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?
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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.
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:
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.
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.
iOS Photos: Change Album thumbnail/key photo
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:
Note: I'm using an iPad Pro with the latest iOS
Much much easier way guys.
INCLUDES THE IPHONE GENERATED ALBUMS
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 !!