Lift Subject From Background Not Working In iOS 16 (Fix?)

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iPhone Tricks > Errors and Issues

Posted in Errors and Issues by Mike on September 14, 2022

Lift subject from background iOS 16

Lift subject from background iOS 16 feature not working on iPhone? You’ve updated to the most recent version but are unable to isolate objects in Photos. You touch & hold on the subject but the animation isn’t playing and the subject won’t move when you drag your finger?

Lift Subject From Background Not Working?

how to lift subject from background
This issue has been reported by Krys on our iOS 16 review page:

“I just updated to iOS 16 on my iPhone 11 in NJ/USA and I can’t lift an image out of a photo.”

Is Lift Subject From Background Device Restricted?

lift subject from background requirements
Apple confirms on it’s website that the feature is compatible with devices packing the A12 Bionic and later!

This means that isolating subjects in photos works for iPhone XS and XS Max, iPhone XR, iPad Air, iPad Mini, 8th generation iPad and later.

iOS 16 compatible iPhones that don’t support this feature are: iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone 8.

How To Fix Lift Subject From Background In iOS 16

If you own a compatible device but isolating subjects in photos doesn’t work, try the following tips:

1. Zoom In Photo

lift subject from background fix
Be aware that not every image qualifies for this new feature. If the subject isn’t easily identifiable in the picture, it won’t work!

For example, a photo that has the subject zoomed out, too far in the background, won’t trigger this Visual Look Up function.

Tip: use the Edit option available in the top-right corner of the screen to crop the image and zoom-in on the subject! Try isolating it again and it should work!

2. Turn On Live Text

Apparently, the feature won’t work if Live Text option is disabled:
live text settings

  • Open Settings and browse for General -> Language & Region.
  • Turn On Live Text, available at the bottom of the screen.

3. Restart iPhone

If lift subject from background is still not available, reboot your device!

iOS 16 is in its early days and minor glitches might prevent certain features from working. A fresh start could fix it! We recommend you to apply, the force restart combo!

Have you managed to lift subjects from photos? Do you have a better solution or more questios? Use the comments to share your feedback.

Related: Users experiencing problems with this feature have also complained about missing Duplicates folder in Photos. Here are more details.

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