How to Convert a Live Photo to a Video Clip

The Live Photos feature in the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad captures video in about two seconds. Here's how to turn it into a real video clip.

Sometimes it is useful to film something very short, such as a child riding a cart. Live photos capture these moments and can be played back, looped, moved forward and backward, or used with a “long exposure” effect that blurs motion.

This makes Live Photos very useful for capturing a moment that has movement rather than just a still image. You can edit a Live Photo to turn any part of it into a still image.

Convert Live Photo to Video on iPhone or iPad

Sometimes you may need to use Live Photo in an iMovie project you create or in other video projects. This means that the Live Photo needs to be converted to a standard video file format.

To do this, first open Live Photo in the Photos app. The easiest way to find them is to tap or click on the Albums section.

From there, scroll down to “Media Types” and select “Live Photos.” Then tap or click to select the Live Photo you want to convert.

On an iPhone or iPad, click the three dots menu in the top right corner and select Save as Video. The resulting video file will be available in the Media Types section of the Videos section, as well as in the Recent album.

How to save a Live Photo as a short video clip on iPad

The original Live Photo is still there and can be found in the “Live Photo” section. Photo album. Now you can export this video anywhere, such as an email attachment or copy it to the Files app for later use.

Convert Live Photo to Video on Mac

On Mac, the procedure is slightly different. By default, Live Photos are saved in the High Efficiency Image Codec (HEIC), so you need to hold down the option key when dragging a Live Photo to the desktop or another Finder window.

This creates two files: a .mov video file and a HEIC “keyframe” still image. The .mov file can be imported into iMovie or other video editors on Mac.

You may want to share the file with non-Apple users, which means you'll need to convert the .mov file to a different format. To do this, you can export the clip from iMovie to MP4 or use other third-party utilities to convert the clip to less used formats.

Live Photos let you capture brief but special moments or simply add context to an image by adding sound and motion. Although they are very short, they can come in handy in video with images, inserting live moments between still images. Similar clips can be used in other ways.

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