How to Share Photos Manually in Your Shared Photo Library (iOS 16)

iOS 16 has a new feature that allows you to share your entire photo library. Here's how to make sure you're only sharing the photos you want to share!

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

A particularly fun and exciting iOS 16 addition to the Photos app is the ability to share an entire photo library. While this feature is amazing for family vacations, group projects, and more, you will want to make sure you are only sharing the photos you want to share. To keep some of your photos private while using a Shared Photo Library, we'll show you how to use Share Manually.

Related: The Best MacBook Accessories of 2022

Why You'll Love This Tip

  • Have fun with the new Shared Library feature on iOS 16 while still keeping some photos and videos private.
  • Protect certain photos and videos from being edited or deleted by others by keeping them out of the Shared Library.

Set Up Your Shared Library to Share Manually

When you initially set up your Shared Photo Library, you will have the option to automatically share photos you are taking with any participants within Bluetooth range when the picture or video is taken. This means, if Share Automatically is turned on, that picture you took of your nephew giving bunny ears to his mother in the family photo will be visible to everyone in the shared library. Here's how to ensure your photos are shared manually instead. For more tips about the new iOS 16 software update, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day.

Note: This tip only works if all of the contacts you invite are also iPhone users running iOS 16. If you need to share photos with non-Apple users, check out our guide on how to share iCloud photos with Android phones.

  1. Open Settings.

    Open Settings.
  2. Tap Photos.

    Tap Photos.
  3. Tap Shared Library.

    Tap Shared Library.
  4. Tap Start Setup.

    Tap Start Setup.
  5. Tap Add Participants, and choose from your contact list who you would like to invite to join your Shared Library.

    Tap Add Participants, and choose from your contact's list who you would like to invite to join your Shared Library.
  6. After choosing up to five, tap Continue.

    After choosing up to five, tap Continue.
  7. Next, to keep all your old photos from adding to the Shared Library, tap Choose Manually. This way, you can pick and choose which photos from photos in your camera roll you want to share as opposed to sharing all of them. 

    Next, to keep all your old photos from adding to the Shared Library, tap Choose Manually. This way you can pick and choose which photos from photos in your camera roll you want to share as opposed to sharing all of them. 
  8. Tap Continue.

    Tap Continue.
  9. Select the photos you want to share and tap Done.

    Select the photos you want to share and tap Done.
  10. You have the option of reviewing your Shared Library before it goes live by tapping Preview Shared Library.

    You have the option of reviewing your Shared Library before it goes live by tapping Preview Shared Library.
  11. Once you've double-checked the photos you want to share, tap Continue in the top right corner.

    Once you've double checked the photos you want to share, tap Continue in the top right corner.
  12. Next, it's time to invite others to the Shared Library either via text message or a link.

    Next, it's time to invite others to the Shared Library either via text message or a link.
  13. Then, to keep the photos you take from automatically going into the Shared Library when participants are close by, tap Share Manually Only.

    Then, to keep the photos you take from automatically going into the Shared Library when participants are close by, tap Share Manually Only.
  14. Finally, tap Done when you're finished!

    Finally, tap Done when you're finished!

This is the most secure way to set up your shared library so that you are only sharing the photos you want to share. Whether you're an organization nerd like me or you simply enjoy your privacy, this is a great way to keep certain photos safe while still sharing photos with family and friends. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Topics

Author Details

Rachel Needell's picture

Author Details

Rachel Needell

Rachel Needell is a Feature Web Writer at iPhone Life, a published poet, and a longtime Apple enthusiast. Before graduating in the spring of 2021 with her Master’s degree in Literature, specializing in early 20th-century American and British Modernism, she was a college writing tutor and University English professor. Her latest piece, "Temporizing: Self Portrait" can be found in the Winter '21 edition of New Note Poetry. Although an enthusiastic traveler, you can most often find Rachel curled up under a blanket with a glass of red wine, reading a book with her cat Blue in Charlotte, North Carolina.