Best private photo sharing apps for iPhone and iPad

Sometimes when you share photos with other people, you want to know that those images are staying private. Whether it's a social network like Snapchat or a private messaging app like Confide, you can get a little extra piece of mind knowing that your photos are staying private or even disappearing altogether.

Here are the best private photo sharing apps that you can get for your iPhone.


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One of the first apps for iPhone to offer a private photo and message sharing experience to everyone, Snapchat focuses on the here and now with ephemeral messaging, that its, messages, be they text, photo, or video, that disappear soon after the recipient looks at them. But Snapchat goes beyond just private messages between two people. With Snapchat Stories, you can continually post snaps throughout your day for all of your friends to see. You can also view theirs, as well as stories by brands and content outlets that let you keep up with the latest news.

Something to keep in mind with Snapchat is that, although messages will automatically disappear, you probably shouldn't send something that you want to stay private to someone you don't absolutely trust, as people can still take screenshots. You'll get a notification when they do, but that doesn't stop them from doing so in the first place.

Snapchat is easy-to-use and offers basic privacy features, but is really more of a social network.

Free - Download Now


An app focused on families, and in particular those with children, 23snaps focuses on keeping your precious family photos private, but in a way that's easy to share with people if you want to. You can create a family journal that you share only with the people that you want to, sharing photos, videos, and text posts as you choose. You can add a partner to your journal to allow them to make updates as well. Create different collections of photos within your journal, and even order beautiful photo books from your collections directly in 23snaps. The friends and family that you invite to view your journal can leave comments, smiles, and hearts.

23snaps is free to use, but there is a Family Premium Subscription for $3.99 per month that lets you access features like longer high-quality videos.

Free - Download Now


Confide is a private messaging app that requires active participation in order to use. Messages sent with Confide, including attachments like photos, are obscured until the recipient drags their finger across the message line-by-line to read it. Additionally, messages will disappear completely once they are read. You send photos or videos from your library or take a photo or video with the built-in camera. Confide supports both group and one-on-one messaging, and everything is end-to-end encrypted. New contacts can be added by phone number or QR code.

Unlike some other private messaging apps, Confide also blocks screenshots of messages from being taken. Someone viewing a message in the app who tries to take a screenshot will find themselves out of luck and instead receiving a message telling them that the screenshot has been blocked.

Confide is free to use, though Confide Plus, which costs $9.99 per month, offers unlimited attachments, retracting of sent messages, themes, and priority customer support.

Free - Download Now


Create private groups of trusted friends and family to share with using Cluster. Privately share photos, videos, and text posts with your group, who can all comment on them. Each group has a gallery filled with photos, and you can make albums for different collections, too. If you want to keep things segmented between multiple friend or family groups, you can create other groups as well. Everything you post is viewable only by your group on iPhone, iPad, and the web.

Free - Download Now


Formerly known as Cyber Dust, this app is another one focused on secure, private messaging. Messages sent with Dust can be set to disappear after 24 hours, on both your device and the recipient's, and are never permanently stored. Names also don't appear in private chat rooms, so that if someone takes a screenshot of a conversation, your name isn't in it. And while people can take screenshots, you'll be notified if they take one of a conversation.

If you're looking to get a little more social, there's an area of the app can make "public" posts, viewable by all of their contacts.

Free - Download Now

Your favorite apps?

If you share a lot of photos privately, what are your favorite apps for completing that task? Let us know in the comments.

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is the former Editor in Chief of iMore. An Apple user for almost 20 years, he spends his time learning the ins and outs of iOS and macOS, always finding ways of getting the most out of his iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac.