How to disable macro mode on iPhone Pro


Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Apples iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have impressive camera settings that are incredibly fun to use. The cinematic video mode, with its dynamic focus panning, is enough to make you feel like a creative pro.

In addition to the nice video mode, Apple has also added the option to take macro photos – that is, close-ups of objects – starting with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max; it’s a feature carried over to the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.

Also: How to take great macro photos with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

iPhone models that can take macro photos have the feature enabled by default. That means when you open the camera app and start to frame your photo, the phone will automatically recognize it’s getting close to an item and switch to macro mode without you having to do anything. It’s a nice feature to have, but it can be jarring and it might not always be what you want or how you want the shot taken.

Apple eventually added a button (starting with iOS 15.1) that can enable or disable Macro mode on demand, right in the Camera app.

Enable the macro control button

Before you find the new setting, make sure you have installed iOS 15.1 (or a newer version). You do that through the Settings app and go General > Software update.

software update screenshot

Make sure your software is up to date by going to settings, then general and clicking the “software update” option.

Screenshot by Christina Darby/ZDNet

After updating your iPhone (if necessary), you must install the Macro control button by going to Settings > Camera and scroll to the bottom of the page. Slide the switch next to it Macro Check to the on position.


Turn off Auto Macro to prevent your camera from jumping all over the place when you try to take a picture.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Take a macro photo with the new macro control button

Now that your iPhone’s camera no longer automatically detects and swaps lenses to take a macro shot, how do you snap one on purpose? Glad you asked.

Also: AirPlay to a TV

Open the camera app, make sure it’s in photo mode, and frame the shot as you normally would. In the viewfinder you will see a new macro button (it looks like a flower). If the button is yellow, macro mode is enabled and available. If it’s not yellow, you’re taking regular shots.

Macro controls on iPhone 14 Pro Max

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET


What can you expect from the results of a macro photo?

Macro shooting lets you capture subjects as close as two centimeters away. Still macro shots, with enough light, can capture finer details, like your furry friend’s whiskers to the droplets on a flower petal.

For a little inspiration, check out Apple’s Macro Shot on iPhone Challenge finalists.

Do iPhone 13/iPhone 14 and iPhone 14/13 Pro have the same cameras?

While both the iPhone 13/14 and 13 Pro/14 Pro offer multiple cameras, the difference in the cameras is in their rear lenses. The iPhone 13 has a dual camera system, including an ultra-wide and wide lens.

Also: iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Is it worth the upgrade?

If you want to shoot from further away or capture more candid moments, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro have an additional telephoto lens and, of course, the ability to shoot macro photography.