How to share albums in Photos app on your Mac

アップルの「写真」アプリのアイコン
Updated : Jan 07, 2022

You can use the shared album function in the Photos app on your Mac to share your photos and videos with others.

On this page, I will explain in detail how to use the shared album function using screenshots.

This page is created with the following macOS versions.

  • macOS 12 Monterey

Other versions may have slightly different screen designs and controls.

Conditions for using the shared albums in Photos app

ItemDescription
macOS versions
  • 10.9 Mavericks or later
      However, depending on the version of macOS,
      the name of the app will be different as follows.
    • 10.10.3 Yosemite or later: Photos app
    • 10.10.2 Yosemite or former: iPhoto app
  • iCloud account
  • Need to login
  • Shared album option
  • Need to be enabled
  • Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    The third “Shared album option” may be disabled by default.

    If you think you can’t use shared albums, check it out here!

    Little devil fox
    Little devil fox

    How to enable shared albums is explained in the next section.

    <meta charset="utf-8">Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    By the way, if you can’t use shared albums, you’ll get the following error:

    Mac Photos.app
    Click to enlarge

    Advantages and disadvantages of the two sharing targets

    If you use the album sharing function in the Photos app on your Mac, you can set the following two types of sharing range.

    • a) Share with specific persons (Only iCloud users)
    • b) Share with unspecified persons (Not only iCloud users)

    The following is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

    TargetAdvantageDisadvantage
    a) Specific persons
  • High security
    as sharing is limited
    to the owner
    of the iCloud account
  • Sharers can also comment
  • Sharers can also add
    photos and videos
  • The person you share with
    must also have
    an iCloud account
  • b) Unspecific persons
  • The person you share with
    doesn’t need to
    have an iCloud account
  • You can publish the album
    to the whole world
  • You need to be more careful
    when handling private photos.
  • Share partners
    can’t add comments
  • Share partners
    can’t add photos NG
  • <meta charset="utf-8">Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    For a), it seems that you can share the albums with your friends, add comments, upload photos and videos, and so on.

    <meta charset="utf-8">Little devil fox
    Little devil fox

    I agree.

    b) has the advantage that it can be viewed even if they are not iCloud users, so it would be nice to open the albums to people who are not familiar with you.

    <meta charset="utf-8">Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    a) is convenient and has high security, so it looks good, but isn’t the condition that iCloud account is required strict?

    <meta charset="utf-8">Little devil fox
    Little devil fox

    But well, most iPhone users have an iCloud account, right?

    If you don’t have an iCloud account, you can’t install apps or back up iCloud, right?

    <meta charset="utf-8">Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    Come to think of it!

    With that in mind, I felt like a) is also nice!

    ① How to enable shared albums function

    ▶ In Finder, launch the “Photos” app in the “Applications” folder.

    Mac Finde Applications
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the “Photos” app starts, select “Photos” -> “Preferences…” from the menu bar.

    Mac Photos.app Menu bar
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the “Preferences” screen is displayed, click the tab “iCloud” at the top of the screen and check “Shared Albums” to enable it.

    Mac Photos.app Preferences iCloud
    Click to enlarge

    This is the end of the explanation, “① How to enable shared albums function”.

    ② How to create a shared album

    The method introduced here is to create an empty shared album.

    If you create a shared album this way, it doesn’t contain any photos or videos at first, so you’ll need to register them later.

    Apart from that, please refer to the following items for how to create a shared album from the existing album.

    Here’s how to create a new empty shared album.

    ▶ Launch the “Photos” app and click the + button to the right of the “Shared Albums” folder / name in the left column.

    Mac Photos.app
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the album setting screen opens as shown, set each item.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge
    ItemDescription
    Shared Album Name
  • Anything is fine,
    but give it a name
    that is easy for others
    to understand
  • Invite People…
  • Enter one of the following information
    for someone with an iCloud account
    • Email address
    • Phone numbers that can be used
      with the “Messages” app
  • Comment (optional)
  • Enter as needed
  • Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    If you want to share with “a) Specific persons”, set “Shared Album Name” and “Invite People”!

    Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    If you want to share with “b) Unspecific persons”, set “Shared Album Name”!

    After that, make a shared album, and then change the sharing target to “Unspecified Persons” while referring to the following items.

    ▶ After setting each item, click the “Create” button at the bottom right.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album

    ▶ If setting “Invite People…”, the invited persons will receive an email as shown in the figure below.

    Click the “Join” button in the body of the email to display the shared album in your web browser.

    Mac 写真アプリ 共有の招待状
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ The shared album is displayed in the web browser as shown.

    However, at the moment, no photos or videos are added, so nothing is displayed.

    Mac iCloud.Photos Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    To add the photos and videos you want to display, proceed to the following items.

    This is the end of the explanation, “② How to create a shared album”.

    ③ How to create a shared album from the existing album

    ▶ Launch the “Photos” app and click the album for which you want to create a shared album from the “My Albums” list in the left column.

    In the figure below, “macOS Desktop Pictures” is clicked as a sample.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ To create a shared album from an existing selected album, do one of the following:

    • a) In the menu bar, select “File” -> “Share” -> “Shared Albums”
    • b) In the toolbar, select the “Share” icon -> “Shared Albums”

    【a) Menu bar】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【b) Toolbar】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the “Add to Shared album” screen is displayed as shown in the figure, set each item.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    ItemDescription
    Commnent (optional)
  • Enter as needed
  • New Shared Album…
  • Click when you want to create
    a new shared album
  • Existing Shared Albums
  • Click when you want to add
    to the existing shared albums
  • ▶ If you select “New Shared Album”, the setting method is the same as the following items, so please refer to that.

