[Solved!] 5 Fixes to iCloud Shared Album Not Working

Cannot access photos in the iCloud Shared Album? In this guide, you can get five useful solutions to iCloud Shared Album not working, as well as a fast way to share photos between iOS devices.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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Overview of iCloud Shared Album

The shared album, formerly named iCloud Photo Sharing, is a fabulous feature to share photos and videos with a group of people (up to 100). As long as you create or subscribe a shared album, you can view, like, and comment on photos and videos in the shared albums.

iPhone Shared Album

Where can you enable iCloud Shared Album on iPhone?
Go to the Settings app > [your name] > iCloud > Photos, then toggle on Shared Albums. To utilize shared album, you also need to enable iCloud Photos.

Turn On iCloud Shared Albums

How do you subscribe to a shared album group?
If you have been invited to join a shared album, you can accept the invitation by going to the Photos app > Tap the For You from the button on the screen > The invite should appear at the top of the list > Tap Accept to accept it.

Accept Shared Album Invite

However, when iCloud Shared Album is not working on iPhone, it might be quite difficult to share your photos with others. If you are just in this dilemma, you can follow this guide to know how to get out of the issue - iCloud shared album not working.

Fixes to iCloud Photos shared album not working

There are 5 solutions to the issue iCloud shared album not working. You can try them one after another until you can get photos from shared album. Optionally, you can also try the easier way to share photos between iOS devices introduced in the next part.

Fix 1. Check Apple System Status

When you find iPhone shared album not working, the first thing you need to do is to check Apple System Status to see if the service is down. If there is a green light next to Photos, please skip to the next solution. If not, you might wait for Apple to handle the problem.

Apple System Status

Fix 2. Turn off & on iCloud Shared Album

You can try to refresh the shared album service by turning off it and turn it on later. Sometimes, the iPhone will get stuck, causing some functionalities, such as iPhone shared album not working or iCloud shared album invite not working. Just open Settings > [your profile] > iCloud > Photos > Switch off the toggle of Shared Albums. Wait for minutes and turn it on again.

Fix 3. Check iCloud Photo link

iCloud Photo link will expire after 30 days. If iCloud Shared Album invite is not working, the link may be expired and you can’t get the shared album on iPhone. And you will receive a message saying “Fail to Retrieve”.

If this occurs, you will need to get access to shared albums using a new sharing link or in other ways.

Fix 4. Check Internet connection

Since Shared Album depends on iCloud, it requires a steady Internet connection to function effectively. If you find that iCloud Photos shared album not working, chances might be due to internet connectivity troubles.

You can open a web browser to see if your Wi-Fi is available. If your iPhone cannot connect to the internet, you need to reset network settings and sign back into the Wi-Fi networks. Here are the steps.

Go to Settings on your iPhone > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Reset > Reset Network Settings. Enter your password to confirm the operation.

Reset Network Settings

Fix 5. Update iOS to the latest version

Because iOS updates regularly, you may need to keep an eye on it. If you do not upgrade iOS to the latest version on time, you may experience a variety of issues, including Shared Albums not appearing on iPhone.

You can go to Settings > General > Software Update to have a check. If there is an update available, Tap Download and Install to update it.

iOS Software Update

An easier way to share photos between iDevices

Although it is convenient to share photos with family and friends using iCloud Shared Album function, it sill has got some disadvantages. On the one hand, you will encounter unexpected errors that lead to iCloud Shared Album not working. On the other hand, the quality of the photos uploaded to the shared album will be reduced.

To share photos without data loss and keeping their original quality, you can try the professional iOS data transfer tool - FoneTool.

• Quick Transfer: FoneTool could transfer 100 photos in 3 seconds.
• Preview and Select Photos: You can be free to preview and choose the wanted photos to transfer.
• Widely Compatible: FoneTool is perfectly compatible with most iPhone models from iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 14, as well as iPad, and iPod.

You can download FoneTool on your computer, and follow the steps to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone with FoneTool.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the source iPhone to computer with USB > Launch FoneTool and click Phone Transfer > Go to iPhone to PC and click Start Transfer.

Transfer To Computer

Step 2. Click the plus and check the Photos icon to preview and select photos from your iPhone > Click OK to confirm.

Choose Photos

Step 3. Click Start Transfer > Choose a destination to save the photos > Click Transfer to start.


Step 4. Unplug the source iPhone and plug into the target iPhone > Go to PC to iPhone this time.

Transfer To iPhone

Step 5. Click the arrow icon to add the photos you just transferred to computer > Click Start Transfer to save them to the target iPhone.


The powerful FoneTool can also help you better organize photos library on your iPhone. For example, you can rely on it to backup photos to PC, automatically delete duplicate photos, and so on. Just get it, and discover more on your own.

Bonus function: Sync photos from one iCloud to another

FoneTool also offers you functions to manage and sync iCloud files. You are able to utilize its iCloud Sync function to sync photos from one iCloud account to another. Get FoneTool on your computer, and try these functions on your own.

choose photos to sync


Hope you can get out of the issue - iCloud Shared Album not working after trying the solutions in this guide. Optionally, you can also share photos among iOS devices and computer in real-time using FoneTool. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.