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How to adjust Portrait mode blur on Mac with the Photos app

iOS 13 debuted the option to edit an image’s Bokeh effect after taking a Portrait mode shot. Now with macOS Big Sur, you can edit that in the Photos app as well. Read on for how to adjust Portrait mode blur on Mac with the Photos app.

The Portrait mode blur, known as “depth” or more broadly as a Bokeh effect is what gives Portrait mode shots their unique look. You can adjust it before taking a Portrait mode photo, but the default setting is your iPhone camera sets it automatically (usually somewhere in the middle).

Fortunately, it’s easy to adjust after the fact and now you can do that on Mac with macOS Big Sur as well as iPhone and iPad. Keep in mind you need to select Portrait mode before shooting photos to be able to adjust the blur on Mac after the fact.

How to adjust Portrait mode blur on Mac with the Photos app

  • On your Mac running macOS Big Sur, open the Photos app
  • Find a Portrait mode photo (look for PORTRAIT MODE label in top left corner) and double-click it
  • Click Edit in the top right corner
  • Make sure the Adjust tab is selected at the top of the Photos app
  • Now look for Portrait in the top right corner, click the drop-down arrow if it’s not expanded
  • Now you can adjust the depth slider to change the Portrait mode blur
  • If you didn’t already choose a Portrait Lighting option, you can select one at the bottom of a Portrait mode photo on Mac, then you’ll get the option to adjust lighting just above Depth

And on iPhone

  • To do this process on iPhone, open a Portrait mode photo in the Photos app
  • Tap Edit in the top right corner
  • Tap the aperture button “f-number” in the top left
  • Slide the Depth at the bottom to adjust the Portrait mode blur

Here’s how the process looks on Mac:

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.