With each new year, Apple’s iPhone receives photography updates in the form of either software or hardware enhancements. A couple of years ago, that was the ability to use a timer, perfect for taking photos and videos hands-free. While this feature exists in the Apple Camera app, it is somewhat hidden. Follow these steps to find and use your iPhone’s camera timer.
How to Access and Use iPhone’s Camera Timer
The timer feature in the iPhone’s Camera app not only lets you set a countdown to take pictures but it also enables Burst mode automatically. So whenever you set a timer, Burst mode is activated and it captures 10 photos instead of one. You can keep all the 10 photos or select the best of them and delete the rest. Sadly, there is no way to stop iPhone from taking multiple pictures when the timer is on.
Let’s go through the steps to use the timer.
Turn on Timer on New iPhones
- Launch the Camera app on your iPhone. The app will open in the mode you’ve previously used. Make sure to pick “Photo” by dragging the app’s Mode menu (just above the shutter button) left or right.
- There are two ways to proceed. There are additional options related to the “Photo” mode, which can be accessed by tapping on the up-arrow at the top of your screen. Alternatively, you can also swipe up across the Mode menu to reach the same set of options that includes the Timer button.
- On the right side of the Mode menu, you’ll see the Shutter Timer icon. Tap on it.
- Once you select it, the icon will scroll to the left side of your screen, revealing three options. You can turn the timer off, or choose to set it to 3 seconds or 10 seconds. Pick the option that works best for you.
- The Shutter Timer icon will move to the top-right corner of your screen to indicate that you’ve set a timer on the iPhone’s camera. All that’s left is to press the Shutter button and get into position for the shot.
- The Camera app will now show the countdown, which will flash on the screen. The shutter will then fire, storing the burst images you’ve just taken in the Photos app.
Turn on Timer on Old iPhones
- Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
- Select the Photo mode from the available modes at the bottom.
- Tap on the Timer (clock) icon in the top row. Choose the countdown time as 3 or 10 seconds. (You can turn off the timer by tapping on Off.)
- The selected time will show at the top. Tap on the shutter button to start the countdown for capturing burst photos.
Bonus: How to Take Multiple Photos at Once Manually
Your iPhone can take multiple photos at once using the Burst mode feature without enabling the timer and without pressing the Shutter button repeatedly.
Even though Burst mode is hidden in the iPhone’s Camera app, you can use it quite easily as shown below:
- Open the Camera app on your iPhone.
- Go to the Photo/Square mode from the list of modes at the bottom.
- If you are using an iPhone X or earlier, hold the shutter button as you shoot. You will see the number of photos that are being taken at the bottom. For iPhone 11 and later, drag the shutter button to the left.
Tip: On iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and later, you can also press and hold the Volume Up button to take burst photos. Make sure the “Use Volume Up for Burst” feature is enabled under Settings -> Camera.
- Let go of the shutter button when you want to stop taking photos.
- Launch the Photos app and look for the recently taken photo. All the burst photos will show up under one photo.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did I miss the Shutter Timer feature? Has it always been there?
The Shutter Timer feature has not always been present in the Camera app. More precisely, it first appeared in iOS 8, and the position and icon have changed over time, as has the method of setting the timer.
Can I take selfies with the Shutter Timer feature?
Yes. The timer feature works with your phone’s front- and rear-facing cameras while taking photos.
Can I use the Shutter Timer to take videos?
The Shutter timer feature only works for the Photo, Square, and Portrait modes. It doesn’t work in video or other modes.
What to do if I can't set a timer or capture burst photos?
One of the main reasons for the iPhone Camera timer or Burst mode not working is the wrong selection of Camera mode. Both these features work only while taking photos and not while capturing videos — ensure that you’ve chosen the correct mode. Also, make sure Live photos is turned off.
Image credit: Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox