Get help using iCloud Photo Sharing and shared albums

After you turn on iCloud Photo Sharing, you might have questions about shared albums, comments, likes, invites, videos, and more. 

Shared albums

Comments and likes

Invites and subscribers



Shared albums in iOS 8 or later are shared streams in iOS 7 or earlier.

Shared albums

Learn more about shared albums.    

How do I back up a shared album?

Shared album content isn't automatically backed up. If you want to save a photo or video from a shared album, add it to your photo library before you back up your device.

  • On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap the photo >  > Save Image.
  • On your Mac, select the photo or video, control-click > Import. 

You can only save shared videos to a Mac or PC. Any comments or likes attached to a photo or video in a shared album aren't saved with the photo or video.

What do I need to see and share videos, contribute to someone else's shared album, and add comments or like photos and videos?

  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 7 or later
  • Mac with OS X Mavericks 10.9 or later
  • Apple TV (2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation) with Apple TV software 6.0 or later
  • PC with Windows 7 or later and iCloud for Windows

If the owner of a shared album turns on the Public Website option and shares the link with you, you can use any up to date browser to see photos and videos added by the owner and all contributors.

Comments and likes

Learn more about comments and likes.

Why can't I see new comments in my shared album, or why do I see comments that were deleted?

  1. Check the System Status page for issues affecting Photos.
  2. Check the Internet connection on all your devices by going to and You need to connect to the Internet to make a comment.
  3. See if the number of comments is the same on your iOS device and your Mac or PC.

If you have an active Internet connection, and a photo or video has a different number of comments on multiple devices, try these steps.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Close the Photos app. If you're not sure know how to do this, follow these steps.
  2. Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos. In iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos.
  3. Turn off iCloud Photo Sharing.
  4. Tap OK. The photos will automatically be added again when you turn this setting back on.
  5. Go back to the Home screen. Wait about a minute.
  6. Tap Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos. In iOS 10.2 or earlier, tap Settings > iCloud > Photos.
  7. Turn on iCloud Photo Sharing.
  8. Go back to the Home screen.
  9. Open Photos and tap the Shared tab. 
  10. Tap the name of the shared album.
  11. Check the comments on the photo or video. 

On your Mac:

  1. Quit Photos if it's open.
  2. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences. 
  3. Click iCloud, then click the Options button next to Photos. 
  4. Deselect iCloud Photo Sharing, then click Done.
  5. Wait about a minute.
  6. Click the Options button next to Photos.
  7. Select iCloud Photo Sharing, then click Done.
  8. Open Photos, then go to the shared album.
  9. Check the comments on the photo or video. 

On your PC using Windows 7 or later and iCloud for Windows:

  1. Close any open Windows Explorer windows you're using to access iCloud Photo Sharing. 
  2. Open iCloud for Windows:
    • In Windows 8 or later, go to the Start screen then click the iCloud tile.
    • In Windows 7, choose Start menu > All Programs > iCloud folder > iCloud.
  3. Click the Options button next to Photos. 
  4. Deselect Photo Sharing. Click OK, then click Apply.
  5. Wait about a minute, then click the Options button. 
  6. Select Photo Sharing. Click OK, then click Apply.
  7. Open iCloud Photos.
  8. Double-click the shared album, then click Comments.
  9. Check the comments on the photo or video.

Can I change the name that I use to comment on a shared album?

Your name in comments matches the full name for the Apple ID that you used to join the shared album. Use these steps to change your display name:

  1. Delete the comment. After a comment is posted, the display name doesn't change.
  2. Unsubscribe from the shared album.
  3. Go to your Apple ID account page, sign in, and change your name. If there's a credit card on your account that you're using for purchases, the name must match that credit card.
  4. Ask the owner of the shared album to send you a new invitation to the shared album.
  5. Accept the invitation, find the photo or video, and repost your comment.

Invites and subscribers

Learn more about invites and subscribers.

How do I re-invite someone to a shared album if they declined my invitation but now want to subscribe?

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  1. Tap Photos.
  2. Tap the Shared tab > Sharing.
  3. Tap a shared album, then go to the People tab.
  4. Select the person's name in the list of subscribers.
  5. Tap Resend Invitation.
  6. If you previously removed this person from the list of subscribers, tap Invite People, enter their email address, then tap Add.

On your Mac:

  • Open the Photos app.
  • Go to the Shared tab and open the shared album.
  • Click people icon.
  • Select the person's name in the list of subscribers.
  • Click Resend Invitation.

On your PC using iCloud for Windows:

  1. Open iCloud Photos, and double-click the shared album to open it.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click the name of the person who wants to subscribe. 
  4. Click Resend invitation, then click Done.

I declined an invitation to join a shared album. How do I join the album?

Send a message to the owner of the shared album and ask them to invite you again.

I sent email invitations to my shared album, but not everyone received one.

Try these steps:

  1. Ask the invitees to check their junk or spam email folders for the invitation.
  2. Send the invitation again. An invitee might not get the message if their mailbox is full, or if there's a filter that prevented the invite from being delivered. 
  3. If they didn't get the invitation, ask the invitee for another email address that you can send the invitation to. You can also send the invitation to the phone number that they use for Messages. 
  4. Ask the invitee if they've ever received an invitation, and if they might have unsubscribed from iCloud Photo Sharing emails. They can use the steps below to get email invitations again.

If they still don't get the invite, contact Apple Support for help.

I chose not to get iCloud Photo Sharing invitations, but now I want to subscribe to shared albums.

If you have an email invitation, open it and click Don't Send Me Photo Stream Emails at the bottom of the message. A browser window opens and shows that you're no longer receiving shared album invitations. Click Undo this change.

If you no longer have an invitation, contact Apple Support and ask to receive shared album invitations. You won't get previous invitations automatically, but you can contact the owner of a shared album and ask for another invitation.

Someone sent me a link to a shared album, but when I click the link a message appears that says the album is no longer shared.

If the album owner deleted the album or removed you from the subscribers list, you'll get a message that "This photo album is no longer shared."

Contact the owner of the shared album to ask if it's been deleted or to request a new invitation.

I got an iCloud Photo Sharing invitation from a sender that I don’t recognize.

If you get an iCloud Photo Sharing invitation that you think might be spam or junk, let us know. Click Report Junk in the email invitation.

You can also go to the invitation from the Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac and choose Report Junk > Delete and Report Junk.


Learn more about videos.

Which video formats and sizes does iCloud Photo Sharing support?

iCloud Photo Sharing supports MP4 and QuickTime video file types, and H.264 and MPEG-4 video file formats. Videos can be up to 5 minutes long.

Can I play shared videos over my cellular connection?

iCloud Photo Sharing supports video playback over Wi-Fi and cellular connections. To enable playback over a cellular connection on your iOS device, go to Settings > Cellular and turn on Photos.

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