How To Restrict Which iPhone Photos An App Can Access Or All

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Limiting iPhone app photo access can be a bit confusing but is an essential step in protecting privacy. New photos can also be added to a selection.

The iPhone has a strong focus on privacy, and restricting access to photos and videos might be one of the most critical areas where Apple’s protection is needed. Personal photos of family and friends shouldn’t be shared with every app developer globally, and there is a way to limit use while still sharing videos to social media or adding some pizazz to a selfie with a touch-up app.

Apple’s iPhone includes high-quality cameras that excel at photos and videos, inspiring the user to share them with the world, sometimes with a bit of refinement or addition with an app to make them more exciting or fun. With up to 4K resolution at 60 frames-per-second (FPS) and slow-motion video at one-quarter or one-eighth speed, along with sharp photos, vibrant, expansive panoramas, beautiful bokeh or super closeup macros, they need to be shared, but not everything should go public.


Related: QuickTake iPhone Shortcut: How To Record A Video In Photo Mode

Apple does a pretty good job of policing apps to make sure they aren’t abusing iPhone users. However, once a photo gets uploaded, it’s beyond Apple’s or the user’s control. Apple does provide a way to restrict each app’s access to specific images. The option appears when an app first attempts to open the iPhone’s photo library. After that, an iOS request window pops up, allowing the user to select which photos the app is allowed to open or to allow all. If choosing all, everything works as expected, and every time the app is opened after that. It’s the easiest choice but not the safest way to protect photos.

How To Restrict & Restore iPhone Photo Access

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When choosing to restrict access to only some iPhone photos, an Apple Photos window appears, allowing the selection of one or more images to be available to the current app. Tapping done provides access but doesn’t load any media, so the next step is to choose photos or videos to open in the app. This process is awkward and something that Apple should really improve. However, it does serve to protect the user. The next time that app is used, its access will still be limited to the photos previously chosen.

While some apps, such as Instagram, have a button to change the restriction so that users can add new photos, others don’t, requiring a trip to the Settings app to select any new pictures or videos that are to be used with a particular app. In iPhone Settings, scrolling down to find the app, there will be an option labeled Photos that shows a button to Edit Selected Photos. Tapping it will open an Apple Photos selection window, showing the entire library with a search field and an album tab to help locate a particular photo or video and enable sharing to that app. While the whole process is a bit frustrating, it’s currently the only way to restrict how much of an iPhone’s photo library is accessible to each app.

Next: How To Recover Deleted Photos On iPhone

Source: Apple

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