How To Edit A Photo On Iphone But Keep The Original: Step-by-step

How To Edit A Photo On Iphone But Keep The Original: Step-by-step

Photo galery on a white iPhone display.
iPhone allows editing images straight from its Photos app.

There are times that the shots you take using your iPhone are not that impressive. At times like these, you can either edit or retake the photos; however, the latter is impossible, most especially when the scene just happens once in a lifetime. 

There are many reasons why photo editing has become a trend nowadays. Maybe, the size isn’t right or it doesn’t just fit your standards to be posted into your social media accounts. Whatever your reason, the point is that editing a photo is inevitable.

Thankfully, the Photos app of your iPhone allows you to automatically edit your photos in there. From simple taps to advance editing options, iPhone has made it possible to enhance your images without leaving your gallery. In this article, you will find out how to edit your photos in your Photos app.

Can I save the original and edited copy?

Close up picture on iPhone XS 11
iPhone does not allow saving both the original and edited versions.

Unfortunately, iPhone does not allow you to save both the original and edited versions of an image. What you can do is to duplicate the photo before editing it. To duplicate the photo, follow these steps:

  • Open the Photos app and choose the photo which you intent do edit.
  • Click on the image in order for the Sharing/ Action options to appear. 
  • Click on the Sharing option.
  • Choose Duplicate from the drop-down menu. 
  • Check if a duplicate copy already exists in your Photos app. 

How can I revert an image that I have edited?

If you have accidentally saved an over-edited image in the Photos app or you have forgotten to duplicate the image—no worries! You can always revert the image into its original version. Here’s how you can do it. 

  • Launch the Photos app.
  • Look for the image that you wan to revert into its original version.
  • Click on the edit option located at the top right corner of the image you want to revert.
  • Tap the Revert option at the bottom right corner of the picture.
  • Confirm that you want to revert the image.

iPhone Editing Tools

As mentioned a while ago, editing your photos in the Photos app is possible and here are some of the editing tools that the Photos app offers:

1. Crop

Colored icon crop symbols
Cropping an image removes the unnecessary objects in it.

Cropping an image is necessary when the image is too large or if there is a need to reduce the edges. Cropping your photos is great and easy way to remove unnecessary objects in the image to make it simpler and cleaner. Other times, cropping enhances the symmetry of the image and allows you to zoom in an object or subject from a distance. When cropping a photo, make sure not to overdo it or else the quality of your image will degrade. 

To crop an image:

  • Open the Photos app. 
  • Click on the image that you want to crop. 
  • Tap the Edit options.
  • Choose Crop located at the bottom part of your iPhone screen.
  • Drag the edges of the image that you want to remove. If you have overdone dragging it, simply pinch the image inwards using your two fingers to bring more parts of the image back into the frame.

If you want to crop your image into a specific ratio (square, 3:2, 5:3, 4:3, 5:4, 7:5, 16:9), tap on the Aspect Ratio option at the bottom right part of the screen > choose your preferred ratio > drag the edges of the frame to crop the image.

2. Rotate

Reset button, reload options vector image
Rotating an image allows you to get the angle that you want.

There are two ways to rotate your image on your iPhone. First, rotate your photos 90 degrees at a time in order to switch between horizontal and vertical orientation. Second, free-rotate a few degrees at a time. The latter is best used when you are straightening photos taken at a camera level. 

To rotate an image:

  • Open the Photos app then click the image you want to rotate. 
  • Click the Edit option at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Tap on the Crop icon located at the bottom part of the screen.
  • Your photo will be automatically rotated to straighten up. You can reset it by simply clicking the Reset button at the bottom of the photo.
  • If you want to free rotate your image, drag the Rotate wheel which you can see right below the image. Dragging the Rotate wheel will make the grids appear over your photo.
  • Tap Done to save the image. 

3. Auto-Enhance

Sometimes, a little color collection or a quick light will bring your photo to the next level. Your iPhone can handle such thing using the Auto-Enhance feature which analyzes your image first before, applying light and color changes.

  • Open the Photos app then click the image that you want to rotate. 
  • Click the Edit option at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Tap the Auto Enhance icon that looks like a wand that is located at the top right corner of the screen. 
  • Once the Auto-Enhance icon turns yellow, your image has been adjusted already. If you want to revert your photo to its original version, just click on the auto-enhance icon again.

4. Filters

Person apply digital filters to image in Instagram application on a brand new Apple iPhone 5S.
Filters are used to enhance the appeal of an image.

Filters are the so-called one-tap editing solution that can quickly change your photo’s mood and look. iPhone offers several filter choices. To be more specific, there are nine predefined styles that you can choose from, including color and black and white. Most of the iPhone filters give your photo a vintage effect.

  • Open the Photos app then click the image that you want to rotate. 
  • Click the Edit option at the top right corner of the screen.
  • Click on the Filters icon which looks like three interlocking circles and is located at the bottom part of your iPhone’s screen. 
  • Choose from the filters which will appear below the photo.
  • Click done to save the image.

Unfortunately, you can’t manipulate the predefined filters of your iPhone.

Bonus tool: Cut Paste Photos Pro


Besides your Photos app, you can also use a no-nonsense app such as Cut Paste Photos Pro to edit your photos. With this on your phone, you won’t need to get up and open Photoshop on your desktop.

Apart from keeping the original photos after editing them, you can also resize, rotate, and cut subjects out of their backgrounds using a freehand tool. It also has an eraser tool for removing backgrounds. All those done on one app without a mouse. 

Cut Paste Photos Pro is available on iOS. If you’re an Android user, we suggest using zShot. It’s a five-in-one editor, where you can edit photos, create collages, make slideshows, edit videos, and scan documents. Download Cut Paste on iOS and zShot on Android now!

Get it on Google Play


True enough, your iPhone’s Photos app has a lot of feature and functions which you can explore and maximize. The photo editing capacity of your iPhone is already powerful enough to enhance your images. In addition, you can also use third-party apps to edit your photos. Just make sure that you are editing your image to make it look better and not the other way around.

Still have questions? Drop it in the comment section!