Skip to content

Ask an expert: stop Live Photos from moving

No time to drop into the Apple Store and ask the Genius Bar for help with your iPhone or iPad? Maybe one of our resident experts can help!

As Apple nerds, we get asked a lot of tech support questions — and some of those questions crop up time and time again. Here’s a recent query that we think will be familiar to many of you.

“How can I stop Live Photos and videos automatically playing as I scroll?”

There are various places in the Photos app where videos and Live Photos automatically play. In some cases, this is welcome, making your photo albums come alive. But that’s not always the case.

For a start, playback is inconsistent. Also, some people find moving pictures a distraction. Worse, for others they can trigger motion sickness issues. And yet even if you have Reduce Motion turned on, Live Photos and videos will continue to autoplay.

The main solution to this concern is found in the Photos section of Settings. Scroll down and turn off Auto-Play Videos and Live Photos. On doing so, Live Photos will only play in full-screen view. To stop that as well, head to Accessibility and in the Motion section turn on Reduce Motion. Then Live Photos will only play when pressed for a second or two.

Of course, Reduce Motion also affects many other animations and transitions within iOS/iPadOS. Therefore, you might need to strike a balance between your preferred iPhone/iPad experience and your desire for photos and videos to stay put until you want them to start moving.