Go Beyond Texting a Snapshot: Share Photos via iCloud Photo Sharing

It’s easy to take lots of photos on vacation these days, and while a slideshow of all of them 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 pictures of your new city with friends back home.

These special shared albums:

  • have higher quality images than sending by Messages, great for printing
  • allow a whole group to contribute (if you want)
  • allow participants to comment on individual images, like a private Facebook page
  • let you send large numbers of photos to someone even if they don’t have Apple devices, without gunking up their email storage

Setup

  • iPhone or iPad: go to Settings > Photos & Camera, scroll down if needed, and turn on the iCloud Photo Sharing (not iCloud Photo Library!) switch.
  • Mac: Click the Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud, click the Options button next to Photos, select iCloud Photo Sharing, and click the Done button.


Create the album

  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. Select an existing album, or 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.

Add more photos

  • iPhone or iPad: if necessary, back out of the view until you see the Shared button at the bottom of the screen. Tap Shared and then 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.
  • 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.

Tweak the album

  • iPhone or iPad: tap Shared at the bottom of the screen and select the shared album. Tap People to bring up a screen where you can share the album with more people, control whether subscribers can post their own photos, 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.

  • 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 a little clunkier. It 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!