With iOS 12, the default behavior around sharing photos via Messages has changed somewhat and can lead to confusion for some users. When you attempt to send multiple photos (four or more) from the photos app via the share function into the message app, it combines all the photos and shows an iCloud Photo link in the main body of the message as opposed to including each photo separately in the message.
In this short article, we will explore some of the pros and cons of using the iCloud Photo link feature and address possible workarounds.
There is no method to disable this default icloud photo link behavior. Searching Settings app for iCloud link doesn’t yield any results in iOS 12.
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The iCloud Photo link shows up as the default behavior when you have ‘iCloud for Photos’ enabled on your iPhone ( Settings > Photos > iCloud Photos) OR (Settings> User Id > iCloud > Photos ON with iCloud Photos enabled).
Interestingly this feature appears to be only limited to Apple’s Message app. This does not happen when you are trying to send multiple photos via email when sharing via the Mail app.
Pros of Using the iCloud Photo Link Feature on your iPhone
When you select four or more photos from the Photos app to the message app, the system picks up these photos and combines them into one iCloud Photo link which is then send to the recipient.
First of all this saves your data plan as this is only sending a link to the recipient as opposed to sending each of the selected photos one by one. The person receiving the message can choose to download the link when he or she receives it.
Cons of using iCloud Photo Link Feature
Many users like to save their messages and the associated embedded photos. By default, the initial iCloud photo link that is created has a built-in validity period. It expires after 30 days.
If the recipient chooses to go back to the message and try opening the link after the validity period, he or she will not be able to access these photos which is a hassle for many.
Although there is no way to disable or bypass this functionality when you start with the Photos app, you can bypass this entirely when you start with the Messages app.
How to Bypass the iCloud Photo Link when Sending Messages
• Instead of starting with the Photos app and then selecting multiple photos to send, start first with the Message App
• Choose the recipient, craft your message and then tap on the “>” icon
• Next, tap on the camera icon and then click on the Photos icon on the top left corner of your screen OR
• Tap on the app icon and then tap on the Photos icon
• Now you can choose the photos that you want to send from Recent Photos or tap on All Photos and then browse and select.
• As you select these photos, it will add each of the individual photos the body of the message and then send it as opposed to creating the iCloud photo link
• These Photos are then individually sent to the recipient
How to work with iCloud Photo Link in Message App
People have their own personal preferences. We like the simplicity of the iCloud Photo link feature. This is especially true when people send across a large number of full resolution photos via message.
When you receive the iCloud photo link instead of the actual photos, you have some choices around working with the link.
Tap on the link and it opens up all the photos. Here you can choose the photos that you want to save to your photo library.
Many users just like to browse through the photos without saving them. This feature helps in saving storage space on your iPhone as you are not saving the actual messages and the embedded photos onto your device.
If you tap on the ADD button at the top, it will add all the photos to your photo library. Instead, you can tap on ‘Select’ and then choose the photos that you want to add and delete the rest.
Tapping on the ‘…’ button at the top right corner of your screen also provides you the function of copying the icloud link.
You can copy the link and then paste it into another message if you like to share it with others.
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We hope that you found this short article helpful. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or comments.