How to restrict library access to your Photos on iPhone and iPad

Your photos contain data, and it may be data that you don’t want to share. This can include details like location or the date and time it was taken. So if you allow apps to access Photos, like a social media or chat communication app, they could have access to details about the photo that you prefer they didn’t.

Thankfully, you have the ability to restrict photos from being used by third-party apps. This is an improvement over the basic Read and Write access before iOS 14. If you’re ready to put some limitations on your pictures and videos, here’s how to restrict library access to other apps in Photos.

Photos Restrict Library Access iPad

Limit library access in Photos

The steps are simple to restrict access to your photo library on your iPhone and iPad. So, just do the following:

  1. Open your Settings and select Privacy & Security.
  2. Choose Photos from the list.
  3. You’ll see a list of apps that have access to your Photos library. Tap each one and select None, All Photos, or Selected Photos.
  4. If you pick Selected Photos, you’ll receive a popup window where you can choose the photos individually, from within an album, or via the search tool.
  5. Tap Done when you finish selecting the photos.
Select photo access for third-party apps on iPhone

You can also edit these photo selections later if you choose. Head back to the same area in Settings > Privacy & Security > Photos, pick the app, and tap Edit Selected Photos. From there, you can select more photos or deselect those you’ve chosen.

When you finish, tap the arrow on the top left to go back or simply close Settings.

Choose when you open an app for the first time

After you download and open an app, it will show you a popup alert asking for your permission to access your photos. From this popup, you can pick Selected photos and then choose the pictures and videos you want that app to have access to.

Having the ability to restrict access to selected items in your Photos library is a good privacy enhancement. It would be nice to see this feature improved even further, where you can select entire albums if you like.

What do you think of this Privacy feature? Are you going to take the time to limit library access for Photos on your device? Let us know!

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