How Do I Share Photos Using My iPhone?

The easiest ways to share photos from your iPhone with friends and family.

When we buy an iPhone, we’re also purchasing a pretty good camera. And since we have it with us all the time, we take a ton of photos. But what good are those pictures if no one can see them? That makes knowing how to share photos a vital skill for every smartphone owner.

Oh, sure, you could send a batch of images in a text. But no one wants to deal with the hassle of uploading a photo one by one to Messages. There are easier—and better —ways of getting those fantastic photos out of your Camera Roll and in front of your friends, family, and followers.

AirDrop

This is a good option if you want to send a set of pictures to another iPhone user in the same room. You don’t need to be connected to Wi-Fi, but your phones do need to be within 30 feet of each other.

Here’s how to use AirDrop:

  1. Swipe to open the Control Center.
  2. Press and hold the network settings card in the top-left corner. (It’s the one with the airplane, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth icons.)
  3. Tap the AirDrop icon to customize your settings.
  4. You can turn on AirDrop for Everyone (this makes it easier to find people) or for Contacts Only (if you only want to AirDrop to people already in your contacts).
  5. Open the Photos app and tap Select in the top-right corner.
  6. Tap the files you want to AirDrop, and then tap the Share icon in the bottom-left corner.
  7. You’ll see a list of people with AirDrop active. Tap the name of the person you want to send photos to. They’ll get an instant alert on their phone and the option to Accept or Decline your AirDrop.

Google Photos

If you don’t need to send photos right this instant — or you don’t want to deal with AirDrop — you can look to your social networks for help. One of the easiest when it comes to sharing images with one person or a group is Google Photos.

If you don’t have Google Photos, you’ll need to download it first. Once you do, here’s how you share images using the app:

  1. Open Google Photos, tap Sharing, then the Menu icon near the top-right corner.
  2. Tap Create new share.
  3. Choose the pictures you want to send, then tap Next.
  4. In the To box, tap Add recipients to select contacts with whom you want to share the album. Once you’ve added all your friends, tap Done.
  5. Give your album a creative name, add a note about the album, and when you’re ready, tap Send.

Messenger

Another social share option is Facebook Messenger. Many people use Facebook to post photos already, but with Messenger you can share them with a smaller, more private group of your Facebook friends.

If you don’t have Facebook Messenger, you’ll need to download it first. Once you do, here’s how you share images using the app:

  1. Open Messenger and tap the Message icon in the top-right corner to start a new chat.
  2. Add the friend or friends you want to share pictures with.
  3. Tap the Photo icon (the one that looks like a mountain and a small sun), then tap the Gridview icon (the small grid icon in the bottom-left corner) to see all your photos. Select each photo you want to add, then tap the Paper Plane icon in the bottom-right corner to send.
  4. Your friends can download the shared photos and add their own to the same chat.

Shared Album

You can also create a Shared Album right from your Photos app to give a group access to a collection of photos. Any iPhone user who joins the Shared Album can save the photos and add their own to the collection whenever they like.

Here’s how to create a Shared Album:

  1. Open your Photos app and tap Select in the top-right corner.
  2. Tap each photo you want to share.
  3. Tap the Share icon in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
  4. Select the iCloud Photo Sharing icon.
  5. Tap Shared Album > New Shared Album, then enter a Name for the album. If you already have Shared Albums on your phone, you can select one from the menu. Then tap Next.
  6. Invite friends to the Shared Album. Tap the Plus sign to add people from your Contacts. When you’re done adding people, tap Post.

FYI—If you need to upload a large collection of photos, we recommend using a Wi-Fi connection. Photos will send faster, and you won’t use any of your data.

There are other ways to share photos from your iPhone — such as posting to Twitter or Instagram — but these are four of the easiest ways to send a batch of images to your closest friends. They’re going to love reliving your fantastic vacation! We hope.

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