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How to create shared albums in Photos for Mac and iOS

Lesa Snider | June 18, 2015
iCloud Photo Sharing is a wonderfully private way to share digital memories with certain people. When you create or subscribe to a shared album, it appears on all of your devices. And since iCloud Photo Sharing doesn't count against your allotted storage space for free iCloud accounts, it doesn't cost you a penny!

iCloud Photo Sharing is a wonderfully private way to share digital memories with certain people. When you create or subscribe to a shared album, it appears on all of your devices. And since iCloud Photo Sharing doesn't count against your allotted storage space for free iCloud accounts, it doesn't cost you a penny!

Turning on iCloud Photo Sharing

To start the sharing spree, turn on iCloud Photo Sharing on all your devices (this has nothing to do with iCloud Photo Library). In Photos for Mac, choose Photos > Preferences and in the iCloud pane, turn on iCloud Photo Sharing. On an iOS device, tap Settings and then scroll down until you see Photos & Camera. Give it a tap and on the next screen, tap the switch next to iCloud Photo Sharing (it turns green).

Creating a shared album

Creating (and adding content to) shared albums is mercifully simple. In Photos for Mac, select an album or some thumbnails. Click the share icon in Photos' toolbar and choose iCloud Photo Sharing. In the resulting sheet, click New Shared Album, and then on the next sheet, name the album and invite someone to subscribe to it by entering their name, email address, or cell phone number into the To field. In the Comment field, enter a description of the goodies you're about to share.

When you're finished filling out the all the fields, click Create. Your invitees promptly receive an email invitation to subscribe to your album. Once they click the Subscribe button in the email, the shared album appears in Photos' Shared view on all the devices on which they've turned on iCloud Photo Sharing. Creating a shared album in Photos for iOS works the same way, though you can't select a whole album for sharing: You have to select individual thumbnails instead (bummer!).

To like and comment on an item in a shared album in Photos for Mac, open the album, double-click a picture or video and then click the "+" icon that appears in the picture's lower-left corner (it looks like a thought bubble). When you do, the comment sheet shown below appears. Click the smiley-face icon to like it, or click in the comment field and enter something pithy. Click Send, and Photos adds your comment to the list.

To like an image or add and view comments in Photos for iOS, tap to open the shared album, and then tap the picture itself to open it. Beneath the picture, you see controls that let you like the image, view comments, and add your own. To delete a comment, tap and hold your finger down on it, and then tap the Delete button that appears just above the comment.

 

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