How to Use Portrait Mode on FaceTime in iOS 15

Blur the background and emphasize your face on FaceTime

What to Know

  • Start a FaceTime video call. Tap on your video thumbnail when the call connects. Tap the Portrait mode icon on the upper left of the screen.
  • Portrait mode in iOS 15 blurs the background on FaceTime calls.

This article shows you how to use Portrait mode on FaceTime calls in iOS 15 and up.

How Do You Turn On Portrait Mode on iOS 15?

The new Portrait mode in the iOS 15 update is similar to the portrait effect with the Camera app, which mimics a shallow depth of field. It helps you worry less about what’s behind your shoulder during a call while the other participant focuses on your face.

To turn on Portrait mode in an iPhone or an iPad, make sure it’s running iOS 15. There’s no change in the way you start a FaceTime call

  1. Open the contact card of the person you want to call. 

  2. Start a FaceTime call. Alternatively, you can go directly to the FaceTime app and initiate the video call. 

  3. As soon as the call connects, tap on your video thumbnail on the bottom right corner of the screen. 

  4. The video thumbnail will expand to fill up the screen and display a few options.

  5. Tap the Portrait mode icon on the upper left corner. 

    FaceTime Portrait Mode
  6. The background will soften and blur. Tap on the Portrait mode icon again to turn off the background blur. 

iOS supports this feature on iPhone and iPad models with the A12 bionic chip and later. The lineup includes the iPhone XR, iPad (8th generation), iPad Mini (5th generation), and iPad Air (3rd generation), and every version after.

How to Use Portrait Mode From the Control Center

The Portrait mode can also be enabled and disabled from the Control Center. This location of the setting here helps you blur the background on third-party video chatting apps too. 

  1. Open FaceTime or any other video chat app on your iPhone or iPad and start a call with a contact.

  2. Swipe the screen to display the Control Center. This method differs slightly between the models.

    • On an older iPhone with Touch ID and a Home button, swipe up from the bottom center of the screen.
    • On an iPhone with Face ID or no Home button, swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. On the top left of the Control Center, press the Video Effects Portrait tile to expand it.

  4. Toggle the Portrait button to the on position to enable Portrait mode. Toggle it back to turn it off.

    Video Effects in iOS
  5. Swipe to return to your call. 

Portrait mode works for all third-party video calling apps from the Control Center. For instance, you can use it for videos chats on WhatsApp and Snapchat. Along with the new Mic controls, iOS devices make video chats better in most environments. 

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