iCloud Shared Photo Library
Technology

How to set up and use iCloud Shared Photo Library?

Starting in iOS 16.1, when you create an iCloud Shared Photo Library, you can automatically share photos and videos with the people closest to you and even share them directly from the Camera app as soon as you take them. You can participate in one iCloud Shared Photo Library that can be shared with up to five other people. Everyone has access to the same photos and videos and will have the same Shared Library on their devices signed in with their Apple ID. When you contribute photos and videos, they’ll move out of your Personal Library and into the Shared Library. And everyone has equal permission to add, edit, and delete content.

How to set up your Shared library

Make sure everyone invited to your Shared Library has their devices up to date. Then in Settings, scroll down and tap Photos. Everyone participating in a Shared Library must have an iCloud account and have iCloud Photos turned on. The Shared Library will use the iCloud storage of the person who created it. So make sure this person has enough storage. When you’re ready, tap Shared Library, then tap Get Started and follow the prompts. You’ll be able to choose past photos and videos to share or choose to move content later. And then preview your Shared Library to make changes before inviting others to join.

During the setup process, you can select Share Automatically to send photos and videos directly to your Shared Library when other participants are nearby and have Bluetooth turned on. Or you can select Share Manually Only to save them to your Personal Library first. And pick which ones to add to your Shared Library later. You can change this at any time in Settings. Tap Done when you’re finished setting it up and you’re ready to go.

How to automatically send photos and videos to your Shared Library?

You can automatically send photos and videos directly to your Shared Library when you take them. In Camera, just tap the Shared Library button. Which looks like two people, in the top-left corner to turn it on. Then, when you take a photo or video, it’ll be sent to your Shared Library so others can access it. Tap the Shared Library button again to turn it off. And all photos and videos you take will go to your Personal Library. You can also manually move content between the Shared and Personal Libraries in Photos at any time.

How to view your Shared Library in Photos?

You can view the content you and others have contributed to your Shared Library in Photos. If someone favorites, edits, or adds photos or videos, the changes will automatically appear in the Shared Library. And if someone deletes content you’ve added, you’ll get a notification. So, you can move it back to your Personal Library before it’s permanently deleted. To switch between your libraries, make sure you’re in the library tab. Which can be found in the bottom-left corner of your screen. Tap the More button, which looks like three dots, in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Your Personal Library includes only photos and videos you haven’t shared. And your Shared Library includes photos and videos you’ve moved from your Personal Library as well as content you and others contribute. When you tap Both Libraries, your Personal and Shared Libraries appear in one place. You can tell which items are part of the Shared Library by the Shared badge that appears in the top-right corner of the photo or video. Now you can invite your favorite people to share your best memories using iCloud Shared Photo Library.

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