How to Blur License Plates on iPhone. Top 3 Apps

Have you ever wondered whether you should hide license plates in the photos that you post on the Internet? Well, opinions on this topic vary. Some people blur or pixelate license plates, others – don’t. However, what you need to keep in mind is that a license plate contains some personal information about a vehicle’s owner. And if you share this kind of information online, you can put this person at a certain risk. For instance, say, you have a stalker, and someone posts a picture of your license plate, which, then, helps the stalker find your current location. You wouldn’t want that to happen, right?

The truth is that it is possible to learn a decent amount of personal information from a single license plate – the kind of information that can be used to harm you or your loved ones. For the sake of your own safety and the safety of other people, you might at least consider blurring license plates before you share photos online. After all, you can never be too careful.

how to blur license plate on iphone

Besides, blurring license plates is pretty easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. A blur is usually quite unobtrusive, so it will fit into your photo nicely without spoiling it.

Are you intrigued? Do you want to know how to blur license plates in your iPhone photos?

Fortunately, we’ve tested several apps, then chose the best and most convenient ones. In our opinion, the following features are important for the apps to have:

  • free access;
  • automatic recognition of license plates;
  • batch processing;
  • additional tools for blurring.

Here’s a list of amazing free apps that may be of great use to you. There are also some basic instructions on how to use each app. Let’s take a look!

Blur License Plates

How to Blur License Plates on iPhone Using Photos App

First on our list is the app that you won’t have to download or install because it’s already on your iPhone – the Photos app. Blurring a license plate on an iPhone with this option is quite easy and quick. However, what you need to know is that the Photos app doesn’t have any blurring tools. Here, you will simply cover a license plate with a colored strip. Naturally, it might not look incredibly aesthetically-pleasing and unobtrusive. However, that’s enough to hide a license plate and, thus, protect personal information. That’s the main goal, isn’t it?

The main advantage of the Photos app is that it’s already on your phone. You won’t have to waste your time or memory space on installing anything. Plus, you probably use it all the time to view and maybe even edit your images, so you’re already familiar with the interface. It will be easy for you to work with this app. This is a great option if you need to do just a little bit of tweaking.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. First of all, you need to create a copy of the image that you want to process. If you don’t do this, the Photos app will apply all the changes to the original photo.
  2. Next, open the newly created copy of your image.
  3. Tap on Edit and select the Markup tool. how to blur license plate on iphone with Photos app
  4. Choose the marker and select its thickness. Set the color and 100% opacity. Tap Done once you’re ready.
  5. Zoom in on the area where the license plate is; it’ll be easier for you to cover it. Paint over the license plate with the marker. Tap “Done” again, when you are happy with the result. how to blur license plate on iphone with Photos app

Now, there’s a thick strip of black color covering the license plate in the image. Take a look at the result:

how to blur license plate on iphone before after

Main advantages:

  • You can blur license plates in photos on iPhone for free.
  • No need to install anything on your phone.
  • Since this is a built-in app, there are no ads or pop ups.

Main disadvantages:

  • All the editing is done manually.
  • There’s no batch processing. It’s possible to edit only one photo at a time.
  • It’ll be time-consuming to process multiple photos.
  • The set of features and tools to blur license plates on iPhone is limited.
  • The Photos app doesn’t create copies of images automatically. You’ll have to do this manually and before you get to blurring. Otherwise, all the changes will be applied to the original.
Blur License Plates

How to Blur License Plates on iPhone With Blur Photo Editor

There are three ways how you can blur license plates on iPhone in Blur Photo Editor app. Each of them is quite simple and fast.

1. You can blur a license plate with Touch Blur. The way this tool works is quite easy to guess from its name – you add a blur by swiping your finger over the license plate. It might be a good idea for you to zoom in on the image first, so that the license plate takes up the majority of the screen. This will give you the opportunity to be more precise your swiping. If you don’t zoom in, there’s a high chance that the blurred area will be too big, somewhat sloppy and cover some parts of the car, too. To adjust the intensity, use the slider under the picture. To download the result, tap on the arrow in the top right corner.

how to blur license plate on iphone with Blur Photo Editor

2. Blur a license plate on iPhone using Shape Blur. With this tool, you’ll be able to choose different shapes for your blurred areas. For instance, your blur can have the shape of an oval or a triangle. You can also make the blur bigger or smaller by selecting it and dragging its borders. However, this might be somewhat tricky to do since an iPhone’s screen isn’t that big. It might take you a try or two to resize the blur. Remember to tap on the checkmark in the bottom right corner when you’re done editing – this will save the result.

how to blur license plate on iphone with Blur Photo Editor

3. Blur a license plate on iPhone with Brush tool. This tool is quite similar to the first one. The only difference is that here you can adjust the thickness of the brush. This will allow you to be more precise and you won’t have to zoom in on the image all that much.

how to blur license plate on iphone with Blur Photo Editor

No matter which tool you choose to work with, Blur Photo Editor will create a copy of your image and blur license plates in it. You won’t have to create a copy beforehand. The original image will remain unchanged, which is a big difference from the previous option.

Let’s take a look at different results that you can get with Blur Photo Editor:

how to blur license plate on iphone with Blur Photo Editor

In the images that you see above, we applied only a simple blur without any additional effects since we wanted to show how to do some basic editing quickly. But it’s worth mentioning that Blur Photo Editor offers a variety of effects that you can add to the blurred area. Their selection is truly impressive. With its help, your blurred area won’t be distracting and aesthetically displeasing. Instead, it’ll fit into your image seamlessly.

