How to Take, View, and Share Burst Photos on an iPhone

Burst Mode is a fantastic tool to capture motion with your iPhone camera, and perhaps the only reliable way to take a photo of your toddler who’s never, ever still. But that’s only if you know how to use it.

While your iPhone’s camera comes with a Burst Mode, taking and managing burst photos is somewhat confusing. You might wonder how to view all photos in a burst and how you took it in the first place. Wonder no more, you’ll find all the answers you need right here.

What Are Burst Photos?

A burst is a sequence of photos taken within split seconds of one another (10 photos per second, to be exact). When you scroll through your iPhone photo albums, you can distinguish a burst from a regular photo by seeing whether there’s a “stack” of pictures behind it. Also, when you tap on a burst, you’ll notice a Burst (X photos) badge in the corner.

Burst Mode is one of the iPhone camera settings you should master, whether it’s to up your photography game or to avoid accidentally taking 15 photos when you only wanted one.

How to Take Burst Photos on an Iphone

Taking burst photos is easy. It’s actually so easy that you’ve probably done it before without even meaning to. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Camera app and frame your shot.
  2. On an iPhone XS, iPhone 11, or newer, swipe the Shutter button all the way to the left. On an iPhone X or older, just tap and hold the Shutter button.
  3. Alternatively, you can go to Settings > Camera > Use Volume Up for Burst and then hold the Volume Up button on the side of your iPhone. The second method works regardless of the model.
  4. You’ll see a counter in the center that shows the number of photos taken. Let go of the button when you’ve taken enough photos or have captured what you wanted.

The burst photos will now appear in your Photos app. You can find them easily under Media Types > Bursts, without rummaging around in your iPhone’s photo albums.

Can I Turn Off Burst Mode on iPhone?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely turn off Burst Mode. As you can see from the instructions above, it’s not activated by a toggle or a checkbox—rather by the way you press the shutter. So if you want to avoid taking photo bursts in the future, you can use the Volume button instead of the touch-sensitive Shutter button on your screen.

How to View and Delete Burst Photos on iPhone

Whether your use of Burst Mode was intentional or not, you’ll want to see the pictures you’ve taken somehow. To view all photos in a burst, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Photos app and tap Albums > Media Types > Bursts.
  2. Open the burst you want to view.
  3. Tap Select.
  4. Swipe left and right to see all the photos.
  5. Select the ones you want to keep and tap Done.
  6. Tap Keep Only X Favorites to save only the pics you selected, or Keep Everything to keep the burst as well.

When you opt for Keep Only X Favorites, that deletes the original burst, so you won’t see it in the Bursts album anymore. These favorite photos will then be saved into your Recents album as separate images.

If you’re sure you don’t want any of the photos from a burst, you can delete it just like you delete regular iPhone photos:

  1. Go to Photos > Albums > Media Types > Bursts.
  2. Open the burst you want to delete.
  3. Tap on the Trash icon.
  4. Confirm by tapping Delete X Photos.

That’s it. You’ve moved the burst to the Recently Deleted album, where it will stay for 30 days in case you change your mind. To make sure you always have storage after happily snapping hundreds of pictures, remember to clean up bad photos on your iPhone and keep only those you like.

Sharing and Editing Burst Photos on iPhone

As you probably noticed, a burst comes with all the usual options: Share, Favorite, Edit, and Delete. However, it’s not quite that simple with burst photos; there’s more to know.

Can You AirDrop Burst Photos?

At a glance, it seems like you can. When you tap the sharing icon, the burst appears selected, and you can send the image via AirDrop to your Mac or another iPhone. But once you do that, you discover that you only sent the main photo in the burst.

If you need to AirDrop the whole burst, go through the view-and-select process we described above, and then share the multiple photos saved as a result:

  1. Open the burst you want to share.
  2. Tap Select.
  3. Select all photos in the burst and tap Done.
  4. In your photo album, tap Select and mark all pictures from that burst. One of the cool tricks you can do with iPhone gestures is to tap and hold on the first photo, then slide your finger down to select them all.
  5. Tap on the Share icon in the bottom-left corner.
  6. Available AirDrop devices should appear below the photos. Tap on the name of a device to send all selected photos.

Can You Send a Burst Photo via Messages?

As in the previous case, when you try to send a photo from a burst, you’ll end up sending just the main image. So again, select all photos from the burst you’d like to send, save them as individual images, and then proceed to sharing.

To text all photos from a burst, do the following:

  1. In the Photos app, tap Select and mark all photos from the burst.
  2. Hit Share.
  3. Tap on the Messages icon.
  4. Start typing the recipient’s name in the To field, and then select the contact from the list.
  5. Hit the Send icon.

Now, if you’re the one receiving a burst via Messages:

  1. Tap on one of the photos to open it.
  2. Swipe left and right to see all images.
  3. On every photo you like, tap Share > Save Photo.

This will save your favorite shots from the burst to your Photos app as individual pictures.

Can You Edit a Burst?

In iOS 16, the updated Photos app allows users to batch edit photos. But if you want to apply different edits to each photo, it’s best to tap Select, check all the images, and tap Done to save them into individual images. Then, simply tap Edit to make your changes to each picture.

If you tap Edit directly on a Burst, it will only tweak the main photo. The rest in the burst will stay as they were. If it’s a photo orientation error, you can check out our guide on how to rotate multiple photos at once on your iPhone.

Give iPhone Burst Mode a Shot

Hopefully, this guide has answered all the questions you had about burst photos. Go ahead and experiment with Burst Mode. Your iPhone camera is equipped with amazing features to help you get the perfect shot.

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