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Everything you need to know about Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Sharing


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Apple’s Photo Stream service is split into two parts. The first part conveniently saves your personal photos to iCloud and wirelessly syncs them between your devices. The second part, now known as iCloud Photo Sharing, lets you create shared Photo Streams that other iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Mac owners can view, comment on, and optionally add their own photos to. Both parts of Photo Stream make handling images easier and more convenient than ever. So, how does it all work?

  • How to enable and disable Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to enable or disable iCloud Photo Sharing on iPhone and iPad
  • How to enable or disable notifications for shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad
  • How to access Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to access iCloud Photo Sharing on iPhone and iPad
  • How to create a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to delete photos from your Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to delete photos from shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad
  • How to delete a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to unsubscribe from a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to add or remove people from shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad
  • How to let others add photos to shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad
  • How to like or comment on photos in a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad
  • How to share Photo Streams with people who don’t use iPhones, iPads, or Macs
  • iCloud Photo Library and Photo Stream: What’s the difference?

How to enable and disable Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

If you have an iCloud account, you have the option to use Photo Stream. The regular version of Photo Stream can automatically save your last 1,000 photos or 30 days, whichever is great. It doesn’t count against your iCloud storage limit the way iCloud Photo Library does, which may make it a better option for folks who don’t want to pay for iCloud. For folks who use Photo Stream on a Mac or PC, you’ll want to make sure Photo Stream is enabled even if you are already using iCloud Photo Library.

  • How to enable and disable Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to enable or disable iCloud Photo Sharing on iPhone and iPad

iCloud Photo Sharing is just Apple’s new name for what has traditionally been known as shared Photo Streams. These streams can easily be created and then shared with any other iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac user that also has iCloud Photo Sharing enabled. Once you’ve created one and share it, other people can view your photos, comment on them, like them, and even add their own if you choose to let them. In order to create or join other people’s shared Photo Streams, you just need to make sure you have the feature enabled.

  • How to enable or disable iCloud Photo Sharing on iPhone and iPad

How to enable or disable shared Photo Stream notifications on iPhone and iPad

Every time someone adds a photo to a shared Photo Stream, comments on something, or likes it, every member of that particular stream will receive a push notification. If you don’t want to completely turn off notifications through Notification Center, you can choose to disable notifications just for a specific stream. This is a great trick for a stream that may have a lot of people or a specific person that tends to post a lot of photos or leave a lot of comments you may not necessarily need to see as they happen.

  • How to enable or disable notifications for shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

How to access Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

After you’ve enable Photo Stream, you’ll also want to know how and where to access it on all your devices. The traditional version of Photo Stream lives inside the Photos app alongside all your locally stored photos and saves the last 30 days or most recent 1,000 photos, whichever is greater. However, if you have iCloud Photo Library enabled, you may be a little confused as to where Photo Stream went and why. We can help explain all these issues.

  • How to access Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to access iCloud Photo Sharing on iPhone and iPad

iCloud Photo Sharing lives in the Shared section of your Photos app and lets you access not only the Photo Streams that you have shared with others, but the streams that others have shared with you. Prior to iOS 8, iCloud Photo Sharing was simply referred to as shared Photo Streams. Aside from that, not much else has changed.

  • How to access iCloud Photo Sharing on iPhone and iPad

How to create a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

If you have photos you’d like to share with others, one of the easiest ways by far is iCloud Photo Sharing. Creating a shared Photo Stream is super simple and doesn’t require you to upload photos to public social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram if you don’t want to. Shared Photo Streams even let you allow others to add photos which makes for a great way to share memories and view photos that maybe you didn’t have a chance to snap at an event but someone else did.

  • How to create a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to delete photos from Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

The original Photo Stream service automatically saves your last 1,000 photos or 30 days of photos and syncs them across all your Apple devices. Since Photo Stream doesn’t count against your iCloud storage, you might think you don’t have to worry about deleting them. However, every once and a while a photo might slip in that your definitely don’t want syncing between your devices. If and when that happens, you can easily delete the photo from Photo Stream, and that will not only remove it from all devices, but in the case of the new iCloud Photo Library service, delete it permanently as well.

  • How to delete photos from your Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to delete photos from shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

Shared Photo Streams are a great way to share photos with friends and family members that also have iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Not only can you add photos at will, you can also delete photos too. So whether you accidentally uploaded a photo you didn’t mean to or you just don’t want a specific photo to be viewable anymore, we can walk you through how to get it out of a shared Photo Stream.

  • How to delete photos from shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

How to delete a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

You can delete shared Photo Streams just as easily as you created them. Perhaps you only created the stream so folks could save the photos to their own devices, or it just isn’t getting used. Whatever the reason, you can remove it from everyone’s devices just as easily as you put it there. The only caveat is that you can’t fully delete a stream unless you were the one that created it.

  • How to delete a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to unsubscribe from a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

If someone invites you to a shared Photo Stream, you will then receive notifications of any photos added as well as a notification anytime anyone comments or likes a photo. While you can always disable notifications, you may decide you don’t actually need to be a member of that particular stream any longer. If that’s the case, you can easily remove it from all your devices if you’d like.

  • How to unsubscribe from a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to add or remove people from shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

Once you create a shared Photo Stream, one of the most obvious things you’ll want to do is add people. Even though you have the opportunity to add members during the creation process, you may decide later on you need to add someone else, or even remove an existing member. Doing so only take a few seconds.

  • How to add or remove people from shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

How to let other people add photos to a shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

You have the option of whether or not you want members of your shared Photo Streams to just be able to view photos you post or if you want them to be able to add photos as well. By default, all members are able to post. However, you can turn the feature on and off whenever you’d like.

  • How to let others add photos to shared Photo Streams on iPhone and iPad

How to like or comment on photos in a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

Shared Photo Streams allow all members of a shared Photo Stream to not only add and view photos, but to like and comment on them. For families, this is a great way to share photos and be able to communicate about them without actually having to start a text thread or upload them to social media. This is especially great for folks who have family members who are anti-social media since shared streams are a lot more private.

  • How to like or comment on photos in a shared Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad

How to share Photo Streams with people who don’t use iPhones, iPads, or Macs

While shared Photo Streams are mainly geared at sharing between iOS and OS X users, there is another useful feature that lets you share a stream with virtually anyone. This feature creates a public website containing all the photos in the stream that anyone that has the URL can access from any browser.



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