Here are a few examples of how you can blur license plates on iPhone and apply some effects in Blur Photo Editor.

how to blur license plate on iphone with Blur Photo Editor

Main advantages:

  • The app is incredibly simply. You can blur a license plate in a matter of seconds.
  • You won’t see any ads while you’re editing.
  • Extensive toolkit for blurring. Your blurred area can have different shapes and be of any size. You can add it to nearly any part of your image. In addition to this, you’ll be able to blur a background or add a blur to faces. You can blur the entire image or use the Lens blur effect to focus the attention on a certain part of your image.
  • An impressive selection of different effects for the blurred area. For instance, you can add a glass effect to your blur.
  • Additional tools for image editing like crop photo, add text to photo, filters that you can apply to images and more.

Main disadvantages:

  • The main drawback of this app is that it’s not free. There’s only a 3-day free trial period. If you need to add a blur only once or twice, you can install this app, blur license plates on your iPhone, then cancel the subscription.
  • Similarly to the previous option, there’s no batch-processing. You can work with only one photo at a time.
  • All the editing is done manually.
Blur License Plates

How to Blur License Plates on iPhone With Watermarkly Blur Face

There are two features that make this app significantly different from the previous two. First of all, it allows you to process batches of images. So, you can blur license plates in multiple photos in one go. Second, Watermarkly utilizes AI technologies and can detect all license plates in your photos, then blur them automatically. You will be able to do some tweaks to the blurred area if necessary. But in most cases, you will simply need to import your images, wait a couple of seconds for the app to blur license plates, tap on Next Step > Blur Images, then download your processed photos.

how to blur license plate on iphone with Watermarkly

What editing options does Watermarkly offer? If there are some license plates that you want to keep uncovered, you can go to the Objects section and select the detected objects that you want to unblur. It’s possible to adjust the size and intesity of the blur, as well. Plus, if the app failed to detect a license plate or if you want to hide some other object, you can blur a part of a picture manually by adding a blur; your blurred area can have the shape of a square, a rectangle, an oval or a circle.

As you can guess from the name of the app, it can detect and blur faces automatically, too. So, you can use it to hide someone’s identity.

Additionally, in the export settings of Watermarkly Face Blur you can choose to keep the metadata, resize images or pick a different file format for them. For instance, iPhone tends to produce photos in HEIC format, which isn’t extremely common. With Watermarkly, you can convert images to JPEG.

Similarly to the previous option, Watermarkly applies all the changes to copies which it creates automatically. The original images remain unaltered.

But, unlike the Blur Photo Editor, Watermarkly has an online version that works in a browser. Thus, you’ll be able to use it on any device – on a computer or a laptop, for instance. This can be of immense help if you need to process huge batches of images. It can also come in handy if you need to be more precise with your editing. After all, it’s easier and more convenient to edit images on a big screen and with a computer mouse rather than your finger. For instance, you’ll definitely have to be more precise when blurring license plates on tilted motorcycles, buses or cars in motion, or overturned vehicles.

Main advantages:

  • The app detects and blurs license plates and faces automatically.
  • It can process batches of images.
  • You can use it for free.
  • There’s a web-based version that you can use on any internet-connected device.

Main disadvantages:

  • There’s no selection of various effects for the blurred area. You can adjust the size, the tilt and intensity of the blurred area, but that’s it.
  • You won’t be bothered by any ads during editing, but you’ll need to watch an ad before downloading an image in the free version.
Blur License Plates

Reasons to Blur License Plates on iPhone

There are a number of reasons to blur license plates in your iPhone photos. Maybe you need to do this to follow laws and regulations in your country; otherwise, you might get into legal trouble. Another reason is to protect people’s personal information and respect their basic right to privacy.

Here are a few cases when people decide to blur license plates in their photos on iPhone or any other device:

  • It’s required by regional law. In some countries (mostly in Europe), if you post images publicly, you are obliged to blur license plates. This is to protect the privacy of car owners as well as prevent identity theft and stalking. If you don’t do this, you might receive a fine.
  • You want to respect people’s privacy. Some people believe that it is better and safer to blur license plates before sharing them on social media. Blurring doesn’t take long and won’t distract from the image itself. At the same time, you’ll protect people’s private information. So, why not?
  • Images of vehicles are used in various media. Professional photojournalists generally make sure that license plates are not visible.
  • You don’t have permission of a car’s owner. If you are a photographer and took a photo of a car, then shared this image online without asking permission, there’s a chance that you might end up in a situation where the car’s owner contacts you and asks you to remove the image. Blurring a license plate can help you avoid that.
  • You took and shared online images of an accident. It’s a good idea to blur license plates and maybe even faces of people that ended up in your photos.
  • You want to protect your personal information. A license plate can tell you which country and region the car is registered in. If you post images of your car online, but don’t want people to know this kind of information, you should blur your license plate.
  • There’s an expensive car in your photo. Say, you visited an exhibition where people show off their expensive cars and took a bunch of pictures. If you share these photos online without blurring license plates, you might put owners at risk. Their cars might get stolen because thieves can easily learn all the crucial information from the license plates that you left unblurred.
  • You want to follow the rules of a Facebook group. If you took photos of cars at a company’s event and want to post them on its Facebook page, you’ll need to check the publication rules first. Your pictures might get removed because you left the license plates unblurred.
Blur License Plates

In Summary

Now you know how to blur license plates on iPhone. It’s not as scary and elaborate as you thought, right? You’ll be able to do this easily and free of charge no matter which app featured in this article you choose. It might be a good idea to give each app a try since this is the only way to accurately determine which one will be perfect for you. Blurring license plates is a simple way to respect people’s right to privacy and keep their personal information safe. And it doesn’t take that long! Within just a few taps on your iPhone, you can hide several license plates in a single photo. Blurred areas will look unobtrusive and won’t spoil your image.