Last Updated: August 24, 2017
Even though iCloud Photo Library allows for syncing photos, albums and videos across all your devices, it does not really allow you to sync your stuff to the device of a family member. And, it goes without saying that everyone wants to share each and every photo the capture with their family. But there is a work around for that. If you are already using Family Sharing on your device, you will have a Photos library of your own already. And that, at least, gives you a few options to be able to share your stuff with other family members. Let’s take a look at your available options.
How You Can Use Family Album Of Family Sharing To Share Your Photos With Family
If your iCloud’s Family Sharing is enabled with the iCloud Photo Sharing feature, there will be a album named “Family” that you can find in Shared Tab inside Photos app on your Mac. You can also access it from Shared section in Photos on your iPhone/iPad. The album will sync automatically with every member of the Family Sharing group. Here is how you can add photos in shared stream:
- Open Photos app on the Mac you’re using
- Click on Photos that you’d like to share in the Family Sharing group (You can select multiple photos with command-click or shift-click)
- Click on Share button after making the selection. You can find it in top right of this window and it is actually a box having upward arrow inside.
- Click on iCloud Photo Sharing
- Finally click on Family and the images will start syncing to the device of your family members.
You can also add the images of your family that are part of the stream shared among all to your own Photos library as well. For this, you will have to first turn on sidebar in the Photos app. You can do this from Show Sidebar option in View menu of menu bar. Afterwards, navigate to the shared stream to choose photos that you’d like to import. Once you have made the selection, just drag the selected Photos to Photos entry that is visible in sidebar. As soon as you do that, all these files will be copied to the Photos Library. They will also sync with the iCloud Photo Library, in case, if it is enabled.
How You Can Use The iCloud Photo Sharing Feature For Sharing Photos With Family
If you have not enabled Family Sharing, you’ll still be able to use the iCloud Photo Sharing feature for sending specific photos to the family, and will keep those that are not confined to the iCloud account you have. Here is exactly how you can set up Sharing and share an album with your family & friends.
Enabling The Photo Sharing Feature
Follow these steps for enabling Photo Sharing.
- Open Photos app on the Mac that you’re using
- Click on Photos in top left side of the screen
- Click Preferences
- Next, click iCloud
- Now click to check the box in front of iCloud Photo Sharing. Technically, you don’t even need to enable iCloud for using the feature –it works fine even if you have not turned iCloud Photo Library On.
Sharing Photos With iCloud Photo Sharing
Now, here are the steps for sharing your photos using iCloud Photo Sharing.
- Open Photos app on your device
- Click on Share button that you can find in top right side of the screen.
- Click on iCloud Photo Sharing
- Now, click on New Shared Album
- Provide the album name in the designated space
- Click on blue colored ‘+’ button for inviting people. An alternate is to invite people by entering their email addresses.
- Click on Create
- Now you’ll see the newly created shared folder in left sidebar, click it
- You’ll see Add Photos And Videos option in top right corner of the screen
- Now click on all photos that you want to add
- On top right side of this window click on Add
- The photos will appear in a couple of minutes in shared folder
Now, whoever you had invited will have access to the images through this shared folder that you have just created.
How You Can Add Photos From Shared Stream To Photos Library
You can also add photos from the shared stream to photos library as well. Here are the steps that you need to follow for that.
- Open Photos app on your machine
- Click the shared stream from left sidebar
- Click on photos that you want to import
- Finally, right-click and then click on Import
You will have all the selected photos in the Last Import as well as All Photos section of your Photos Library.
Sharing The iCloud ID
It’s a not so common method, especially, when we have Family Sharing available. But if you are still using one single ID to make purchases, your libraries can be unified by logging into iCloud from all the devices that you’d like to share your photos between. In the end, just turn iCloud Photo Library on.
However, just keep one thing in your mind that this will share all the photos that each of the devices takes or uploads. There is no way for you to control what you’d like to share and what not.
So, Family sharing allows Mac users to share their photos with members of the group easily. But there are a couple of workarounds available as well. You can choose any of the available options according to your own preferences.