Starting in iOS 12, Apple changed the default behavior around sharing photos via Message, confusing some users. When you attempt to send multiple photos (four or more) from the photos app via the share function in the Message app, your iOS combines all the images together 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 explore some of the pros and cons of using the iCloud Photo link feature and address possible workarounds as well as introduce you to how you can do this easily within iOS 13 and iPadOS Photos App.
- How to hide, unhide and view hidden photos on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
- Here’s everything new in Photos and Camera in iOS 13
- The Definitive Guide to iCloud Photos in 2019
- Twelve Great iOS 12 Features That You May Not Know About
- How To Disable iCloud Photo Library without Losing any Photos
- How To View iCloud Photos on Your iPhone
Where is the option to bypass iCloud Photo link in iOS 13?
In iOS 12, there was no direct way to bypass iCloud photo link when sharing more than three photos via the Photos app.
But the good news is that Apple finally listened to their users and improved Photo sharing features in iOS 13 and iPadOS.
iCloud Photo Sharing in iOS13 and iPadOS: we now have options in the Photos app!
- Shared photos can include or exclude location data
- Airdropped photos can include or exclude all photo data
- We can send photos as individual photo files OR as a combined iCloud Link
Here is how you can share selected photos without the iCloud photo link for iOS13+ and iPadOS
- Open Photos App and tap on All Photos tab (far right at the bottom)
- Tap on Select at the top right corner of your screen
- Now choose the photos that you want to send by tapping on the pictures
- Next, tap on the Share icon at the bottom left corner of your screen
- Choose Options at the top of your screen (This is easy to miss!)
- Under Send As, you can choose Individual Photos (Videos) to bypass the iCloud link
iCloud Photo links are the default in iOS13+ and iPadOS
When you share your selected photos as an iCloud link, your iPhone simply shares a URL link with the user, so that they can view or download pictures using the link.
If you want to share the photos and not a link to the images, you must follow the steps listed above.
Control who sees your photos’ location data when sharing your pictures and videos
You can also strip location details and photo data when Sending Photos in iOS 13+ and iPadOS
The first is around the privacy of your photos when you are ready to share
- When you shoot Photos, detailed metadata around the location of the picture is captured and maintained in your pictures along with other detail
- In iOS 13+ and iPadOS, when you share/send photos, you can disable location sharing by toggling off Location toggle under Include
- Toggling Location off removes any location details of your shared photos
- The default setting is to include location information (i.e., Location is toggled on)
You can now also use ‘Full Original Capture’ when sending your photos and videos via Airdrop
- This feature called All Photos Data maintains the original quality of the videos and images when sharing them via Airdrop and also includes edit history, metadata, and even a history of filters, effects, and other image editing decisions
- Toggle All Photos Data to enable this setting
- iOS disabled All Photos Data by default
And no, you cannot edit Photo metadata in iOS13 or iPadOS–yet!
A frequent request is for the Photos App on iOS/iPadOS to allow users to edit picture metadata without using a third party app. Unfortunately, this is still not possible with the latest Apple release for iPhone, iPod, and iPads. Sorry!
If you are using iOS 12 on your iPhone or iPad, you can read on to find out how you can bypass the iCloud Photo link feature.
iOS 12 iCloud Photo Link
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> Apple ID Profile > 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 sent 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
- Tap on the “>” icon (if shown–depends on screen size)
- Tap on the photos app icon (if you don’t see the Photos app, tap the App Store icon next to your text entry box) OR tap on the camera icon and then click on the Photos icon on the top left corner of your screen OR
- 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 choose these photos, it will add each of the individual images 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 images 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
15 Useful iCloud Tips for Macs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods!
We hope that you found this short article helpful. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or comments.