Creative iPhone and iPad

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

Alice Kotlyarenko 15-03-2019

Burst mode is a fantastic tool to capture motion on 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.

Using Burst Mode on iPhone

Burst mode is one of the iPhone camera settings you must master 8 iPhone Camera Settings You Must Master to Take Better Photos If you take pictures with your iPhone, these are the most important iPhone camera settings you must know for better photos. Read More , whether it’s to up your photography game or to avoid accidentally taking 15 photos when you only wanted one.

Below we’ve answered the most important questions you might have about Burst mode on iPhone.

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). In your iPhone photo library, it looks like a regular picture with a Burst (X photos) badge.

All your bursts are grouped under Media Types > Bursts, so you can find them without rummaging around in the Camera Roll.


How to Take Burst Photos

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

  1. Open the Camera app and frame your shot.
  2. Tap and hold the Shutter button (or the volume button if you prefer to use that).
  3. Above the Shutter, you’ll see a counter with the number of photos taken. Let go of the button when you’ve taken enough photos or have captured what you wanted.

The burst will now appear in your Photos library, both in the Camera Roll and under Media Types > Bursts.

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, make sure to tap the button just once instead of tapping and holding it.


How to View and Delete Burst Photos on iPhone

Whether your use of Burst mode was intentional or your finger just lingered on the shutter for too long, you’ll want to see the pictures you’ve taken. To view all photos in a burst, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Photos > Media Types > Bursts.
  2. Open the burst you want to view.
  3. Tap Select.
  4. Swipe left and right to see all 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.

The photos you selected save to your Camera Roll as separate images. When you opt for Keep Only X Favorites, that deletes the original burst, so you won’t see it in the Bursts album anymore.

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 > Media Types > Bursts.
  2. Tap Select.
  3. Select the burst you want to remove.
  4. Tap on the Trash icon.
  5. 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.

Sharing and Editing Burst Photos on iPhone

As you probably noticed, a burst comes with all the usual options: Edit, Favorite, Share, 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 it via AirDrop What Is Airdrop? How to Share Files Between iOS and Mac Apple's AirDrop is a convenient service allowing you to transfer files between Mac and iOS devices. Here's how to use it. Read More 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. From your Camera Roll, tap Select and mark all pictures from that burst. To make this easier, you can tap and hold on the first photo and 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 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. While in Camera Roll, 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 blue arrow icon to send.

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 Image.

This will save your favorite shots from the burst to your Camera Roll as individual pictures.

Can You Edit a Burst?

Unfortunately, the Photos app doesn’t support batch photo editing. The editing option is active when you view the burst, but when you tap Edit, you’ll notice that it tweaks only the main photo. All the changes you make will be applied to that one image, while the rest in the burst will stay as they were.

The same is true for third-party photo editors, so there’s really only one way to edit all photos in a burst: save individual images as described above, and then edit them one by one.

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, as well as other iPhone camera hacks The 7 Best iPhone Camera Hacks You Must Try These iPhone camera hacks will let you unlock more features of your phone's camera. Try them out and take even better photos. Read More we’ve covered. And to make sure you still have storage after happily snapping hundreds of pictures, clean up the bad photos and keep only those you like.

Related topics: iPhone Tips, iPhoneography, Smartphone Photography.

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