When I share a photo to iCloud using the Photos app, subsequent edits to the photo in my library seem not so sync with the shared photo. Has sharing created a new copy of my photo?


2 Answers 2


Yes - sharing the photo puts it in a cloud backed "truth" where that image is available for all participants of the album to download and modify their copy, but not to change the original.

You'll want to share the edited version and then clean old ones until such time editing directly that shared image is implemented.

  • So despite all indications in the UI (the indication that one is sharing an album, rather than the versions of photos that happen to be in it at the time; the offer to edit a photo by switching "to it" in the library, etc.), sharing shares copies of individual photos, correct?
    – orome
    Apr 13, 2015 at 13:01
  • 1
    @raxacoricofallapatorius What does "despite all indications in the UI" mean? when I look at the UI - I see the shared photos separated and segregated from the library photos. Things are always in two separate bins. Can you upload a screenshot showing the confusion?
    – bmike
    Apr 13, 2015 at 13:42
  • If you click "Edit" for a shared photo you get a dialog that says "To edit this photo, you must switch to it in your library", which is quite true, and certainly misleading. When you are viewing an album with no individual photos selected and click the share button (and choose iCloud sharing), the album (the only thing selected) is not shared, while the individual photos in it (none of which are selected), get shared.
    – orome
    Apr 13, 2015 at 18:10

No, indeed.

Photos that you share are not shared [sic], but are copied and then shared, despite clear indications in the user interface that would lead to the conclusion that they are.

Furthermore, as a consequence, albums are not shared at all: instead the individual photos in the album at the time it is shared are copied. Moreover, if you add photos to an album, and wish to add them to the shared "version" of that album, you must make sure to "share" only the added photos, as any photos that you "share again" will have new copies made for them in the shared album, and the order of the photos in the ablum will not match the order in the album that you "share" them from (the order is a frustrating combination of the order in which they are added and the date taken).

So albums are "shared" only in a marketing-speak sense.

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