Sharing Photos via iCloud Photo Sharing


These days it’s easy to take lots of photos while on vacation, if you are out with friends, or at a celebration. While a slideshow of all of photos is a bit much, friends and relatives might like to see a Best Of collection. Or you might wish to share baby photos with your family or share pictures of your new city with friends back home.

How can you share select photos with groups of people? With iCloud Photo Sharing. All you do is create a shared album in the Photos app and then you invite other iCloud users to subscribe to it (handy for viewing on an iOS device or Apple TV). The key here is they do have to have an Apple device to view this album, sorry Android users. If you’d like to share your photos with everyone, you can also easily create a public Web page of photos that anyone can see, even if they don’t use any Apple devices.

First, some setup:

  • If you’re using an iPad or iPhone device, go to the Settings app and select Photos & Camera, you may need to scroll down to find it. Now just turn on the iCloud Photo Sharing (not iCloud Photo Library!) switch.
  • On a Mac, open System Preferences and go to the iCloud preference pane, click the Options button next to Photos, select iCloud Photo Sharing, and click the Done button.


Now that we have it setup, follow these steps steps to share photos. These steps are similar regardless of the device you’re using:

  1. In the Photos app, select some photos or videos. In iOS, that involves tapping Select before tapping the items to select; on the Mac, Command-click the items you want or drag a selection rectangle around them.
  2. Hit the Share button  and pick iCloud Photo Sharing.
  3. From here you can select an existing album to add the selected photos too, or you can create a new shared album (in iOS, tap Shared Album to see the New Shared Album command).
  4. For a new album, provide an album name, enter the names or email addresses of any iCloud users with whom you want to share the album, and add an optional comment. In iOS, tap Post; on the Mac, click Create.


To add more photos, you could repeat the steps to select photos and then add them to your existing shared album. But it may be easier to start with the shared album and add your photos from there.

  • In Photos for the iPad or iPhone, Tap on the Shared button at the bottom of the screen, if necessary, back out of the view until you see the Shared button at the bottom of the screen. Tap Shared and then tap the name of shared album. Then tap the + button in the bottom-right corner of the photo grid, select the items to add, tap Done, enter an optional comment, and tap Post.
  • In Photos for the Mac, just drag photos into the shared album in the sidebar, under Shared. Or select the shared album in the Shared category, click “Add photos and videos” (near the upper right), select the items to add, and click the Add button.

Your shared albums to have a few options including creating a public Web page to view the photos. The process to access these options is similar in both Photos for the Mac and Photos for the iPad and iPhone:

  • In Photos for the iPad and iPhone, tap Shared at the bottom of the screen and select the shared album. Tap People to bring up a screen where you can add additional people that you’d like to share the album with. You can also control whether subscribers can post their own photos to the shared album, create a public Web page, enable notifications, and delete the album entirely. To share the URL to the public Web page, tap Share Link and select a sharing method.
  • In Photos for the Mac, select the shared album in the sidebar, and then click the People button in the toolbar. From the popover that appears, you can do the same things as in iOS, although sharing the link is best done by either clicking it to visit it in a Web browser and copying from there or Control-clicking it in Photos and choosing Copy Link from the contextual menu.

After practicing these steps a few times, you’ll be able to create shared albums in a flash, and share them easily!


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