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May, 2016 – This has been my most popular “how to” article, but it is outdated. Therefore, I have written a 4-part series called . Please start with the and, enjoy!

The Photos app that comes on your iPhone/iPad has two main functions: Albums and Photo Stream. Albums contains photos that you have taken with your iPhone/iPad or saved to download your iPhone/iPad from a text message, email or website. They are pictures that are physically stored in your device in an Apple-named album called Camera Roll.

Photo Stream shows photos that you are sharing among your other devices or that have been shared with you by someone else. Photo Stream is a feature of Apple’s internet-based storage called iCloud and is your personal, centralized “location” for sharing photos.

(There is a third function called Places that I still do not understand how to assign within iPhone/iPad. I’ll let you know as soon as I do!)

How to use Photos Albums

These instructions assume that you have taken some pictures with your iPhone/iPad and have not deleted them.

  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch the  icon on the bottom left.
  • Touch Camera Roll, which is the “home” album for all your photos.
  • It will open to thumbnails of all your pictures.
  • Touch Edit in the top right.

To email, text, share, print, copy, assign or use a photo as wallpaper

  • Select the photos by touching each one to check it.
  • Touch Share on the bottom left.
  • Select your method.

To create or add photos to a previously created photo album

  • Touch each photo to be included in the album to check it.
  • Touch Add To on the bottom.
  • Select to either add to an existing album or create a new one. This will not move your original pictures from Camera Roll. Copies of your pictures go in albums you create.

To permanently delete photos from your iPhone/iPad

  • Touch each photo to be deleted to check it.
  • Touch Delete in the bottom right.

How to use Photo Stream

As Apple support says, “When you take photos on an iPhone/iPad/iTouch, or import photos from your digital camera to your computer, My Photo Stream can automatically upload your new photos to iCloud and push them to all of your other devices”. These instructions for the iPhone/iPad assume that you are using iOS 6 or later. If you need set up instructions for your Mac or a PC, click.

To automatically add all photos taken on your iPhone/iPad to your Photo Stream:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch My Photo Stream ON.
  • Touch Shared Photo Streams ON to be able to privately share photos with others and from others.
  • Touch Settings in the top left.
  • Touch the Home key.

To only selectively share photos taken on your iPhone/iPad with others and add to your Photo Stream:

  • Touch Settings.
  • Touch iCloud.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch My Photo Stream OFF.
  • Touch Shared Photo Streams ON to be able to privately share photos with others and from others.
  • Touch Settings in the top left.
  • Touch the Home key.
  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch the  icon.
  • Touch Camera Roll, which is the “home” album for all your photos.
  • Touch Edit in the top right.
  • Touch each photo to check it.
  • Touch Share.
  • Touch Photo Stream.
  • Touch New Photo Stream.
  • Enter Contact names in the To: field.
  • Enter a new Name to name the shared Photo Stream.
  • Leave Public Website OFF.
  • Touch Next in top left.
  • Touch Post in top left.
  • This will create a new named Photo Stream in your iPhone/iPad and share it with others via email.

Some final thoughts on using Photo Albums and Photo Stream:

  • Do not worry that you are using extra space in your iPhone/iPad by saving your photos to Photo Stream. Camera Roll has your original photos. Photo Stream has copies of your original photos saved in iCloud.
  • Photo Stream will save your most recent 1000 photos in iCloud for 30 days. Long enough for you to download copies to your various devices.
  • You can set up your Mac or PC to automatically download and save your Photo Stream pictures permanently. This is the easiest way to save your iPhoto/iPad photos to your computer.
  • Remember – go to Camera Roll to see the photos that you’ve taken with your iPhone/iPad.


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