How to blur, pixelate, and hide sensitive parts of a photo on iPhone or iPad

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Before sharing a screenshot or image, do you want to hide sensitive information like address, card number, license plate, the dirty laundry in the background, or a kid’s face?

Let’s take a look at a few ways to blur, hide, or pixelate areas of your photo on iPhone and iPad. After that, you can save the final image to the Photos app or share it via iMessage, WhatsApp, or put it on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

Note: Are you looking to blur the background of your image? That is, add a bokeh effect? If yes, please see this tutorial: How to get the bokeh effect in your iPhone photos

1. Use Markup

Markup is a handy tool built right into the iPhone and iPad Photos app. There is a detailed tutorial showing you the ins and outs of using Markup. But here’s a recap to help you hide parts of a picture using this free option:

1) Open the image inside your iPhone or iPad’s Photos app and tap Edit.

2) Tap the Markup icon.

Markup photo in iPhone Photos app

3) Here, you can use one or a combination of the following tools to hide parts of your image and tap Done to save it:

I. Pen or highlighter: Select the pen or highlighter icon to select it. After that, tap the same icon again to select a thick brush size.

Choose Highlighter tool in Markup on iPhone

Next, choose the colored dot to pick the desired hue. Here, make sure opacity is set to 100% to hide the details entirely. If you just want to have a translucent effect (that faintly shows the hidden parts), drag the opacity slider to the left to about 85%. If you want to pick a custom color from the photo, tap the blue color picker icon from the top left.

Pick color and set opacity in Markup on iPhone

Finally, use a finger to draw a line or shape to hide the desired part of the image. Just like a crayon on paper, the color will darken if you drag your finger repeatedly on the same area.

Hide sensitive part of image on iPhone

II. Use shapes: Tap the plus icon and pick a shape – square or circle.

Add shape to hide parts of photo in Markup

After that, select the shape icon from the bottom left and pick the solid option.

Fill the shape with color to hide sensitive part in Markup on iPhone

Optionally, choose a color. Now, place the solid shape anywhere to hide the desired part of the image. Further, you can use two fingers to rotate the overlay shape. And drag the eight dots to change the shape and size of the square or circle to adjust it as per your liking.

Use rectangle or circle to hide parts of image on iPhone

III. Use emoji: You might have seen people on social media, especially celebrities, blur their kid’s face from the photo by putting an emoji on it. You can do the same while posting Instagram Stories by using the app’s built-in tools. Or, you can follow these steps:

Tap the plus icon and choose Text.

Pick text to add emoji to photo to hide sensitive part

Next, double-tap Text and add the desired emoji using the keyboard that pops up.

After that, hide the keyboard and tap the emoji. Now, tap AA and use the slider to increase the size of the emoji. Finally, drag and place this emoji anywhere on the photo to hide that part.

Adjust size of emoji accordingly to hide face from a photo on iPhone

2. Censor app

Censor is a free app with optional in-app purchases that lets you blur and pixelate images on your iPhone. Here’s how to use it:

1) Pick an image inside the Censor app and tap the water drop icon to add a blur. To pixelate, tap the square icon with four tiny gray and black squares. You can choose to blur or pixelate with sharp straight borders or go free flow.

Open image in Censor app on iPhone and pick blur or pixelate tool

2) Use a finger to cover the desired area of the image with blur or pixelated effect.

Add blur to image on iPhone

3) Finally, when done, tap the share icon to send the blurred or pixelated image via Messages, Mail, WhatsApp, AirDrop, etc. You can also tap Save Image to have it in your Photos app.

Save final blurred image on iPhone

3. Blur app

Blur app is a free iOS app with optional in-app purchases to hide sensitive parts of your image.

Follow these steps to blur or pixelate parts of the photo on your iPhone or iPad:

1) Open the free Blur app, tap the photos icon, and pick the image.

2) Choose a blur or pixelate option under Filter.

Choose the pixelate tool in the Blur app on iPhone

3) Optionally, set the size and intensity of the blur or pixelate effect.

4) Use one finger to draw a line or shape on the area you wish to hide.

5) When done, tap the check button to save the image or share it via other mediums.

Add pixelate or blur effect and save final image to iPhone Photos app

Hide sensitive photo parts

By now, you know how to blur, hide, or pixelate areas of your photos for free. You can use any that feels quick and comfortable. In case you wish to go the paid route, here are a few iPhone apps that do the same:

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