Reduce Text Message Attachment Size by Turning Off Live Photos

Kelly Heffner Wilkerson, Co-Founder of Decipher Media
Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iPhone | View Comments

Taking photos and sending them via text message directly in the Messages app has become a lot easier (and therefore a lot more common) in iOS 10 and iOS 11. If I have "Live Photos" (the photos with a few seconds of video included, so they animate) turned on, I feel a little strange snapping and sending photos in Messages, because I don't really want to include a few seconds of useless (or possibly embarrassing) sound. Until I learned how to not include the live photo portion in the photo I send via Messages.

Reasons to not include the Live Photo portion of a photo in Messages:

  • The live photo is larger than a normal photo, taking up more space on the recipients phone, taking a little longer to send, and using more data.
  • There's usually some goofy murmur background noise in the live photo, especially if what you really want to send is a still. (If you're like me, that murmur usually includes something silly and embarrassing you're saying.)
How to disable Live Photo for a Text Message sent in Messages on iPhone:
  • Take your photo as normal in the Messages app. (You'll see the word "Live" in yellow after you take it if you have Live Photos turned on in the Camera app.)
  • Tap the Live Photo circle in the upper left corner of the attachment you're about to send, and a line will appear, crossing out the live photo circle.
That's it! Now the Live Photo portion of the photo won't be sent in your text message!