Why can’t I edit my Photos in iPhoto?

Why can't I edit my Photos in iPhoto?

Very few iPhone people use their photos unedited, not necessarily because the original unedited image doesn’t look good but because the iPhoto app makes editing photos very easy and a fun task to do. This is unlike several other photo editing apps and software that are available, requiring you to bear the professional title to use them.

Every one can use the iPhoto app to transform ordinary photos to a stunning piece of art and best part is you don’t need like a one month intensive course to learn how to make stunning edits. All you need do is jump on the app and begin to play, you will be surprised how much of a photo editor you can be.

However, the iPhoto app can get heady sometimes and will not allow you to make a quick photo fix on the editor. You’ll notice all of the tools available for editing are grayed out that when you open the usual editor panel. So in this case, what possibly could be done and why’s this happening? Continue reading and you’ll find out in the next minute.


Why Can’t I Edit My Photos In iPhoto?

You may have gotten the error message ‘image cannot be edited’  before when you tried using the iPhone default photo editor to fix your photo, which I agree with you to be strange.

iPhoto may not allow you make edits to your photos sometimes and this could be as a result of several factors all involving software and not one hardware issue. I’ll run down below in a few paragraphs why you may not be able to make photo edits on the iPhoto app;

1. Unsupported Image Format

Unsupported Image Format

This can be the most likely cause why you’re unable to edit on iPhoto, especially if the image was imported from another source or downloaded. Usually images you take with your iPhone camera will not be refused by iPhoto.

Several image formats exist including but not limited to JPEG, TIFF, PNG, SVG and RAW. The list goes on and on. However iPhone does not support some certain types on image formats and so will not allow you to make edits on them. This is why the editor tolls gray out when you try to use iPhoto for the image.

Best image formats supported by iPhone include mainly the PNG and JPEG. So you’ll want to make sure the image you hope to edit falls in any of the stated categories.

The quickest way to know what file format your image is on is to view the image description, here’s how to check on iPhone.

  • Open the image
  • Swipe up on it and a layer of information about the image will appear including the image size and of course the format
  • The image format is usually written in this way for example; xyz.PNG. Whatsoever you find after the dot is the format and in this case, it’s PNG.


If however you find that the image format is one of those not compatible with iPhoto app, then it has to be converted. You can make use of a third party app easily download-able on App store or search on Google for an online image file format converter tool to make you a PNG or JPEG. After conversion, you should now be able to make edits on iPhoto.

2. iPhoto Bug

iPhoto Bug

If the image you’re trying to delete is already in one of the accepted iPhoto formats or an image you took with your iPhone camera, then it could be a minor iPhoto app issue. There are three ways you can take to resolve this issue. I’ll recommend you take the below step serially

  • Relaunch The iPhoto App

Relaunching the iPhone default editor is able to fix minor bugs that may have occurred with the iPhoto app. Doing this is simple, just exist entirely from the iPhoto app, give it some time’ about 30 seconds and relaunch it again. Try to make an edit again to verify if it’s working.


  • Restart Your iPhone

If step one doesn’t effect a solution, then reboot your device. This can help resolve every abnormalities in the software iPhoto runs on. To restart your iPhone;

  1. Press and hold the power button
  2. The power off and restart slider button will appear.
  3. Slide the button to restart.
  4. Your iPhone will go off and come on again
  5. Open the iPhoto app to verify if the issue is resolved.


  • Update To Latest iOS Version

While an update to any higher IOS version maybe able to effect a solution, updating to latest iOS version will even do it better. latest iOS version comes with a rebranded iPhoto version with more tools available in the editor panel. To update your iPhone follow the steps below;

  1. Launch iPhone settings
  2. Click on General
  3. Click on software update
  4. Download and install any available update, it’ll be installed afterward.

Open the iPhoto app, the issue should be resolved now.


Can I Edit My Photos in iPhoto?

iPhoto is iPhone’s default photo editor and just about anybody can turn any image to anything beautiful. If you know how to drag sliders back and forth, then you are a good fit.

In fact, if you’re scared that you’ll make a mess of the image, you don’t have to worry. iPhoto also incorporates an automatic enhancer that will take your image from normal to  a stunning piece of art. Just hop unto the app and make some good edits.

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How Do You Edit Photos On iPhoto?

Just before we get down to the actual editing, I’ll share with you a helpful tip that you always may want to adhere to. Always make a duplicate of the photo you intend to edit.

Although you can revert the changes you’ve made on a photo while editing, it’s best to have the original copy set aside. At least it can help you know if the edited is better than the original even if it doesn’t serve any purpose to you.

I’ll run through three sections of editing and how to save your finished work as well on iPhoto.

1. Launch iPhoto

Very easy to do. On opening the app, select the image you wish to edit and tap edit. You’ll also find out easily that there are no complicated buttons or panels as the app has a great user interface. You’ll only find three icons towards the apps bottom.


2. Color, Brightness And Sharpness Editing

An average image could be made more alluring by just reducing or increasing several visual aspects of the photo. To start with this, tap on the adjust icon just below and a row of adjustable sliders will appear. Each slider has its own name or the corresponding effect written by the side so you don’t have to guess which you’re currently adjusting.

Among the adjustable sliders you can find the exposure tool, brilliance, highlights etc and each one of them performs a specific function and will give a different look to you photo. For example, the brilliance tool modifies the details of your image, adding brightness to the shadows on your image when you slide to the right and vice-versa when you move the slider to the right.

Each tool you choose to either slide right or left will immediately show its effect on your photo so you can decide immediately if its the right tool to use, or keep adjusting until the desired effect is achieved.

3. Filter Edits

One quick way to transform your image is by using a filter. Think of it like a premade edit where all the color, brightness and sharpness has been adjusted already and all you need to do is to apply to your image.

To use a filter click on the icon with the semblance of three intersecting circles, you’ll find a row of filters you can choose from. Make your choice of filter and click on the desired one. You can further edit the filter by adjusting its strength by using the slider or removing it by clicking on the original image.


4. Crop, Rotate And Flip Edits

With these tools, you can manipulate any image to look far from the same with the original image.

The crop tool allows you get rid of unwanted aspects of your image so you only have what you need. Click on the crop icon at the bottom and adjust the handles over the image. The parts retained within the crop box are preserved while the parts outside of the crop box are eliminated.

The rotate and flip tools can be found at the top left side of the crop tool. With the rotate tool, you can turn an image 90 degrees at a time. If you want to turn an image up side down, then this is the tool you need.

The flip tool will allow you flip an image horizontally. This simply means that the image will switch sides. The original right side of the image becomes the left and vice-versa.

5. Saving Your Edit

When you’re satisfied with your work so far and wish to save, tap on done to save your work. You can find the just edited image in the photo gallery.

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I’m pretty sure you now can see how easily you can transform images with the iPhoto app. I’ll recommend you upgrade your iPhone to IOS version 13 to get the best experience off iPhoto. What you’ll notice as you continue to use iPhoto is that you’ll get better and will begin to know outrightly the right color adjust tool to use or even have a favorite filter.



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