Why You Should Turn Off Your iPhone’s Macro Mode

Photo: Kicking Studio (Shutterstock)

Photo: Kicking Studio (Shutterstock)

Has this happened to you? You open your iPhone’s camera to take a photo, and notice something strange: Your phone seems to switch between camera lenses on its own, throwing off your ability to take your photo. After all, how can you properly frame an image when the lens keeps changing?

One reason why this happens is because of your lighting conditions. If you try to use the zoom lens when there’s not enough light, your iPhone will switch to the main (also known as wide) camera and zoom digitally. If you switch between lightning modes, you can see this in action. It’s a weird quirk of iOS, but it doesn’t explain why the camera lens changes when using the wide-angle camera, not zoom lens. Some iPhones don’t even have a zoom lens, only a wide and very wide one.

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Macro Mode automatically adjusts your iPhone cameras

The issue stems from the iPhone’s Macro Mode, which is included in the iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max. It’s well-intentioned: The feature, as Apple designed it, automatically switches to the widest camera when it senses you’re moving the camera closer to the subject. Then it intelligently takes the picture with more details that you look as if coming out of a wide lens. That way, you don’t actually get that “too wide” icon look.

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This can be a great way to get photos of close-up subjects, but it makes things confusing when you move between subjects and see your camera change without notice.

How to disable Macro Mode on your iPhone

If you think you’d like to use this feature for close-up photography, but want to turn it off just once, you can tap the Macro icon (yellow flower) from the corner of the viewfinder. When you do, your iPhone will switch back to the macro camera, and the Macro icon will be grayed out. However, the next time you use the camera and it detects a nearby subject, Macro Mode will turn on again.

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If you want to make sure that Macro Mode is always turned off, but keeps an icon in the corner if you ever want to turn it on, go to. Settings > Camera > Save settings, then hit convert to “Large Mode.” However, if you want to turn off Macro Mode for good, you can head to Settings > Camerathen scroll down and disable “Macro Mode.”

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