Sharing photos

Shared Photo Streams make it possible for you to share, like, and comment on photos with friends and family around the world.

Apple's Shared Photo Streams give you the ability to interact with others, similar to the way you would on social networking sites, like Instagram, but in a more private capacity. You can share a photo stream with a single person or with a group. Subscribers can add photos, like and comment on photos, and more. You can even share a Photo Stream with someone that doesn't own any Apple gadgets by sharing through a designated web link. Here's how.

How to let other add photos to your shared Photo Streams on iPhone or iPad

Thanks to iCloud, you can share Photo Streams with others. It's not just a one-way experience, either. If you want to share vacation photos with the group you recently took a trip with, everyone can upload to one photo stream together.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Shared at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the album for which you want to allow subscribers to add photos. You might have to navigate out of your shared Activity stream first by tapping Shared in the upper left corner to go back to your list of shared photo albums.

    Tap Photos, then tap Shared, then tap an album

  4. Tap People at the bottom right of the screen.
  5. Toggle the switch Subscribers can Post on to allow others to add their photos to your shared Photo Stream.

    Tap People, then turn on Subscribers can Post switch

Now everyone that subscribes to your Shared Photo Stream will be able to upload their photos to the same album.

How to like or comment on photos in a shared Photo Stream on iPhone or iPad

Just like posting on social networking sites like Instagram or Facebook, you can like and comment on photos in a shared Photo Stream, the main difference being that only the people you have invited to share photos with will see what you liked and commented on. It's much more private.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Shared at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the album for which you want to like or comment on a photo. You might have to navigate out of your shared Activity stream first by tapping Shared in the upper left corner to go back to your list of shared photo albums.

    Tap Photos, then tap Shared, then tap an album

  4. Select a photo.
  5. Tap Like in the bottom right corner to like the photo.
  6. Tap Add a comment in the bottom middle to add a comment.

    Tap a photo, then tap Add Comment or Like

You can also hide all comments in a shared Photo Stream by tapping Hide Comments under a photo that has a comment attached to it.

How to share a Photo Stream with people that don't own an Apple gadget

Apple actually makes it possible for non-Apple users to see photos you've uploaded to iCloud by viewing them on a public website. All a person needs is the URL. Viewers using iCloud via a web browser will not be able to like or comment on photos, but they can download a copy onto their devices.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Shared at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the album for which you want to allow anyone to view photos from a web browser via iCloud.com. You might have to navigate out of your shared Activity stream first by tapping Shared in the upper left corner to go back to your list of shared photo albums.

    Tap Photos, then tap Shared, then tap an album

  4. Tap People at the bottom right of the screen.
  5. Toggle the Public Website switch on to allow anyone with the URL access to the shared album from a web browser.

    Tap People, then turn on Public Website

These photos don't have any sort of privacy wall. Anyone with the link can access the photos. Keep that in mind when deciding to share your Photo Streams via a URL link from iCloud. To grab a copy of the link, tap Share Link.

How to unsubscribe from a shared Photo Stream on iPhone or iPad

Things change. People change. Sometimes, you don't want to see pictures of you and your ex doing awesome things together. Sometimes you just want to unsubscribe to a shared Photo Stream. If you want to remove memories from your iPhone or iPad (and your life), you can unsubscribe from a shared Photo Stream.

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap Shared at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Tap the album for which you want to unsubscribe. You might have to navigate out of your shared Activity stream first by tapping Shared in the upper left corner to go back to your list of shared photo albums.

    Tap Photos, then tap Shared, then tap an album

  4. Tap People at the bottom right of the screen.
  5. Tap Unsubscribe at the bottom of the page.
  6. Tap Unsubscribe to confirm that you want to unsubscribe from the shared Photo Stream.

    Tap People, then tap unsubscribe, then tap unsubscribe again

This will remove the Photo Stream from your device, including any you uploaded. If you added photos to a shared photo stream that you want to keep, be sure to download them onto your device before you unsubscribe.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about how to let someone add photos to your shared Photo Stream, or how to like and comment on shared photos in an album, or how to unsubscribe? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

Updated August 2017: Double-checked to make sure everything is still the same in iOS 11.