Expert - Google Employee
Ben, CM

Shared Albums - FAQ

Hey folks!

Ben here, your Google Photos Community Manager :)

To learn more about Shared Albums, start by checking out our Help Center articles (Share photos & videos, Create & share photo albums, See albums you’ve shared or joined).

Then, check out the FAQ below!

Q: Can a user control whether people can add their own photos?
A: Yes! People will see a simple switch when they create the album. It’s on by default, but it can be turned off or back on anytime.

Q: Can anyone with the link join a user’s shared album?
A: Yes, people can share the link with people they’d like to be able to view and join their shared album.

Q: Where do people find their shared albums?
A: The Assistant will notify you about albums with recent activity in the Assistant view, or you can go to “Shared albums” in the menu (☰) to see them all. People can also choose to pin an album in their Collections view to easily find them later.

Q: What happens when someone “joins” someone else’s album?
A: They’ll get notifications when new photos are added, and the album will appear in their shared albums view in the app. The names of all the people who have joined are visible to those who can view the link.  If collaboration is enabled for a shared album, people with the link to the shared album will be able to add photos to it.

Q: Can a user make their existing albums collaborative?

A: Yes! To do so, either open an existing album from the Collections page and tap the share button, or go to Sharing Options from the overflow menu.

Q: Can someone “un-join” an album they join?
A: Yes, just tap “leave” in the overflow menu. Leaving an album will also remove any photos they added to the shared album.

Q: Can a person unshare an album they’ve created?
A: You bet! They’ll see an option to unshare the album under the Sharing Options in the overflow menu on the album. Note that if the album is not showing in your Collections, turning off sharing for that album will delete the album.

Q: Can the owner of a shared album remove photos that other people have added?
A: Of course! To do so, you have to select photos and then click ‘Remove from album’ in the album’s overflow menu.

Q: Will a user be able to give different permissions to different people? e.g. allow certain users to join an album and add photos, but not others?
A: No, people won’t be able to give different permissions to different people for shared albums. People can share the link to a shared album with people they’d like to be able to view or add photos to the album.

Q: Can anyone who receives a link to a shared album with collaboration settings turned on add photos to that Shared Album?

A: Yes, anyone with a link to a shared album with collaboration enabled can join and add photos to the shared album.

Let us know if you have any questions!


Community content may not be verified or up-to-date.
Expert Replies (8)
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Will there be an option a person is added to the shared album just by entering his/her email address (without having to click Join)? 
Alex Reusch
Alex Reusch
Several questions:

1.) Can any contributor delete any photo or only their own shared photos? Can they also delete photos of the owner?

2.) When I stop sharing an album, will photos of contributors still be part of the album or will they be removed?

3.) Let's say the wrong people got access to my shared album. So I stop sharing and then re-enable sharing again. Will this create a new unique link or just re-use the old link?

4.) Who is responsible for album content? The album owner or each individual contributor?
Alex Reusch
Alex Reusch
Will there be an option to share to viewers only? For example to create a separate read only link to share an album public? That's the missing part.
The obvious omission here is a read only link to collaborative albums. I don't want a link to get indexed by Google either and anyone with the link the ability to add photos, that is wise open to abuse.
Google user
Google user
How about adding a sort button?
Expert - Google Employee
Ben, CM
Hi there,

If you'd like to share your feedback or feature requests with the Google Photos team,  feel free to do so by sharing your feedback from within the app:
  1. Open the Google Photos app on a mobile device or go to photos.google.com using a computer .
  2. At the top left, touch or click the menu icon  > Help & Feedback.
  3. Touch or click Feedback. 
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