How To Straighten An Image Using The Photos App On iPhone & iPad

Get your photos straightened fast with the Photos app on your iPhone. See how to do it and an even better bonus solution at the end of the article

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iPhones make excellent cameras and the quality of the built in lenses means you can get some amazing results fast.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid taking a crooked or uneven photo and you’ll need to straighten your photo at a later date. How to fix this? You need an app to straighten a photo you took with your iPhone.

Here’s the example photo we’re going to straighten today:

I took this photo from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, looking out over to downtown Denver and behind that are the Rocky Mountain foothills.

Straighten A Photo On iPhone or iPad

Let’s checkout how to straighten and rotate a photo using your iPhone or iPad. The apps are the same.

The Photos App (Apple)

The built in photos app that ships with every iPhone and iPad is powerful and can transform an image in more ways than most people know.

The photo app is factory installed on every iPhone and iPad and it’s impossible to delete or remove it. You won’t have to download anything, it’s already on your device! Just search for “photos” or look for the above icon.

As for straightening, it’s easy to select an image, edit and check to make sure it isn’t crooked any longer. Here’s how to do it.

1. Open the Photos App

Photos App

Locate the photos app on your iPhone or iPad. If you can’t find it, swipe down on any Home Screen (where all your app icons are) and type “Photos”. The icon should look like the one above.

2. Open The Photo You Want To Straighten

Tap “Edit” to begin straightening your photo

Scan through your photos and find the one you want to straighten.

Once you’ve found it, tap “Edit” in the top right corner.

If you have a lot of photos that look almost the same, sometimes it’s easier to mark the photo you want as a favorite and then select albums -> favorites when you’re looking for the photo in particular.

3. Select The Crop & Rotate Icon

Select the crop and rotate icon

On this screen you can select how you want to edit the photo. Tap the icon on the bottom of the screen that looks like a standard crop button with two rotate arrows

4. Adjust The Photo

Adjust the rotation of the photo by swiping left and right
Use the on-screen grid to perfectly straighten your photo.

Use the sliding scale at the bottom of the iPhone screen to adjust the photo and level it. When you start to move the scale you’ll notice grid lines appearing as an overlay to your photo.

Use these and match it with a straight line on your photo. For the example above, I used the city horizon as the straight line and matched it with one of the guide lines.

The goal isn’t to have a guide line matching your horizon, just make sure there’s an equal amount of space above and below the guide line so it’s level.

5. Tap Done To Save Your Edits

Tap “Done” to finish editing your photo

That’s it! You’ve successfully straightened your photo.

Let’s compare the before and after to check the differences

Original Crooked Image (City Line)
Straightened Image (City Line)

The changes are subtle and you probably won’t even notice them if you’re not looking for it, but you can see the image on the right is straighter than the image on the left.

There are other apps that will also straighten a crooked image.

The Snapseed app from Google will even try and detect how straight the photo should be and apply those edits for you.

It works pretty well. Just to show you here’s the same photo put into Snapseed and the auto leveling feature turned on.

Snapseed App’s Auto-Level Feature

And here’s the full image, straightened in Snapseed with about two button presses.

Snapseed straightened image

The original image is BELOW just so you can compare. You can see the crookedness, sloping to the left.

Original crooked / unstraightened image

Hopefully this guide has helped you straighten a crooked image on your iPhone. An extra tip you’ll love to hear – all the edits you make in the Apple Photos app are undo-able. Meaning, you can edit a photo to your hearts content and if you make a mistake, you can revert the image back to its original in a tap or two.

Download Snapseed on the App Store here.

So don’t worry about trying out editing photos yourself, have fun and see what you can create.

— You have much more than a phone in your pocket or bag! —

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