How To: Shoot Bursts & QuickTakes Using Your iPhone's Volume Buttons

Shoot Bursts & QuickTakes Using Your iPhone's Volume Buttons

When you can't touch the shutter button on the screen in the Camera app, your iPhone has another way to snap a picture or take a video — just press the Volume Up or Volume Down button. But when it comes to bursts and QuickTakes, things are a little bit trickier in iOS 13 and iOS 14.

While there is a unique way in iOS 14 to take a burst of photos or a QuickTake video with your hardware buttons, there were ways to do it in iOS 13 too. What really matters is what iPhone model you have since Apple made some of the Volume button shortcuts exclusive to newer models.

Click Either Volume Button:

Since at least iOS 7, all iPhone models could click either the Volume Up or Volume Down button to perform any of the following tasks in the Camera app.

  • Time-Lapse: click once to start a time-lapse, again to stop
  • Slo-mo: click once to start a slo-mo, again to stop
  • Video: click once to start a video, again to stop
  • Photo: click once to take a picture
  • Portrait: click once to take portrait
  • Pano: click once to start a pano, again to stop

Long-Press Either Volume Button:

In iOS 13, if you have an iPhone 11 or newer, you can press-and-hold either the Volume Up or Volume Down button to start shooting any of the following types of videos, then let go of the button to stop recording. In iOS 14, all of the same applies, but it'll also work on the iPhone XS and XR models.

  • Slo-mo: press-and-hold to start a slo-mo, let go to stop
  • Video: press-and-hold to start a video, let go to stop
  • Photo: press-and-hold to start a QuickTake video, let go to stop
  • Pano: press-and-hold to start a pano, let go to stop

If you have an iPhone XR or older running iOS 13, or if you have an iPhone X or older running iOS 14, the press-and-hold action won't work for QuickTakes since they are not supported. Instead, you get bursts.

  • Photo: press-and-hold to start shooting burst images, let go to stop

However, those are the default settings. If your iPhone supports QuickTakes, that feature steals burst's Volume button shortcuts. But on iOS 14, you can get it back. Go to Settings –> Camera, then toggle on the "Use Volume Up for Burst" switch. Then, press-and-hold on the Volume Up button to take bursts, and let go to stop. QuickTakes will now only work with the Volume Down button.

  • Photo: press-and-hold Volume Up to start shooting burst images, let go to stop
  • Photo: press-and-hold Volume Down to start a QuickTake video, let go to stop

Hopefully, Apple lets QuickTakes work with all iPhone models so that the Volume Button tricks are less confusing overall. But I guess if you have an iPhone 11, you don't care how it works on an iPhone 7, so it may not be that big of a deal after all.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Justin Meyers/Gadget Hacks

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