How to Apply Snapchat Filters

What to Know

  • Hands-down easiest: take a photo or video and swipe left or right to scroll through filters.
  • To apply three filters, tap the filter lock icon to lock in the first filter, then scroll to the second one and finally the third one.

This article explains several ways to use filters on the Snapchat app.

Snapchat logo
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Snapchat filters are different from Snapchat lenses. Lenses use facial recognition to animate or distort your face through the Snapchat app.

Snapchat filters can turn ordinary photo and video snaps into creative works of art. A filter can enhance the colors, add graphics or animations, change the background and tell recipients information about when and where you're snapping from.

Applying filters to snaps is incredibly easy and rather addicting once you start doing it. Follow the steps below to learn just how easy it is to apply Snapchat filters, plus the types of different filters you'll be able to use.

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Snap a Photo or Video and Then Swipe Right or Left

Snapchat filters come built directly into the app. You can apply any existing filter to a snap, however there's no option to import and add your own filters.

Open Snapchat and take a photo or record a video from the camera tab by tapping or holding the circular button at the bottom of the screen. Once your snap has been taken or recorded, a range of editing options will appear on the screen, along with the preview of your snap.

Use your finger to swipe left or right along the screen to scroll horizontally through the different filters available. You can keep swiping to see what each of them look like individually as they're applied to your snap.

Once you've rotated through all the filters, you'll be brought back to your original unfiltered snap. You can keep swiping left and right as much as you want to find the perfect filter.

When you've decided on a filter, you're done! Apply other optional effects (like captions, drawings, or stickers) and then send it off to friends or post it as a story.

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Apply Three Filters to One Snap

If you want to apply more than one filter to your snap, you can use the filter lock button to lock a filter in before applying another one.

Apply your first filter by swiping left or right and then tap the filter lock icon that automatically appears at the bottom of the edit options running vertically down the right side of the screen (marked by a layer icon). This locks in your first filter so you can keep swiping right or left to apply a second and third filter without removing the first one.

If you'd like to remove any of the filters you applied, just tap the filter lock icon to see your edit options for the filter types that you applied. Tap the X beside either one of the filters to remove them from your snap.

Unfortunately, Snapchat doesn't allow you to apply more than three filters at a time, so choose your best two and stick with them!

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Snap in Different Locations to Apply Geofilters

If you've given Snapchat permission to access your location, you should see location-specific filters feature animated names of the city, town or region you're snapping from. These are called geofilters.

If you don't see these while swiping left or right, you might need to go into your device settings and checking that you've enabled location access for Snapchat.

Geofilters will change according to your location, so try snapping every time you visit a new place to see new ones that are available to you.

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Snap in Different Settings for Transformative Filters

Snapchat can detect certain attributes in your snaps, such as sky backgrounds. When it does, swiping left or right will unveil new setting-specific filters according to what Snapchat detects in your snap.

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Snap on Different Days for Weekday & Holiday Filters

Snapchat filters change according to the day of the week as well as the time of year.

For example, if you're snapping on a Monday, you can swipe left or right to find filters that apply a fun "Monday" graphic to your snap. Or if you're snapping on Christmas Eve, you'll find festive filters to apply so you can wish your friends a Merry Christmas.

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Use the Bitmoji Feature to Get Personalized Bitmoji Filters

Bitmoji is a service that allows you to create your own personal emoji character. Snapchat has teamed up with Bitmoji to let users integrate their bitmojis into their snaps in various ways — one of which is through filters.

To create your own Bitmoji and integrate it with Snapchat, tap the ghost icon in the top left corner followed by the gear icon in the top right. In the list of settings, tap Bitmoji followed by the big Create Bitmoji button on the next tab.

You'll be prompted to download the free Bitmoji app to your device. Once you've downloaded it, open it and tap Log in with Snapchat. Snapchat will then ask you if you want to create a new Bitmoji.

Tap Create Bitmoji to create one. Follow the guided instructions to create your Bitmoji.

Once you've finished creating your Bitmoji, tap Agree & Connect to connect the Bitmoji app to Snapchat. Now you can go ahead and snap a photo or video, swipe left or right to browse through filters and see which new filters are available that feature your bitmoji.

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Apply Filters to Saved Snaps

If you have previously taken snaps saved to your Memories, you can edit them to apply filters. Best of all, the filters that you'll see will be specific to the day and location that your snap was taken and saved.

Access your saved snaps by tapping the Memories button below the circular snap button on the camera tab. Tap the saved snap that you want to apply a filter to and then tap the three dots in the top right corner.

From the list of options that appear in the bottom menu, tap Edit Snap. Your snap will open in the editor and you'll be able to swipe left or right to apply filters (plus apply additional effects using the edit menu options listed down the right side).

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