Share Photos via iCloud Photo Sharing

Thanks to the iPhone, everyone takes photos on vacation these days, and while you probably don’t want to share all of them, friends and relatives might like to see a Best Of collection. Or you might wish to share baby photos with your family, pictures of your new city with friends back home, or shots of the Olympics if you're lucky enough to be there.

With iCloud, it’s easy to create a shared album, invite other iCloud users to subscribe to it (handy for viewing on an iOS device or Apple TV, in particular), and to create a public Web page of the photos that anyone can see, even if they don’t use any Apple devices.

First, some setup:

  • On an iOS device, go to Settings > iCloud > Photos and turn on the iCloud Photo Sharing switch.
  • On a Mac, open System Preferences > iCloud, click the Options button next to Photos, select iCloud Photo Sharing, and click the Done button.

Next, follow these steps, which are similar regardless of the device you’re using:

  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, just Command-click the items you want, or drag a selection rectangle around them.
  2. Hit the Share  button, and then pick iCloud Photo Sharing.
  3. Select an existing album or create a new shared album.
  4. For a new album, provide a name, enter the names or email addresses of any iCloud users with whom you want to share the album, and add an optional comment.
  5. When you’re done, tap Post in iOS or click Create on the Mac.

To add more photos, repeat those steps to select photos and then add them to a shared album. Alternatively, start with the shared album, though the steps vary slightly between iOS and the Mac:

  • In Photos for iOS, if necessary, back out of the view until you see the Shared button in the toolbar. Tap Shared and select the shared album. Then tap the + button, select the items to add, tap Done, enter an optional comment, and tap Post.
  • In Photos for the Mac, in the sidebar, select the shared album in the Shared category. Then click “Add photos and videos,” select the items to add, and click the Add button.

It’s easy to tweak the options for your shared album or to create a public Web page for it. The process is again similar in both operating systems:

  • In Photos for iOS, tap Shared in the toolbar 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.
  • In Photos for the 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 best done by either clicking it to visit it in a Web browser and then copying from there or Control-clicking it 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.