Everybody likes a good camera mode that actually works. And this love for camera modes reaches a new height when they come on an iPhone. With the launch of the iPhone 13 Pro/Max, Apple introduced a new automatic camera mode on the device called the Macro mode.

No, it has no buttons and does not even appear on the camera UI but suddenly switches on the moment you get very close to an object.

turn off macro mode iphone

This is not the first “automatic” camera mode that Apple has introduced. Prior to the Macro mode, Apple had introduced Night mode on iPhone 11, which again just snuck up on you. All it needed was the sensor to believe that the environment is dark enough.

Yes, they are terrific but sometimes…normal mode works!

However handy, we think one should have control over when to turn these modes on and off. As mentioned in our iPhone 12 review, there are times when you want a normal shot with dim lights and as you take your iPhone out and you hit the shutter button, you are served with a brightened photo instead. The same goes for the Macro mode, which can even seem a little more annoying considering the shift from one lens to another looks almost glitch-like.

In all honesty, we would have liked there to be a direct tap and turn on/off option built into the camera app itself which would have made matters not only easier but would have given more control to the user. But Apple decided to take a longer route to get to this option. While there is no in-app solution to this, the iOS 15 and iOS 15.1 updates bring a solution to this automatic mode problem. Kinda sorta. At least you can now ensure that they do not come on unannounced!

Bring on the night: Turn off that Auto Night mode


To have this feature you have to update your iPhone to iOS 15 or above. Once you have done that you can follow these simple steps to stop Night mode from turning on automatically on your iPhone.

Step 1: Turn off the Night mode

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Start by turning off Night mode on your iPhone’s camera. This is not as difficult as it sounds – simply launch the camera and bring it to almost touching point of any surface. This will make a small yellow icon pop up on the top left corner of the viewfinder (generally with a number inside it). Tap this icon and then move the slider that appears above the shutter button all the way to the left to “Off.” That switches off the Night mode. Mind you, it will come right back on the next time, which is why this tutorial is being written.

Step 2: Start with Settings

On your iPhone, you have to go to the Settings app. It is a native app that is very easy to find.

Step 3: Head to the Camera:

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After getting to the Settings app, you have to scroll down and find the Camera option. Click it open and you will find a number of different settings that you can play around with to make your iPhone’s camera more personalised.

Step 4: The need to Preserve Settings

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To turn off Night mode you now have to select the Preserve Settings option from this list. This setting basically preserves the way you used your camera last and opens it with the same settings instead of resetting it back to normal.

Step 5: Turn the Night mode toggle green

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The update to iOS 15 adds the option to preserve settings for Night mode as well. All you have to do is turn the toggle green and your phone will remember to keep the Night mode turned off the next time you take a low light picture.

That said, you can turn the mode on manually if you wish through the camera app itself (just tap the crossed-out icon next to the flash icon, and then move the slider above the shutter from “Off”) which basically means you are in control, not your camera.

Not THAT close: Turning off the Auto Macro mode

The Macro mode is only available on iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models at the time of writing. Once again, you need to have your phone updated to iOS 15.1 get the option to stop it from turning on automatically.

Step 1: Head to Settings (yeah, again!)

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Yes, yes, we know this is kind of predictable but then Apple seems to have put a lot of the camera tweaking action in the Settings section. So just as in the case of Night mode, to turn off Macro mode you have to again fish for the Settings app on your iPhone. It is easy to find, fortunately.

Step 2: Go to Camera (again)

Traverse that familiar path again – scroll down and find the Camera option in the list. And tap on it.

Step 3: Turn off Auto Macro (that simple)

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On the list of camera related settings, just head to the last one (which has been added courtesy iOS 15.1), Auto Macro. Tap on the toggle right next to it and turn the mode off and voila! Your iPhone 13 Pro/ Pro Max will quit making that glitch like transition from wide to ultra wide sensor when they get really close to an object.

Unlike the Night Mode, however, remember that you cannot turn on Macro mode from within the camera app. You will have to head back to the Camera in Settings and turn on Auto Macro. And before you ask, just switching to the ultrawide sensor when you want a macro shot does not quite seem to work as smoothly as with the Auto Macro mode enabled – there seems to be some software wizardry at work there.

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