The best thing about memories is the people you share them with. And the iCloud’s Shared Albums allow you to bond over your best photos and videos with friends, family, or whoever you like. But are you making the most of this feature? Let me help with this extensive guide on Shared Albums and how to use them on iPhone and iPad.
- What are Shared Albums, and how do they work?
- How to enable/disable Shared Albums
- Create a shared album on iPhone and iPad
- How to manage Shared Albums
- Add subscribers or invite more people
- Turn on public viewing in iCloud
- Add photos and videos to the shared album
- Allow subscribers to add photos or videos to the album
- Add or delete comments in a shared photo
- Delete photos and videos from a shared album
- Save photos and videos from a shared album
- Turn notifications on or off
- Manage viewing options of a shared album
- Rename a shared album
- How to remove a subscriber from the shared album
- Delete a shared album on iPhone and iPad
As the name suggests, these albums allow you to share images and videos with others. It’s pretty secure and private as only people with the album link can see the content.
Further, you can not only share the album across Apple’s ecosystem but also with Android or Windows users. It can also work as a collaborative album as each party can access, comment, and add stuff to it.
A shared album can contain up to 5000 photos and videos. After that, you’ll have to delete some content to make space for a new one.
Interestingly, while interrelated, iCloud photo library and Shared Albums are distinct features. And unlike photo library or Photo Stream, Shared Albums don’t count toward your iCloud storage.
In addition, you can add special formats like live photos, slow-motion, time-lapse, and memory videos. However,
- Pictures and videos may lose resolution to 2048 pixels unless they’re panoramic pictures with up to 5400 pixels.
- GIFs should be 100MB and smaller.
- Videos up to 15 minutes can support 720p resolution.
- Go to Settings → [your name] → iCloud.
- Tap Photos.
- Here, toggle on Shared Albums.
Note: There is also an alternative method; go to Settings → Photos → toggle on Shared Albums.
- Launch the Photos app → Albums tab
- Scroll down to the Shared Albums category
- Tap See All to view all shared albums.
Things to note
- Ensure that your iPhone or iPad is updated to the latest iOS and iPadOS.
- You’ve already set up iCloud on your iOS device.
- If you want to use multiple devices for album sharing, all must run on the same Apple ID.
- To use Shared Albums, your iPhone must be connected to the internet.
- Open the Photos app → Albums.
- Now, tap the ✚ button at the top left.
- Select New Shared Album.
- Name the album and tap Next.
- Enter the recipient’s contact number and hit Create.
Once the shared album is created, the recipient will be notified with your invitation about the same. They can choose to subscribe to the album or reject the request.
When you receive the invitation for a shared album, tap the notification or go to Photos → For You → Shared Album Activity → Tap Accept or Decline.
The invite is also sent to your email ID; just open the mail and follow on-screen notifications to subscribe.
Add subscribers or invite more people
- Select the album that you want to share with more people.
- Tap People
- Select + Invite People.
- Add contact name or number and tap Add.
Again an invite will be shared, and the recipient can accept, ignore or reject accordingly. You can also share albums with your loved ones who don’t use iCloud by enabling public viewing.
Turn on public viewing in iCloud
Open shared album → People icon → Toggle on Public Website → Tap Share Link to share the link to anyone.
You can add photos and videos to the shared album in two ways:
Open the shared album → tap the + button → select the photos or videos → Done → add a comment (optional) → Post.
- In the Photos app, select the photos or videos you want to move into the shared album.
- Tap the Share button at the bottom.
- Scroll down and select Add to Shared Album.
- Select the shared album and add a comment if you want.
- Hit Post to add it.
Allow subscribers to add photos or videos to the album
By default, subscribers can add photos and videos to the album. If not, you can enable the setting via shared album → People icon → Toggle on Subscribers Can Post Switch. You can choose to disable the feature anytime; simply toggle it off.
You can also add comments later to individual photos. Open the shared album → select photo → tap Add a comment → type in → Send.
To delete a comment, open the photo → tap the comment → long-press it, and select Delete.
If you’re the creator of a shared album, you can delete any photos, videos, and comments added by any subscriber. But other members can only delete files and comments uploaded from their end.
- Open a shared album and tap Select at the top right.
- Select the images and videos and hit Delete (dustbin icon).
- Tap Delete Photo to confirm the removal.
Note: Anything you delete will be permanently removed across the shared album from your and your subscribers’ devices. However, files that you or other subscribers have saved or downloaded to your library won’t be affected.
When other subscribers add photos and videos to your shared album, you can save them in your photos library, so later, if they delete them, you can still view them in your photo library.
- In the shared album, open individual photos or videos or tap Select to choose multiple.
- Tap the Share button.
- Select Save Image or Save Video.
Turn notifications on or off
Don’t want to be disturbed every time someone adds or removes photos, videos, or comments? Here’s how:
- Open the shared album → People icon.
- Toggle on/off the Notifications switch.
Alternatively, you can tap the three-dot icon→ Shared Album Details → Toggle on/off the Notifications switch.
- Open the shared album → three-dot icon.
- Here you can:
- Zoom In
- Zoom Out
- Sort – As per Date Added, Oldest to Newest, or Newest to Oldest
- Filter – View all or just photos or videos.
There are two ways to do so:
- In the shared album → tap the three-dot icon → Rename Album → type the new name → Save.
- In the Albums tab → Shared Albums → See All → tap Edit → Tap the album name → enter a new one → Done.
Notably, only the creator/owner of the album has the right to remove someone from the shared list.
- In the shared album → People icon.
- Tap the contact you want to remove.
- Hit Remove Subscriber.
As a creator of the shared album, you can delete the album. While others can choose to unsubscribe from it.
- Tap the shared album → People icon.
- Tap Delete Shared Album/Unsubscribe from the bottom.
- Hit Delete/Unsubscribe to confirm the action.
The album will be deleted and removed from all your iOS devices connected with the same Apple ID and the subscriber’s device. It will also delete all the photos in the album, so ensure you save them before going ahead.
Alternatively, you can also go to the Albums tab → Shared Albums → See All → tap Edit → Tap minus icon → Delete.
Shared Albums is an excellent feature to exchange photos and videos on your iOS device securely. After giving it a try, you may want to stop using the social media app to share pictures with your friends and family. What do you think about it? Let us know in the comment section below.
Want more hacks for the Photos app? Check these out: