As the title states, I need to know a way of sending full-resolution photos from one Apple device to another (iPhone to iPhone/iPad/Mac) but don't want to lose quality at all.

I'm guessing photos get downsized in iMessage. What about AirDrop? What about sharing a photo album via iCloud?

Does anyone know the definitive answer?

  • Removed the "best" part from the question. It creates some problems.
    – anki
    Sep 25, 2019 at 4:53

3 Answers 3


Airdrop sends full sized versions.

~iCloud link/album sharing sends full size versions.~ shared album is 2048 pixels for normal photos. 5000 px for panorama.

iMessages can downsize if enabled in Message settings, but I don't know otherwise.

Put them in a note and add collaborators or create a sharable link.

Put them in iCloud Drive and share from there.

Use Dropbox, Firefox Send, Google Drive, OneDrive.

Plug in the iPhone to a Mac, trust the device and import using Photos.app. And then export unmodified original or let it do so modifications.

  • 2
    iCloud shared albums downsize the photos.
    – pkamb
    Oct 12, 2019 at 0:33
  • Downvote for incorrect information. iCloud shared album reduces photos to 2048px according to support.apple.com/en-us/HT202786
    – Elliott
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:45

If your devices support it, please consider testing the new iOS 13 features. With iOS 13 users are finally (!!!) allowed to use a USB key to copy files without using an external app. The iOS "Finder" (Files app) is yet planned to do it properly.


@anki is correct : iCloud link let us share full size versions of photos and videos. You can create an iCloud link for selected photos/videos, or for an entire album. The only drawback is that each link expires after 30 days, it's not possible to make it permanent.

  • This answer seems to be the same as your other answer. Are the questions the same? Mar 27 at 20:46

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