The iPhone is well known for its stunning, high-quality camera, which tends to outperform those on many other smartphones. That means it can be quite confusing when photos taken on the amazing iPhone camera turn out looking less than stellar — and, more specifically, when they come out blurry. So, why does this happen?
There are several reasons why iPhone pictures might come out blurry. It’s often because macro mode is turned on. At other times, the lighting isn’t sufficient, there’s an issue with the hardware, or the camera lens itself needs to be cleaned.
Blurry photos can be a real drag, especially when you only notice the issue later on and the photos can’t be reshot. So, let’s take a closer look at why your iPhone pictures might be turning out blurry as well as how you can fix the issue.
Why Are My Pictures Turning Out Blurry?
There are many reasons why your iPhone pictures may turn out blurry, and figuring out the one that applies to your phone involves exploring the various options.
Since the latest iPhones (available on Amazon) have very high-quality cameras, blurry pictures are a fault that definitely needs to be fixed.
The possible causes behind your blurry photos include:
- Macro mode being turned on
- Smudges on the lens
- Poor lighting
- The photographer shaking
- A hardware issue
Start by turning off macro mode and seeing if that helps and, if it doesn’t — or if macro mode was never on — proceed to troubleshoot for the other issues.
What Is Macro Mode and How Does It Affect My Pictures?
Macro mode involves focusing on a very specific and often very small subject, which makes the rest of the background blurry. If you haven’t intentionally focused on the subject, it can make the picture seem like it’s bad quality.
How to Turn Off Macro Mode
When you get close to a small subject, you’ll see a small flower pop up on the screen, which means macro mode has been enabled. Simply tap this small flower to turn it off.
Other Reasons Your Pictures Are Blurry
If macro mode isn’t on and you’re still encountering blurry pictures, there are some other reasons you can look for:
Your Lens Needs to Be Cleaned
Since users generally hold their iPhone in their hand throughout the day and it often gets exposed to the elements, it’s almost unavoidable that smudges will appear on the lens after some time.
Fingers can accidentally brush across it and dirt might get on it, making the lens increasingly dirty over time. Needless to say, this can affect the quality of the picture.
In order to clean the lens, wipe it with a small microfiber cloth (on Amazon), using circular motions. Open the camera app and take a look at the image on your screen while you clean. If you notice the quality visibly improving, then your lens was dirty and it should be much better now.
Try to refrain from washing your iPhone with any liquid unless absolutely necessary. Doing so could damage the hardware.
Your Lighting Is Bad
The iPhone’s camera has improved dramatically in terms of its low-lighting capabilities, offering different modes and lighting settings — as well as the flash — to take high-quality photos when it’s dark. However, the camera isn’t foolproof, and sometimes it’s still too gloomy for the iPhone to take a decent photo (especially when the flash is off).
You can troubleshoot this issue by moving to a space with better lighting and trying to take another photo. If this one turns out better, you know you had a lighting issue.
If you can’t get out of the area with the bad lighting, you can also try turning on the flash. This is indicated by a little lightning bolt symbol visible on the camera page with three settings: On, Off, and Auto.
Make sure you choose to turn it to the ‘On’ position to ensure the flash kicks in when you try to take another photo.
Your Hands Are Shaking
A steady photo with an iPhone generally requires a steady hand. Although the iPhone will do its best to compensate for any motion, it doesn’t always work.
Try balancing your iPhone against something or steadying one hand with the other and taking the photo again. You can also use a tripod (on Amazon) for the best results.
A Case Blocking the Camera
Make sure your case isn’t hanging slightly over the iPhone camera lens. Some cases are very bulky, and may impede the lens. It’s also best to avoid using a case that’s meant for a different iPhone model, as it may not fit the phone very well.
There’s a Software Issue
It’s always possible there’s a software issue that’s causing your photos to turn blurry. Most software issues can be fixed with a hard reset.
In order to reset the phone, hold down the sleep/wake button and the volume up button for ten seconds, then release the volume up button.
After a further five seconds, you should see the Apple logo appear, which means your phone has rebooted.
Wait for it to come back on and then reload your camera to see if it’s made a difference. If not, you can follow these steps to check for an update:
- Tap ‘Settings.’
- Tap ‘General.’
- Tap ‘Updates.’
On the resulting page, you’ll be able to see if any updates are available. Apple tends to update their iOS to fix previous bugs, so it’s important to keep up to date with this.
There’s an Issue With Your Hardware
If the above solutions don’t work, there’s always a possibility that there’s an issue with the hardware. You can contact Apple Support and they’ll be able to set up a repair. Usually, you’re offered the choice of going to a retail store to drop the phone off or sending it in by mail. The former is usually quicker, but they do offer free postage.
iPhones come with a one-year warranty. If there’s an issue that isn’t due to misuse, Apple should be able to fix the phone for free. Otherwise, they’ll provide you with a quote.