Google Photos is already a great photo editing tool, but the March 2022 update made it even better. Pixel device owners and Google One subscribers can use Portrait Blur to add the look of portrait mode to old photos on their Android phones. That’s right, even if you’re dealing with a snapshot captured a long time ago, your trusty Android device can edit it using this new Google Photos feature.

Portrait Blur lets you blur the background to your liking and keep the subject in focus. Here’s how you can use this really neat portrait blur trick in Google Photos on your Android phone.

How to Use Google Photos Portrait Blur on Android

1. Open Google Photos on your phone.

2. Select and tap a portrait image.

3. Press To modify in the bottom menu.

4. Choose the Portrait option.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi/Android Central)

5. Press the save copy button to save your newly edited image.

These instructions add a simple blur effect to your portrait image. However, for a more controlled effect, do not choose the Portrait option of the To modify menu right away. Instead, follow the next set of steps.

1. Open the Google Photos application.

2. Select a portrait image and tap it.

3. Press To modify in the bottom menu.

4. Swipe left in the bottom menu until you reach Tools.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi/Android Central)

5. Press portrait light to adjust the lighting.

6. Select Fact when you have set the portrait light.

7. Press fall out to change the background blur level.

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi/Android Central)

8. Press Fact when you are happy fall out effect.

9. Press Save copy to save your edited image.

Harness the true photo processing capabilities of Google

There are many little tips and tricks buried in Google Photos. Picking them up will make you a master at editing images with the most basic tools in hand: your smartphone and Google’s free image management tool. Mediocre snaps will yield stunning results once you hone your Google Photos editing skills.

While all the best Android phones have great cameras, the devices made by Google are now in a class of their own when it comes to computational photography. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro may have large 50MP sensors, but their real secret ingredient is Google’s legendary image processing.

Now, if you want an index of the quality of Tensor-powered image software in your non-Pixel or older Pixel, just turn to Google Photos. Tools like Portrait Blur are the backbone of what makes this platform from Google so great. Unfortunately, non-Pixel devices need to be on the paid Google One plan to access some of Photos’ more epic features. If you think the features are worth it, you can subscribe to Plan One for a pocket change every month.