Create Public Albums with Apple Photos

Apple Photos, and iCloud Photo Library, make it easy to store and sync photos across devices. You can also create albums that you share with friends and families. But the ability to create public albums or galleries is MIA, almost.

Back in the day, with .Mac and MobileMe, it was dead simple to make photo galleries to show off your pictures on the web. In 2012, Apple added photo sharing features to iCloud, which are essentially what we have today as shared albums. I had wondered why you couldn’t create a public album, and I mentioned it on Twitter a few days ago. One person pointed out that it was possible, and showed me where the feature was; it’s not easy to find. For example, the Help isn’t any help:


Start by creating a new album in Photos. When you’ve done that, click the Share button, and choose iCloud Photo Sharing. Click New Shared Album, enter a name for the album, then click Create.

Public album1

Next, select the shared album, click the People button in the toolbar, and check Public Website. In a couple of seconds, Photos will display a link with the URL of the album. You can click it to view it, and if you right-click the link, you can choose Copy Link to send it to others. Here’s a link to the album I’ve set up for this article.

Public album2

It’s surprising that Apple thinks that this is a good user experience. The public album option should be visible when you set up a shared album; there should be a checkbox under the field where you add users. I’m sure that most users – like me – never discover this feature because it’s so well hidden.

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