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Here’s how to create iCloud Share Photo Libraries in iOS 16.1

After announcing iCloud Shared Photo Libraries as part of iOS 16, Apple delayed the release of the feature to a later date.

Now, with iOS 16.1 Beta 4, the feature is finally available for users.

With iCloud Shared Photo Libraries, iPhone users can add up to five family members or friends (six people including the host) to a library of photos and videos, where each user can access, edit, delete, and contribute to added images. Notification toggles allow you to receive a notification when a picture you’ve added to the library is deleted, while a tool in the Camera app allows newly captured photos to be automatically uploaded to the shared library.

As an added bonus, your device sends suggestions for photos to add to the shared library in the For You section of the Photos app.

Here’s how to enable the feature:

  • Go to Settings and scroll down to “Photos”.
  • Make sure iCloud Photos is turned on. This will automatically upload all your pictures and videos to iCloud.
  • Under Library, tap Shared Library and add the contacts you want to share with.

You can then move media to the shared library. You have the option to sync all photos and videos at once, select photos by person or a specific date, or manually select each individual photo or video. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be presented with the Review Shared Library screen where you can browse through the photos and videos that will be added to the shared library for a final look.

Once you have verified that the selected media is ready to use, you can invite the counterparties to the shared library via messages or copy the invitation link to share via another platform.

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To manage your shared library, go to Settings and scroll down to Photos and click Shared Library. Here you can see members added to the library, add or remove participants, toggle notifications about deletion, and delete the library altogether.

Here you can also enable/disable Shared Library Suggestions and Sharing from Camera. The latter can be switched to “Automatic” or “Manual”. When set to Automatic, any photos or videos you take will be added to the shared library, provided the other participants are nearby and your phone can discover their phone via Bluetooth. With “Manual” you decide which new photo or video is included in the shared library.

An icon that looks like two people, as shown in the image below, can be tapped directly in the camera app to add new media to either your personal or shared library. You can also switch between your personal and shared libraries to view media directly from the Photos app.

Learn about other new features introduced with iOS 16 here.

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