How to use TikTok filters: Everything you need to know

Presenting the best side of you is an irrepressible instinct, and it applies to physical appearance. Filters and effects on TikTok are tools that help you upscale the visual impact of a video by fusing it with your own creativity. 

In this article, let’s break down the function of filters and effects, where to find them, and how to use them.

How to add filters to a TikTok video

Launch the TikTok app and tap the Create+” button.

It opens the app cam. The icon for filters is “three-converging-circles” and is found in the vertical list of editing tools on the right side of the screen. You may implement (most) filters before or after recording either photos or videos in the Quick or Camera modes, or even to the photos uploaded from the image library. 

Tap Filters to view the choices.

Filters are classified on the basis of applicability into Portrait (for faces or people), Landscape (for places or other visuals of a broader panorama), Food (clearly to improve the aesthetic appeal of food items), and Vibe (for more thematic filming like a vignette filter for vintage vibe). The red circle around a filter indicates its selected state.

You can also adjust the intensity of the filter’s effects using the slider bar.

The screenshot below shows an image as seen through the Landscape V6 filter implemented to the extent of 80% to increase the saturation of red color in the feed.

Tap Management to add or remove filters from the available categories.

Apart from the filters with the dimmed checkboxes (which represent the default filters), you can check or uncheck any filter to add or remove them from the filters shortcut.

Related: How to Turn On Profile Views on TikTok

TikTok Beautify versus Enhance modes

While filters serve as cool lenses to transform the visual quality on an unbiased scale, TikTok also has certain filters that form a beauty mode. These are not titled as filters but called Beautify on TikTok app for iOS or Enhance on TikTok app for Android.

Beautify holds a whole belt of various brushes to give your facial features a virtual transformation. It has tools to smoothen the skin texture, whiten your teeth, or even tweak your facial contours to name a few. In addition, it also includes necessary makeup tools like foundation or lipstick to finish up the look.

If we compare both these enhancements effects side by side, Enhance (on Android app) is a cut above with its full-fledged make-up and beautifying tools that offer a whole range of unique “face” filters to alter everything from natural to either of the extreme ends.

Enhance has an additional tab titled Make-up which has 8 make-up lenses (2 for men) to glam up your look. In the screenshot below, you can see the effect of “Romantic” make-up look on my eye — the original brown eye color is superimposed with a green iris, and even a hint of mascara effect is added to the lashes. Various changes are applied to all the features and it could be simple and inconsequential as proffered by the Nature look or make for a dramatic change when the Glow look is used.

Related: What does ‘Connected to you’ mean on TikTok?

TikTok Filters vs Effects

In the TikTok universe, filters and effects are terms often used interchangeably. Because they don’t contradict in function, but even share close relations, it is not necessarily wrong if you identify one for the other. However, there is an inherent variation in the overall impact of filters and effects as independent tools and let’s see take a close look at it.

Filters on TikTok are layers imposed on a video/image as a whole. We can relate it to the color filters available on editing software like the sepia mode you apply to an image to give it a warmer tone and imbue it with a vintage spirit. Filters are predefined and consistent; each one could be understood as a lens that transforms the view according to their innate attributes — hence the overall result is not limited to a particular region but to the video or image as a whole.

Filters are available are a part of the editing tool in the TikTok editing function, and they are differentiated into various categories like filters for portraits or images of landscapes, or food. They are preset and infused with varying color saturation to evoke a certain mood or feeling.

Effects on TikTok are more advanced and interactive in nature as they bring about certain changes to a particular region or aspect in the video. For instance, there are “zoom” effects on TikTok that allow you to incorporate slow zooms or dramatic zoom effects in your video, or green screen effects to import external elements into your real-time virtual reality so that they be captured using the TikTok cam.

The line separating filters and effects as tools blur when effects that emulate a filter in function get added to the app’s roster. For instance, the Euphoria filter on TikTok is accessible to uses on the app as an effect — this comes down to one reason, filters are preset lenses available as an editing tool on TikTok; on the other hand, the new filters could be added by eligible users to the app get registered as effects in it. As a result, the real point of differentiation is fine, or almost invisible when we consider these terms on the basis of application than technical definition.

Now, let’s take a look at where to find these tools and how to use them to enhance the quality of our content.

How to add Effects to a TikTok video

Effects serve a highly interactive role in pioneering or indulging in TikTok trends. They give your videos that much-needed amplification that can not be rendered by the simple color overlay effects of preset filters.

Have you ever felt at a loss as to where to find all these cool effects that are so awesomely employed by the vibrant community of TikTok creators? Well, you no longer have to feel left out or clueless, because, we are about to explore the various ways to locate and use any of the available Effects on the apps.

1. Find effects from the Effects box in the app camera

The most straightforward way is to scavenge for interactive effects straight in the Effects box in the app’s create page.

Launch TikTok and tap the Create “+” button.

The effects are all grouped into various subcategories, all available under Effects. Tap the box that reads Effects found at the left side of the red record button.

The popup shows a whole spectrum of effects to choose from. The effects which you have previously favorited are available under the first tab. 


Slide the tabs to view all the subcategories or scroll down to explore the various effects listed under each group. The amount of fun you can have with TikTok effects is immeasurable… like playing with this little AR Turtle that jumped out of my phone onto the screen of my PC.

If you use an Android phone, the TikTok app even supports “searching” within the Effects. All you have to do is enter keywords like “zoom”, “green screen”, “3D”, etc. to get quick access to a list of all the effects that fall under it.

2. Use effects from a currently playing video

When you see these enthralling trends that use intriguing effects, it is only natural for your curiosity to get piqued. Perhaps, you might even get tempted to try the effect yourself. But, where to find them? Of course, you can search for the effect by name if you know it, but most often than not, the names of effects get overshadowed by other elements in the trending video. 

Worry not, because the answer is available in plain view for you to go grab. When you see a video that you think contains an interesting effect or filter, you can find them in the effects tagged to the post.

All the effects get automatically tagged to the post. Tap the effect tag.

Now, tap Add to Favorites to add it to the bookmarks in the Effects box on the create page.

If you wish to use the effect right away, tap Try this effect.

Booked effects are grouped under a separate, quick access tab under effects. To access the “favorited” effects, tap the + Create button.

Now, tap Effects located at the left side of the red record button.

Tap the bookmark tab to view all the effects previously added to favorites.

The quickest method to use an effect immediately is even simpler. Tap the ellipsis button on the right side of the screen.

Tap Use this effect to carry it directly over to your create page.

Tip: Search for effects in TikTok Discover

You can also resort to the TikTok Discover feed to dredge up an effect used in a trend based on your keyword query.

Enter all the known keywords associated with a trend in the search box (even the title of the associated track helps in most cases) and hit Search.

Tap any video from the results.

If there are multiple effects used in a video, every effect gets listed as tags without exceptions. Tap the effect you wish to use or bookmark.

Hit Add to Favorites to save it to the bookmarks under Effects.

Tap Try this effect to immediately jump to the create page with the effect.

Filters and effects are almost the same when it comes to functionality, the differentiation is incorporated to delineate the preset filters that offer basic color overlays from the interactive filters that show more versatility in terms of the ability to impress viewers. However, effects such as Euphoria mentioned above are fundamentally filters that also showcase preset attributes. Hence, it all comes down to where to find them and what they offer.