[8 Ways] Fix iCloud Photo Sharing not Working

Don't know how to fix it when iCloud Photo Sharing is not working? Keep reading to find answers. This article lists 8 ways and a better iCloud alternative to help you efficiently solve the problem.

Kathy by Kathy Updated March 6, 2024
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How iCloud Shared Photo Library works

With iCloud Photo Sharing, you can easily share photos and videos with other iCloud users on various devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and Apple TV. All participants in the Shared Library can add, modify, and remove content.

The individual who originally created the library is responsible for providing iCloud storage for the content, and it does not use up the iCloud storage of other participants.

Why is iCloud Photo Sharing not working?

At times, users might find that iCloud Photo Sharing isn't working on their iPhones or other devices, and it can become quite troublesome to share photo albums with others.

There are several factors that can cause iCloud Photo Sharing to stop working under certain conditions.

⛔ The iCloud Photo Sharing or Shared Albums options are disabled on your device.
⛔ Poor network connection.
⛔ You've mistakenly created a private photo album instead of a shared one.
⛔ A temporary breakdown with Apple's iCloud Photo Sharing server.
⛔ The iCloud photo link may have expired.
⛔ Your Apple devices may be running in low power mode.
⛔ The iOS system on your device is outdated.

How to fix iCloud Photo Sharing not working

Now that you have a better understanding of the common reasons, you can begin by restarting your devices to see if the issue is solved. If not, continue reading to explore potential solutions.

Method 1. Enable iCloud Photo Sharing

You’d better ensure that Shared Albums and iCloud Photos are enabled on all devices.

On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings > iCloud > Photos to check it.

On Mac: Choose System PreferenceiCloud > Photos to verify.

check settings

Method 2. Check iCloud storage

When the issue of iCloud Photo Sharing not working on a PC, Mac, iPhone, or iPad arises, it's advisable to check your iCloud storage. If it is full, you won't be able to upload new photos, and it can also affect your ability to access shared photos.

On iPhone/iPad: Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud. The bar graph shows your overall storage usage.

check iCloud storage

On Mac: Choose Apple menu > System Settings or choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Click Apple ID, then click iCloud to check it.

On Windows PC: Open iCloud for Windows and click Storage to check it.

You have the option to enhance your iCloud storage or remove any redundant photos and files to free up your iCloud storage.

Note: If you need a professional tool to manage your iCloud storage, then the all-in-one iCloud data management app - FoneTool can help you a lot. You can use it to upload, download or delete iCloud/iCloud Drive data on PC. Or directly transfer iCloud data from one iCloud account to another.

manage iCloud

Method 3. Check network connection

Sometimes, sharing photos on iCloud not working can be caused by unstable network settings. You can check the Internet on your device and switch to a more reliable network to resolve this issue.

For iPhone/iPad users, you can also reset network settings to fix it: Go to Settings > General > Reset > Choose Reset Network Settings. This action will remove all network settings, including your stored Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth pairings, and APN setups. So you need to reconnect to a reliable network after the resetting.

resetnetwork settings

Method 4. Disable Low Power Mode

Low Power mode is a battery-saving feature on iOS devices that automatically disables certain functions to save battery life. However, it may also limit or deactivate the loading of images from an iCloud photo link.

So if you see the message "Waiting for Photos" when trying to access an iCloud link, it could be an indication that you need to disable Low Power mode to restore full functionality: Go to Setting app on iPhone/iPad > Click Battery and toggle off the option next to Lower Power Mode.

dsiable low power mode

Method 5. Sign out and sign in the account again

Occasionally, a minor bug in your iCloud account can disrupt its normal operation. Simply signing out and then signing in after a while can often help solve the error.  

Go to Settings > Tap on your Apple ID > Scroll down the Page and tap Sign Out > Enter your Apple ID and password and follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process > After that, restart your iPhone and sign in to your account again.

sign out iCloud account

Method 6. Resend the iCloud Photo Link

If the recipient doesn't open the sharing link within 30 days, the link will expire, and they may see the 'Failed to Retrieve' error message on their devices. You can open your Shared Album and change the permissions according to your needs. Or send a new iCloud link to the recipient.

Go to the Photos app on iPhone/iPad and tap Albums > Choose the album that you want to share and go to the People tab, where you'll see a list of subscribers > Choose the Apple ID and tap Resend Invitation.

resend invitation

Note: If the person's name is not in the list of subscribers or you have removed them, tap Invite People to re-add them.

Method 7. Check Apple iCloud Server Status

In case the Apple system servers are down or the iCloud service is experiencing difficulties at that particular time, an iCloud photo sharing not working issue will occur. Then you can go to the Apple System Status page to check the status of the iCloud Photos service feature.

If you see the green light next to it, the servers are working fine, and you can proceed to the next solution. If it's not green, then you'll need to wait until Apple solves the server issues automatically.

Method 8. Update software

Apple frequently releases updates to address minor glitches in your device, in addition to offering new features and improvements. So when the iCloud Photo Sharing feature can’t work normally, you can try to update your device to fix the issue. Before the update, you’d better back up your iPhone/iPad to avoid losing data.

Back up iPhone

When it comes to iPhone/iPad data backup, most users will consider using iCloud/iTunes. But iCloud only offers 5GB of storage for free users. And most people will encounter iTunes error 8003 when downloading or other iTunes error code to tell them that iTunes use is interrupted.

itunes error 8003

Under these circumstances, FoneTool will be your great helper to finish the iPhone/iPad backup task. There are no limitations on the size of transferred files. The amount of data you can move only depends on the storage capacity of your target device (PC, external drive, etc.).

With FoneTool’s super-fast transfer speed, you can move lots of large files in a very short time. And it works well with various iOS devices, including iPhone 4 to iPhone 15 and iPad/mini/Air/Pro. So you’ll encounter minimal operational issues in the process.

Now you can follow the instructions below to learn how to back up iPhone/iPad data efficiently.

Step 1. Download FoneTool on your Windows PC and connect your device through a USB cable.

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Step 2. Start FoneTool > Click Phone Backup > Choose Selective Backup icon and click Get Started. (If you need to, you can also choose Full Backup to fully back up your device, which is consistent with iTunes backup.)

selective backup iphone ipad

Step 3. Click each icon listed to choose the files you need to back up. Then click OK to continue.

select files

Step 4. Click Backup Storage Path to select the backup storage location and tap on the Start Backup button to begin the task.

start backup

Update software

Once the backup is completed, you can go to Settings app on your iPhone/iPad > Choose General > Software Update to update your device.

After the updating, you can relaunch FoneTool > My Backups > Click Restore dot to restore your iPhone/iPad backup.

restore backup to device


If you encounter an “iCloud Photo Sharing not working” issue on your device. There are 8 ways for you to fix it. When all ways don’t work, you can choose to update your iOS system to the latest version to solve the problem. Before the process, don’t forget to back up your iPhone/iPad.

If you need a better app to manage your iPhone data, FoneTool will be a nice choice. And for people who want to know how to import photos from iPhone to PC Windows 11/10/8/7, it also works well!

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