I have an iPhone 6s with iOS 10. In the Photos app, there are Albums and each Album has a cover photo.

How can I change the cover photo of an Album?

11 Answers 11


Tap the person in the People album. Tap Select. Tap Show Faces to focus on just the person’s face in each photo. Tap the photo that you want to use. Tap the Share Extension, then > Set Key Face.

  • 2
    This is a good answer for People only, it doesn't work on any other album. I'll +1 the answer because it's something I didn't know and does work for some of Photos. – fsb Sep 27 '16 at 15:27
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    Jeez for a company that prides itself on simplistic UX, this is atrociously obscure! – brandonscript Mar 2 '17 at 6:05

On your iPhone or iPad, click open an album you've created (won't work on albums iOS creates). Click Select in the upper right corner. Hold down the picture you want as your cover photo, until it "moves" or gets slightly bigger. Then slide it to the upper left position (first picture). Click Done and it's saved as the cover picture.

  • This does work for normal albums. This does not work for Shared Albums. (Tested on iOS 11.2) – remeika Dec 29 '17 at 23:46

I don’t beleive there is any way to choose the key photo directly on the iPhone. There also isn't a way to perform this selection on Photos web app at https://icloud.com

If you are using iCloud photo library and have a Mac, the Photos app on your computer show the same albums as your phone. Open the album your interested in changing the cover photo for, right-click (or control-click) the photo you want to use and select ‘make key photo’. Once the changes sync up to the cloud, this change should be reflected on the phone when it syncs down those changes.

Also complicating things on iOS, there are two kinds of albums, those created by iOS itself (Selfies, Panoramas, etc), and then there are those albums you create yourself.

In those albums created by iOS, the most recent picture will be the so-called cover photo.

With an album you create, the cover photo will be the first picture in the album.


On my iPhone, I can drag the photos around to rearrange their order. Following the advice from above:

  • Open the album you wish to change the cover of (this method only works for albums you created yourself, does not work for default ones like Selfies)
  • Tap select at the top right corner
  • Perform a long tap (tap and hold) on the photo you wish to make your cover photo
  • Then if you drag your favorite photo so that it is first in the list, it will be used as that album's cover photo
  • 1
    On the iPhone in Photos -> Albums you can drag photos around? I'm trying that and it doesn't work. Please explain how you're able to do that. – fsb Mar 1 '17 at 19:42

I finally stumbled on the solution! The photo you want highlighted needs to be in the first position in the album. Here is how to move a photo:

Click on the album, hit select in upper right corner. Once there select the photo and drag it to the first photo in the album. Make sure not to 'tap' the photo, but hold your finger on the photo and drag to the first position and bit done.

  • This answer was already given several months ago. To avoid being downvoted, please edit your answer to include new or additional info that hasn't already been presented by another user. – fsb Jul 3 '17 at 10:24

Open the album your interested in changing the cover photo for, r-click the photo you want to use and select ‘make key photo’. This change should be reflected on the phone.

Doesn't work. Also, I could have sworn that there was a "Make Key Photo" option in the share menu in the iOS version of Photos during the beta...

Edit: Never mind. The updated "key photo" selected on macOS EVENTUALLY appeared on the iOS version, two days later.

  • I'm going to +1 this since it indicates that the time delay could be days for the data to sync. That's not obvious to me from Apple's documentation or the other answer, @fbara – bmike Sep 25 '16 at 22:22

iOS Photos: Change Album thumbnail/key photo

  1. Open Photos app
  2. Open the album that you want to change its album thumbnail
  3. Choose the photo you want to become the album thumbnail
  4. Choose "add"
  5. Choose "new album".
  6. Name the new album
  7. Now a new album is created containing only the selected photo
  8. and you are returned automatically to the album you opened in step 2
  9. Now select all photos from that album by tapping "select all"
  10. Tap "add"
  11. Select the album that was created in step 5-7
  12. Delete the original album

Couldn’t get success from any of the methods I saw here so on Mac I copied the photo I wanted as the cover and pasted in at the end of the album. Now I have a double of that that pic but it worked! Cover has changed when I view it from iOS or from Mac.


In the places album take a selfie. It automatically makes it the photo displayed on the places folder. Of course, any other selfie will replace it when taken


Finding the way to do this on my iPad has been driving me nuts for years! Today I finally found the answer. Here's the key: The album icon will be the first photo you PUT IN the album. It will not work if you simply move an image to the first position. So, if you have 100 photos in an album:

  1. Add all of them to a bogus album you keep handy for this purpose.
  2. Remove all of the photos from the actual album.
  3. From the Bogus album, add the desired icon photo to the actual album.
  4. Finally, add the rest of the photos to the actual album.
  5. Remove photos from the bogus album so it's empty for the next time you have to do this.

Note: I'm using an iPad Pro with the latest iOS


Much much easier way guys.


Open say the main all photos album. As you know the most recent photo is the cover. Go find any photo you want as the cover.

Click select Click the box with arrow out the top bottom left of screen Click duplicate

This creates a new copy of that photo which is now the most recent one. You can choose to delete the original or have both. I mean it’s one picture.

Down side. Yes the most recent will replace this. But this isn’t really an issue unless you most recent pic happens to be something R Rated or worse !!

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