Weird iOS bug permits unlimited photo zooming

By , May 31, 2016

iOS 9 Photos scrub bar iPhone screenshot 001

Apple’s stock Photos app has a lot of nicely implemented features and it gets used a lot on my iPhone 6s, but I’m still yearning for the ability to zoom on photos unlimitedly, using the pinch-zoom gesture.

Zooming in Photos isn’t possible beyond a certain threshold and that’s been ticking me off for quite some time now. Curiously, there appears to be a bug in iOS which overrides this behavior and lets you zoom unlimitedly on a photo.

Exploiting iOS bug to zoom photos unlimitedly

1) Launch the Photos app on your iOS device and tap on any photo.

2) Hit Edit, then tap the Crop tool and after that rotate the photo by 90 degrees by tapping the Rotate button.

4) Tap Done to save the changes.

You should be now able to zoom unlimitedly, but only on that particular photo. Exiting Photos or switching to another image will stop it from working.

It’s clearly a bug in iOS: you must rotate every photo that you wish to zoom unlimitedly on so it’s not going to be very practical in daily use. We’ve posted it anyway for your convenience and the sake of discussion.

Here’s a video of the bug in action (it’s in Spanish).

I was able to get it work on my iPhone 6s with iOS 9.3.2.

That iOS still has plenty of low-priority bugs which haven’t been squashed doesn’t come as a shocking surprise: no software is free of bugs and issues.

A good example of some of the longest-standing issues in iOS is an image caching bug. Dating back to iOS 5, it permits thumbnails of deleted pictures to be resurrected by saving a transparent PNG file to an album.

I get it why Apple does not allow people to zoom on images unlimitedly in Photos given the blurring and pixelation that occurs at a certain threshold.

Still, I would’ve appreciated a toggle to enable unlimited zooming in Photos for those who needed it. It would make it a lot easier to examine the tinies of details on my photos which I cannot do today due to an iOS-imposed limit on zooming.

Hat tip to iDownloadBlog reader Miguel C.

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  • Bruce

    Doesn’t work on my iPhone 6s+ running 9.3.2

  • Working on my 6+ on latest iOS Beta. Had to edit and rotate the picture twice for it to work

  • NoFoam

    I works initially with the photo, but if you leave the Photos app or change to a different photo and come back, it no longer works.

  • Venkat Pasumarthi

    Works on my iPhone 6s Plus running iOS 9.3.2. Also as NoFoam mentioned, it only works initially but when you leave the app, you have to edit it again to zoom unlimited.

  • Ria1979

    Don’t need to rotate, select edit and then a different picture ratio

  • ULTIMATEXFIGHTER

    Speaking of bugs, is anyone else experiencing thier usage is the same as when you take your phone off the charge? It seems to only happen while I’m on wifi.. The longer my phone stays off the charge, the same amount of usage appears. I’m on the latest beta. Is this happening to any of you guys as well?

  • anbidan

    Cool! It works on my iPhone 5s with iOS 9.2.1

  • Diego

    working on 6 iOS 9.0.2

  • I got it to work. It also works if you select an image ratio. Even with the same ratio (e. g. portrait picture, select 3×4 (not “original”!))

  • Paresh Bhatia

    i am using screen zoom if i need more detail in particular image or in Instagram also its very easy with 3finger gesture and i don’t know from how long i was using it.

  • Christopher Lim

    If you use zoom mode, even with the zoom function on zero, there is still unlimited* zooming for photos. Tried that.

    *sort of… Not unlimited but very very much more. And you need to restart the photos app if you’re already in it.

  • The Guy

    Not working on 8.4