    【New Shared Album】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    For details, refer to the following items:

    ▶ On the other hand, if you click “Existing Shared Albums”, photos and videos will be added to the existing shared albums immediately.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    This is the end of the explanation, “③ How to create a shared album from the existing album”.

    ④ How to add / remove photos / movies in shared albums

    Please refer to the following items for how to add the entire contents of an existing album to the shared album.

    Here’s how to add individual photos and videos to your shared albums.

    ▶ In the Photos app, select the photos / videos you want to add to your shared album.

    The selected photos / videos will change the color of the borders of them.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    There are the following types of selection methods:

    MethodHow to operate
    Select only oneClick the photos / movies
    with the mouse or trackpad
    Select multiple consecutiveBelow are the steps:
    ① Hold down shift key on your keyboard
    ② Click and hold the margin near the start point
    with your mouse / trackpad
    ③ Drag the mouse / trackpad to the end point
    ④ Take your finger off
    the keyboard and mouse / trackpad
    Select multiple non-consecutiveBelow are the steps:
    Hold down command ⌘ key on your keyboard
    Click the photos / movies
    with the mouse or trackpad
    Take your finger off
    the keyboard and mouse / trackpad
    Select allPress command ⌘ + A keys on your keyboard
    Deselect allClick on an empty margin

    ▶ After selecting the addition targets, do one of the following operations.

    • a) In the menu bar, select “File” -> “Share” -> “Shared Albums”
    • b) In the toolbar, select the “Share” icon -> “Shared Albums”
    • c) In the right-click menu, select “Share” -> “Shared Albums”
    • d) Using drag and drop, add to the album list in the left column of the “Photos” app

    【a) Menu bar】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【b) Toolbar】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【c) Right-click menu】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【d) Drag and Drop】

    Reference video


    This is the end of explanation, “④ How to add / remove photos / movies in shared albums”.

    ⑤ How to delete photos / videos from shared albums

    Deleting photos / videos from shared albums don’t remove them from the Photos app.

    Therefore, all you have to do is select the targets you want to delete in “Shared Albums” and delete them.

    The following is an explanation of the actual operation method.

    ▶ In the Photos app, select the photos / videos you want to remove from the shared albums.

    The selected photos / videos will change the color of the border of them.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    There are the following types of selection methods:

    MethodHow to operate
    Select only oneClick the photos / movies
    with the mouse or trackpad
    Select multiple consecutiveBelow are the steps:
    ① Hold down shift key on your keyboard
    ② Click and hold the margin near the start point
    with your mouse / trackpad
    ③ Drag the mouse / trackpad to the end point
    ④ Take your finger off
    the keyboard and mouse / trackpad
    Select multiple non-consecutiveBelow are the steps:
    Hold down command ⌘ key on your keyboard
    Click the photos / movies
    with the mouse or trackpad
    Take your finger off
    the keyboard and mouse / trackpad
    Select allPress command ⌘ + A keys on your keyboard
    Deselect allClick on an empty margin

    ▶ After selecting the delete targets, do one of the following operations.

    • a) In the menu bar, select “Image” -> “Share” -> “Delete from Shared Album”
    • b) In the right-click menu, select “Share” -> “Delete from Shared Album”
    • d) On your keyboard, press delete ⌫ key

    【a) Menu bar】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【b) Right-click menu】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【c) Keyboard】

    Mac Us Keyboard "delete"
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the deletion confirmation screen is displayed as shown in the figure, click the “Delete” button.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When they are removed from the shared album, that’s done.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    This is the end of the explanation, “⑤ How to delete photos / videos from shared albums”.

    ⑥ How to change the targets (and other settings) for the shared albums

    The method of changing the sharing targets (and other settings) when creating a shared album is explained in the following items.

    This section describes how to change the sharing targets (and other settings) for the shared albums that has already been created.

    ▶ In the “Photos” app, select the shared album for which you want to change the settings.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ From the toolbar on the top right, click the human-shaped “Member” icon.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the sharing setting screen is displayed as shown in the figure, set each item.

    After completing the settings, click an appropriate location that is not within the settings screen to save the settings and close the settings screen.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge
    項目説明
    ① Shared Album Name
  • Anything is fine,
    but give it a name
    that is easy for others
    to understand
  • ② Invite People…
  • Enter one of the
    following information
    for someone with an iCloud account
    • Email address
    • Phone numbers that can be used
      with the “Messages” app
  • ③ Subscribers Can Post
  • Set as needed
  • ④ Public Website
  • Published to unspecified persons
    • However, adding comments /
      photos / movies are prohibited
  • ⑤ Notifications
  • You will be notified
    when comments, photos, etc.
    are added
  • ⑥ Delete Shared Album
  • Delete Shared albums
  • <meta charset="utf-8">Mr. Otter
    Mr. Otter

    For the differences between the two sharing targets and the advantages and disadvantages, refer to the following items introduced at the beginning!

    This is the end of the explanation, “⑥ How to change the targets (and other settings) for the shared albums”.

    ⑦ How to delete shared albums

    ▶ In the “Photos” app, select the shared album for which you want to delete.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ After selecting it, do one of the following operations.

    • a) In the right-click menu, select “Delete Shared Album”
    • b) On your keyboard, press delete ⌫ key
    • c) In the toolbar, select “Member” -> “Delete Shared Album”

    【a) Right-click menu】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    【b) Keyboard】

    Mac Us Keyboard "delete"
    Click to enlarge

    【c) Toolbar】

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    The figure below is an enlarged view around the arrow

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the deletion confirmation screen is displayed as shown in the figure, click the “Delete” button.

    Mac Photos.app Shared album
    Click to enlarge

    ▶ When the shared album is deleted from the shared albums, that’s done.

    This is the end of explanation, “⑦ How to delete shared albums”.

    Reference information

    Spa cat
    Spa cat

    This is the end of this article.

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