How to Edit and Resize Photos on the iPad

Get your pictures looking just right

You can edit your photos directly on your iPad without having to download a third-party app. The options available include rotating, changing colors, adding filters, and cropping. Using one or several of these features will get your photos looking better and use the iPad's large screen to its full advantage.

Here's what you can do with the iPad's suite of editing tools.

How to Enter Editing Mode in Photos

You can start changing your images directly from viewing them in the Photos app. Here's how.

  1. The Photos app on iPad
  2. Navigate to the picture you want to edit, and then open it.

  3. Tap the Edit button in the upper-right corner.

    The Edit button in Photos on an iPad
  4. Edit Mode will open, and a toolbar appears on the screen. If you're in portrait mode, the toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen just above the Home Button. If you are in landscape mode, the toolbar will appear on either the left or right side.

The Magic Wand 

The very first button is a magic wand. The magic wand analyzes the photo to come up with the right mixture of brightness, contrast, and color palette to enhance the photo's colors. The auto-enhance is a great tool to use on just about any photo, especially if the colors look slightly faded.

The Magic Wand in Photos on an iPad

When you tap the Magic Wand, and it makes its changes, the icon will change color. Tap it again to compare the photo with and without the enhancements.

How to Crop or Rotate a Photo

The button for cropping and rotating the image is just to the right of (or below) the magic wand button. It looks like a box with two arrows in semicircles along the edge. When you tap this button, handles appear at the edges and corners of the image. Crop the photo by dragging a side of the picture toward the middle of the screen.

The Crop tool in Photos on an iPad

You can also zoom in and out and drag the image around the screen to get the perfect position for the cropped photo. Use the pinch-to-zoom gestures to focus on a specific part of the image. Tap and drag on the image to move it around, but you won't be able to take it past the boundaries of the photo.

You can also rotate the photo from the Crop menu. On the lower-left side (or upper-right corner) of the screen is a button that looks like a filled-in box with an arrow circling it. Tapping this button will spin the photo by 90 degrees.

The Rotate tool in Photos on iPad

For more fine-tuned rotation, use the semicircle of numbers just below (or to the right of) the cropped images. If you place your finger on these numbers and move your finger left or right, the image will turn in that direction. You can rotate up to 45 degrees either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Free rotation tool in Photos on an iPad

When you've finished making your modifications, tap the Done button to save your changes. You can also tap on another toolbar button to move directly into a different tool.

Other Editing Tools

The button with the three circles allows you to process the image through different lighting effects. You can create a black-and-white photo using the Mono process or use slightly different black-and-white effects like the Tonal or Noir process. Tap each of the filters to preview how they'll affect your photo.

Filters tool in Photos on an iPad

The button that looks like a circle with dots around it gives you even greater control over the light and color of the photo. When you're in this mode, drag the film roll to make changes. You can also make more precise adjustments by tapping the three lines near the reel to adjust settings like exposure, tint, and hue.

Color and light adjustment tool in Photos on an iPad

The button with an eye and a line running through it is for getting rid of red-eye. Tap the button, and then tap any eyes that have this effect. Remember, you can zoom into and zoom out of the photo using the pinch-to-zoom gestures.

The red-eye tool only appears when Photos detects a face in the image.

The last button is a circle with three dots in it that accesses third-party widgets on the photo. If you have downloaded any photo editing apps that contain a widget, tap this button, and then tap the More button to turn it on.

Add-ons can open more options for cropping the photo, add decorative stamps, or tagging the picture with text.

If You Made a Mistake

If you're still editing a photo and make a change you don't want to keep, tap the Cancel button in the corner of the screen. You'll revert to the nonedited version.

If you accidentally saved your changes, enter Edit Mode again. When you tap Edit with a previously edited image open, a Revert button will appear in the corner of the screen. Tapping this button will restore the original image.

Revert to Original command in Photos on an iPad