhone in hand
(Image: © Kicking Studio / Shutterstock)

It’s very rare that you get a photo just right. Whether your captured memory is ruined by an unwelcome photobomber or disrupted by a rogue finger on the lens, it can be frustrating to see your photos turn out less-than-perfectly.

Luckily, all Apple devices come equipped with a set of handy tools to help you crop and rotate your treasured (or not-so-treasured) images.

Here, we’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to use them – and don’t worry, this should work for all generations of iPhone and iPad, whether you own an iPhone 12 Pro or an iPhone 6S

How to crop photos on iPhone or iPad

To crop your photos, you’ll firstly need to launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad. When you take a picture using either one of these devices, this is where your photos are stored.

Find the photo you want to crop, then tap on it to open. Next, you’ll want to hit the edit button in the top right corner of the screen. This will open up a host of fancy editing tools, but you’re looking to select the crop button in the bottom menu (in portrait mode, it’s the rotating box icon positioned furthest to the right).

Once you’ve selected the crop tool, you’ll be able to tap and drag corner handles as well as the borderline around the image, and you can use these to manipulate it to the size you want.

iPhone crop

(Image credit: Future)

Once you’re satisfied, tap Done to save your changes. You can jump in and out of the crop menu as many times as you like, and there’s also handy Reset and Revert buttons should you wish to start again from scratch. 

How to rotate photos on iPhone or iPad 

To rotate photos on your iPhone or iPad, follow the same steps as above to reach the cropping menu on a given image.

In the top left corner of the screen, you’ll see two buttons: mirror and rotate. Tap the rotate button to flip your image 90 degrees to the left, and repeat until you reach your designed level of rotation. The mirror function is useful, too, if you want to reflect your image on a vertical axis.

iPhone rotate

(Image credit: Future)

Tap Done to save your changes.  

Useful tips 

The crop menu has several other useful functions, too.

You might find you need to vertically or horizontally straighten your image to achieve the best perspective. This is particularly true of photos taken of buildings or the landscape.

Luckily, Apple has a handy feature to let you do just that.

iPhone straighten

(Image credit: Future)

Above the crop symbol (when selected in portrait mode), several straighten buttons will appear. By default, your iPhone or iPad will be set to Straighten, but you can switch between this and Vertical or Horizontal (each located next to one another). Simply adjust the slider until you’re satisfied with the results.

To crop images to a specific size, you can also access a selection of aspect ratios. Once you’ve selected the crop tool, you can push a button in the top right corner of the screen (next to the three dots) which brings up a selection of aspect ratios into which you’re able to fit your desired image.

Axel Metz

Axel is a London-based Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Tesla models to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and a degree in English Literature means he can occasionally be spotted slipping Hemingway quotes into stories about electric sports cars.