How to blur out part of an image on iPhone

Ever needed to share a photo but were worried about exposing sensitive personal information? Whether it’s blurring out a house number, a family member’s face, or other personal details, our guide shows you how to blur parts of an image directly on your iPhone.

Our tutorial is perfect for enhancing privacy when sharing photos on social media or elsewhere online.  You can also use this iPhone image blurring technique to hide important information in a screenshot.

How to conceal part of a picture on an iPhone

iPhone makes it easy to hide any section of an image or screenshot using the native Markup tool. You can use this feature to cover a face, hide sensitive documents, or conceal anything else that is private in one of your images.

Please bear in mind that the Markup tool does not actually blur the image. Instead, it covers the selected area with a solid shape that you can adjust in color and opacity. This isn’t a true blur effect (where the details become indistinct while remaining visible) but rather masks the section completely.

If you need to blur the image you must use a third-party application with blur options. We will recommend an app and provide instructions on how to use it later in this guide.

To use the Markup tool to conceal part of an image follow these steps:

  1. Open the image: Start by opening the image or screenshot you want to edit. Tap the “Edit” button located in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  2. Access the Markup tool: Look for a pencil tip icon at the top-right of your screen and tap on it. This is the Markup tool, which you will use to blur the image.
  3. Enter Markup mode: In the Markup interface, tap the “+” button located at the bottom-left corner of the screen.
  4. Add a shape: Select “Add Shape” and pick a shape that best covers the area you wish to conceal.
  5. Adjust the shape: Position the chosen shape over the area you need to hide. Use the blue handles around the shape to adjust its size so it perfectly covers the targeted area.
  6. Customize the look of the image markup: At the bottom of the screen, you’ll find several options for customizing your blur:
    1. The first circle adjusts the brightness around the shape’s edge.
    2. The second circle controls the thickness of the border.
    3. The third circle lets you choose the color filling the shape.
    4. The fourth circle adjusts the intensity of the cover (opacity) which will let you see what is behind the cover as much as required (adjust this as needed).
  7. Save the changes: Once you’re satisfied with the adjustments, tap “Done” in the upper-right corner to save your changes.

How to blur part of a photo on iPhone

If you prefer a true blurring effect for your iPhone images, we recommend using the powerful free photo editor Adobe Photoshop Express.

This fantastic editor has a real blur option that you can use to make any features indistinct while still seeing them in the image. This blurring is less jarring and distracting than the native iOS Markup feature. Perfect for blurring a photo that you wish to share on social media.

To use the Adobe Photoshop Express blur tool, follow these simple steps:

  1. Download the App: Start by downloading Adobe Photoshop Express from the Apple App Store and install it on your iPhone.
  2. Open the app and select your photo: Launch Photoshop Express and select the photo you want to edit from your gallery.
  3. Open the editing tools: Once your photo has loaded, use the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. You can swipe through the options until you find the ‘Blur’ tool.
  4. Apply a blur: Tap on the blur tool and select Radial Blur to blur a specific part of your image. A circular area will appear in your photo. Move this circle to the area you need to blur. You can pinch to resize the circle depending on your needs and adjust the intensity of the blur using the slider.
  5. Save and share your image: Once you are happy with the blurring effect, tap on ‘Done’ to save your changes. You can now share the blurred photo.

How to blur the background of a photo on iPhone

iPhone (and newer iPads) come equipped with a depth control feature that anybody can use to blur the background of an image. This is particularly useful when the background of a photo is too distracting or contains some identifying mark that makes it too obvious where you are. The only caveat is that this feature is only available in portrait mode.

Follow the steps below to use the depth control feature to blur the background in any portrait photo:

  1. Begin by opening the photo you want to modify and select the “Edit” button located in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. In the top-left corner, you will notice two symbols – a hexagon and an f-like icon.
  3. Clicking on the hexagon will bring up a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to control various portrait lighting effects that you can use to adjust the photo’s lighting and focus.
  4. Selecting the f-like icon (f-stop) will let you adjust the depth of the background blur. This is done by sliding the toggle that appears at the bottom of the screen.

We recommend experimenting with both of these controls to achieve the effect you require. If you want to completely conceal the background of a photo you should choose the “Stage Light” option. Toggle the intensity of the stage light blur to maximum.

Why would I want to blur a photo on iPhone?

There are many reasons why you might want to blur part of a photo or image. Perhaps you’re looking to enhance a photo aesthetically, focusing attention on something in the foreground, or using a vignette effect to highlight certain parts of the image. These are common photographic and artistic motivations for applying a blur.

However, there are also significant privacy reasons for using photo-blurring tools. When you share photos on social media, it’s hard to predict who might see them and how people might use the information they contain.

Details like street names and house numbers can inadvertently expose you to risks such as unwanted attention or even cyberstalking. While it may seem overly cautious, the reality is different. Every year, thousands of social media users experience worrying privacy incursions.

For this reason, we strongly urge everyone—influencer or not—to carefully consider each image they intend to share online and to obscure any elements that could potentially lead to security issues.

If you believe someone or something in an image could be a risk, you can use the methods outlined in this guide to obscure the image for privacy’s sake. This will let you share your images freely without fear of unwanted repercussions.