8 Best Ways to Fix Apple Photos Not Showing Shared Albums

The Photos app is an integral part of iPhone, iPad, and Mac. It serves as the default gallery app to manage photos and videos. Also, you can create albums and share them with friends and family. The app uses iCloud to store and enable seamless sharing with others. However, many have complained about album invites and the shared albums not showing up on their devices.


Shared album is an amazing add-on that lets you collaborate with others on holiday pictures and videos. You can’t add new photos and videos to the shared album when it doesn’t show up on your phone in the first place. Here are the top ways to fix the shared album not working.

1. Ask the Person to Share an Album Again

Before we talk about advanced tricks, let’s cover some basics first. If the shared album invitation isn’t showing up for you, ask the recipient to send the same again.

If you have several cell phone numbers, ask the person to share an invitation on a number associated with your Apple ID. When the recipient sends an invitation on the wrong mobile number or ID, the shared album won’t show up for you.  

2. Use Apple ID

If you have switched the primary SIM from an iPhone to an Android phone, you don’t receive shared album invitations in the Photos app. You need to share your Apple account ID with the recipient to receive the media album.

When someone tries to share an album via the phone number, they will continue to run into an error with ‘Failed’ status. You can check the screenshot below for reference.

Apple Photos shared album not showing up 1

3. Enable Shared Albums

Did you disable the shared album functionality on your iPhone? You need to make a tweak from the iPhone Settings menu. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll to Photos.

Step 3: Enable the Shared Albums toggle.

If the option is already enabled, turn it off and close the Settings app. You can now move to the home page and wait a few minutes. Now head to Settings and open Photos. Enable the same toggle, and you are good to go.

You can launch the Photos app on your iPhone and look for the shared album invitation in the ‘For You’ tab.

Did you not accept the shared album invitation in the Photos app? The iCloud link may expire after some time. If you have accidently declined the shared album invitation, you need to ask the person to send the invitation again.

5. Check Phone Space

By default, iOS mirrors the shared album on your phone. It doesn’t take up any significant space. You need to save media files individually on your phone. However, if your iPhone is running low on space, you may face issues waccessing shared albums.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and scroll to General.

Apple Photos shared album not showing up 5

Step 2: Select iPhone storage and check the detailed space breakdown from the following menu.

You can also read our dedicated post to free up iPhone space without deleting apps.  

6. Check the Network Connection and Restart the Photos App

Your iPhone needs an active internet connection to receive a shared album invitation. You can temporarily enable the Airplane mode from the Control Center and disable it after some time.

You can now force restart the Photos app and try again.

Step 1: Swipe up and hold from the bottom to open the recent apps menu.

Step 2: Swipe up on Photos and wait for a few minutes. Launch the Photos app and try again.

Apple Photos shared album not showing up 4

7. Check the Apple System Page

Apple hosts shared albums on iCloud servers. If the company’s servers are down, the shared albums may not appear in your Photos app. You can visit the link below and ensure a green indicator beside Photos. If it shows an orange or yellow indicator, you need to wait for Apple to fix the servers.

8. Update iOS

Apple updates the Photos app with the iOS build on your iPhone. An outdated iOS software can be the main culprit here. You need to install the latest update using the steps below and receive your shared albums.

Step 1: Open the Settings app and go to General.

Step 2: Select Software Update and install the latest iOS version.

Receive Your Vacation Pictures

While shared albums work flawlessly among Apple devices, glitches can force you to look for alternatives. Before you settle with a cumbersome method to collaborate on media files, use the steps above and fix the problem in no time.

Last updated on 11 September, 2023

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