How to change an album cover in Photos app on iPhone, iPad, Mac

If you don’t like how the cover image of a photo album looks, you can easily replace it with any other picture or video of your choice. Here are the quick steps to change the album cover image in the iPhone, iPad, and Mac Photos app.

iPhone on a white background showing "Make Key Photo" option for an image

How to change the cover photo of an album in the iPhone or iPad Photos app

1) Open the Photos app and make sure you are in the Albums tab.

2) Tap See All or swipe left to reach the desired album.

3) Tap to go inside the album.

4) Find the picture or video you want to set as the album cover.

5) Long-press the picture or video, and tap Make Key Photo.

Three steps to change album cover image in iPhone Photos app

Here’s how the album cover looks before and after:

Before and after of changing album cover in iPhone Photos app

How to add a photo to an album to make it the cover image

If the desired image or clip you want to set as the key photo is not already in the album, you’ll have to add it first. Here’s how:

1) Open the Photos app and tap Recents.

2) Find and tap the desired image to open it.

3) Tap the share icon > Add to Album and select the album name.

4) Now, follow the steps in the above heading to make this the cover image.

Add to Album in iPhone Photos app

How to remove the album cover in the iPhone or iPad Photos app

If you don’t prefer the automatic album cover, please follow the above steps to change it to your liking. Now, after a while, if you don’t appreciate even the picture you manually set, the only option is to replace it by using any other image as the key photo.

Additionally, when you remove an image from the album, it automatically stops being the cover image.

Some facts about album cover image

Here are a few interesting things I observed while writing this article:

  • The oldest picture in an album is automatically set as the key/cover image of all albums you or third-party apps create.
  • In the case of the Favorites album, the new picture you set as a favorite (by tapping the heart icon) becomes the album cover as long as there are no pictures already added to Favorites that are of a newer date.
  • The most current picture you click, screenshot, transfer, or download is displayed as the cover image of the Recents album.
  • You can’t change the album cover of the Favorites or Recents albums.
  • If you set a video as the key photo, it will appear like a picture on the album cover. It won’t show the play button.

How to change the cover image of an album on Mac

1) Open the macOS Photos app and go inside the desired album.

2) Right-click on an image and select Make Key Photo.

Change album cover in Mac Photos app

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