How to Do A Face Swap

Faces for Snapchat are fun to use with friends

Young man holds a smart device while using SnapChat app
Getty/ S3studio

It seems as though face swaps are everywhere. You would like to get in on the fun, but you don’t know where to begin. Once you have downloaded Snapchat from the App Store or Google Play, you can swap faces with family, friends, pets and more. Learning how to swap faces is a breeze, once you know the basics of this entertaining feature.

Get Up to Date

Update Snapchat

Make sure you have the most recent Snapchat updates installed. 

On an Android device, go to Google Play and select My Apps & Games from the menu. If Snapchat is listed in the Updates section, tap Update.

On iOS, go to the App Store and tap the Updates tab. If Snapchat is listed in the Updates section, tap Update.

Get Started

Snapchat Face Swap Lens Effect

Open Snapchat and make sure it is in Selfie mode. Tap and hold on your face (not the shutter button) until you see the white mesh face map. This will activate the lenses.

Swipe through the lenses until you find the Face Swap lens effect, which is a yellow icon with two smiley faces. 

Line Up Your Faces

Snapchat Face Swap Align Faces

Two smiley faces should now appear on the screen. Get close to the person (or animal or inanimate object that happens to have some sort of face – think statue, doll or painting) with whom you want to swap faces.

Move yourselves and/or your device until you have aligned both faces with the smiley faces on the screen. The faces will turn yellow when your faces are properly aligned.

Tip: if you are having trouble getting the Snapchat faces to lock in, make sure you are facing the camera directly and remove glasses, if you are wearing them.

Let Hilarity Ensue

Face Swap
Flickr | miguelb

Once your faces are lined up correctly, Snapchat will swap faces automatically. Whatever expressions or movements you make will occur on the other face. If you smile, laugh, talk or stick out your tongue, it will appear on the simulated face. 

Saving a Swap

Face swap with Xavier
Flickr | miguelb

You can capture the Snapchat funny faces by tapping the shutter button (the circular button at the bottom center of the screen). If you press and hold the button, you can record a video. 

Once you have saved your Snapchat faces, you can have even more fun with them. You can add text, stickers or text to your pic using the Pencil, Sticker or Text buttons. Share the picture by tapping Send and selecting friends you want to send it to. Tapping Add to My Story lets you share the snap for 24 hours. You can also tap Download to save the image to your device. 

How to Face Swap with Your Camera Roll

Snapchat Face Swap with Camera Roll

Nobody around for you to swap faces with? No problem! You can use this feature with pictures saved on your device, although the steps are slightly different. 

After starting Snapchat and mapping your face, swipe to and select the purple face swap lens effect showing a camera and a smiley face. Tap Allow or OK if prompted that Snapchat needs access to your camera for photos you have stored. 

Snapchat will scan your camera roll for faces and present you with the options it finds. Swipe through the images and tap on the one you want to use. Snapchat will then swap your face with the one in the photo.

As with a two-person face swap, you can snap, record, edit, share or save the swap to enjoy the next time you need a good chuckle.