All you need to know

One of the most anticipated novelties of iOS 16.1 was the shared photo library. the app Photos receives changes and improvements in each new update. And this time it could not be otherwise. From now on you can share photos and videos with friends and family without leaving Photos. so you can gather memories from here and there in the same place in the cloud thanks to iCloud.

Thanks to this iCloud function, from iOS 16.1, iPadOS 16.1 and macOS Ventura it is possible to create a space shared between you and up to five friends or family. You can only belong to one shared library at a time. For now. And in that space you can upload photos and videos but also edit that content directly from the Photos app. Or, if necessary, delete it.

Before creating one, you will have to activate the functionality iCloud Photos. It is the one that synchronizes your photos and videos with your private iCloud space in the Apple cloud. Check if it is activated from Settingsclicking on your username and then going to iCloud > Photos. Finally, activate the option Sync this device. You can do it from an iPhone, an iPad or a Mac.

Please note that you need iOS 16.1, iPadOS 16.1, and macOS Ventura to use Photo Library Sharing. In previous versions you will not have access to the photo library or the shared content.

Shared photo library can be viewed on all compatible devices

Create your own iCloud Shared Photo Library

Once we have activated iCloud Photos, we can now launch our first photo library. First and only. Since, for now, you can only share one photo library. We assume that, in the future, it will be possible to be part of more photo libraries.

When you create it, you will be the organizer of it. That is, whoever has all the controls available. Creating it is as simple as going to Settings of your iPhone or iPad, enter your user and then in iCloud > Photos. Finally, click on shared photo library and follow the wizard instructions.

Basically you will have to add members to your photo library that are surely in your contact list. And then add photos and videos to it. You can do it during setup or whenever you want. In this sense, there are no limits. You may choose all your personal photos and videos, only those that match certain people or dates or finally manually select photos and videos that will become part of your iCloud Photo Library.

To avoid surprises, before sending the invitation to future members of your shared photo library, you can preview those photos and videos. This way you will be sure of what you are going to share. Then the invitations will be sent via the Messages appwith a web link.

You can turn on shared photo library on iPhone, iPad and Mac

Join a shared photo library

If someone in your circle of friends or family has created a Shared iCloud Photo Library, to join it you'll need an invite of that person. When you receive the invitation in Messages, all you have to do is click on the link and then on the button Start of the invitation.

Once inside the photo library you will see its content and you can start adding comments, editing photos and videos, uploading more photos and videos, etc. The same thing you can do in your personal photo library. But you will see the result everyone who is part of that shared photo library.

Upload content to a shared photo library

By creating your own shared photo library you can choose what content to share from your personal photos and videos. But the grace is in upload more photos and videos as you take them out with your iPhone. You and those who are part of the shared photo library.

One thing to keep in mind is that added content to a shared photo library counts toward your device's iCloud storage space. library organizer. So you probably have to expand your iCloud space.

There are several ways to add content to the shared library:

  • By handfrom your personal photo library
  • auto save photos and videos made with the iPhone or iPad camera
  • Share photos when other members be close
  • Share photos and videos when you are home

manually, Go to Photos or Camera to view the photo or video. Open it full screen and then tap on the menu Plus (three horizontal dots) and Move to shared photo library. You can also select several photos or videos, click on the same button and send to the shared photo library.

To activate the auto savego to Settings > Photos > Shared Photo Library and activate the option Share from camera. When you get tired of this option, disable it from there.

The other two options are activated from Settings > Photos > Shared Photo Library > Share from camera. In one case, you will have to click on auto share and turn on Bluetooth on your iPhone or iPad. To share content created at home, you'll need to go to Settings > Photos > Shared Photo Library > Share from camera and then activate the option Share when I'm home.

In the Photos app, your personal photo library and your shared photo library coexist

Change the views of the photo library

One thing to keep in mind is how to access the content you've shared in the shared photo library. From the Photos app you will see both your personal photo library and the shared one. Yes indeed. You can see both contents at the same time or only one of them.

To configure this photo library view you will have to enter Photos and click on the menu Plus from the upper right corner. To differentiate which library you are viewing, the library icon It will be different in each case.

You will have to choose between:

  • both photo libraries
  • personal photo library
  • shared photo library

Edit, change or comment on the photos and videos in the photo library

In addition to uploading your own photos and videos, the great advantage of the shared photo library is that it allows you to edit the content uploaded by others. you can just add commentsdo information related settings of a photo or video, delete content and/or edit it. Every action you take will be public.

And when it comes to deleting content, the other members of the photo library they will see a notification. For the rest, if you delete a photo or video, it happens as with the personal photo library. You have 30 days to recover that contents of the Trash or album Removed.

As for the editing process, it works like the rest of photos and videos. Quite simply, instead of just staying on your iPhone or iPad and your iCloud, it will also be in your shared photo library.

And, of course, you can search for photos and videos instead of doing it manually. For that it is always available search box within the Photos app. You can search by contact or person, place or item that appears in the content to search. You can also search for photos and videos that have been uploaded by a specific library member.

Editing shared photos is the same as if it were in your personal photo library

Add more members to your photo library

As an organizer, you can add and remove members or participants of the photo library that you have shared. If you didn't add everyone when you created your library, you can add them later. From iPhone, iPad or Mac.

As we have seen before, the limit is six participants. You and five others. To add more people, you will have to go to Settings > Photos > Shared Photo Library and then tap on Add participants.

Get out of a photo library

As in anything shared, such as a WhatsApp group, we are not always interested in staying there. If we talk about shared photo libraries, surely you want get out of it if you were invited.

From your iPhone or iPad, go to Settings > Photos > Shared Photo Library and then tap on Exit shared photo library. You will have the possibility to copy the contents of that photo library to your personal photo library. You can copy everything or only the one you have uploaded.

Delete the shared photo library

Everything comes to an end. And if you get tired of your photo library you can stop sharing it. It can only be deleted by the person who created it. To do so you will have to go to Settings > Photos > Shared Photo Library and click on Delete shared photo library.

what will happen to him shared content? These photos and videos will be available so that those who were part of the photo library can copy them to your photo libraries personal. Yes indeed. They will need to have been on the membership list for more than seven days. If you stayed less than seven days, you can only copy the content you uploaded yourself.

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