How to Fix iCloud Photo Link Not Working

Can’t figure out why your iCloud photo sharing link is not working?

iCloud Photo Sharing is a feature that allows you to share photos and videos with other iCloud users. This service allows you to create shared albums, invite users to contribute to them, and download photos and videos in the album. 

While this is a clever way to make photo and video sharing more convenient, it’s not perfect and could run into issues. 

If you are reading this, we can assume that your iCloud photo sharing link is not working. 

Most of the time, this problem occurs due to improper configurations. However, it can also be due to server-related issues and slow network connections. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to fix your iCloud photo sharing link if it’s not working on your device. 

Let’s get started!

1. Check iCloud Status. 

Since iCloud is an online service, it relies on its servers to deliver content and features. If you can’t use iCloud photo sharing, it’s possible that Apple’s servers are offline or there’s something wrong with their services. 

To confirm this, you can visit Apple’s dedicated status page to view the current status of iCloud and other services connected with it. 

Apple Server Status

If the servers are down, the best thing to do is wait since server-related errors can’t be resolved on your end. On the other hand, you can head to the next solution if there’s nothing wrong with iCloud’s services. 

2. Restart Your Device. 

As a standard procedure, we recommend restarting your device if something is not working properly. This should ensure that your resources are loaded correctly and that there are no issues with your system. 

For iPhone X, 11, 12, or later: 

  1. Hold down the Volume Down button and Side button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt appears. 
  2. Now, drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds. 
  3. Press the Side button afterward to turn on your device.
Restart iPhone

For iPhone 6, 7, 8, or SE: 

  1. Locate the Power button on your device. 
  2. Now, hold the button until the ‘Slide to Power Off’ prompt shows up.
  3. Drag the slider to the right and wait for 30 seconds before turning on your device. 
Force Restart

Once done, try using iCloud photo sharing to check if the problem is solved. 

3. Enable Photo Sharing. 

If it’s your first time using iCloud photo sharing, you’ll have to enable shared album and iCloud photo library. 

See the steps below to guide you through the process: 

  1. First, open the Settings app on your iPhone
  2. After that, tap on your name and go to iCloud
  3. Open the Photos tab and enable Sync this iPhone and Shared Albums
Enable iCloud Sharing

Try accessing an iCloud photo sharing link again to check if the problem is solved. 

When you share a link to your iCloud Photos, it is only accessible for 30 days after it has been sent. After this time, the link will expire, and if someone tries to access it, they will receive a “Failed to Retrieve” message. 

This means that the link is no longer valid, and the photos cannot be accessed.

To share photos again, the sender will need to create a new link and send it to the intended recipient. This is a security measure to ensure that the shared photos are only accessible to people who are intended to see them. 

It also allows the sender to have more control over who can access the photos for a certain period. 

5. Check Your Network Connection. 

A slow or unstable internet connection could also be the reason you cannot access iCloud photo sharing links. Since you are using an online platform, you’ll need stable internet to enjoy features and services. 

To check if your network is the culprit, perform a test using to measure your network’s upload and download bandwidth.

If the result indicates a problem with your connection, power cycle your device to re-establish the link with your ISP’s servers. Unplug your router from the wall outlet and wait for 5 to 10 seconds before plugging it back in. 

Restart Router

Perform another test afterward to check if the problem is solved. If not, contact your service provider and ask them to fix the issue. 

6. Turn Off Low Power Mode. 

Low power mode on iPhones can extend battery life by up to three hours. However, this comes with some tradeoffs. When low power mode is enabled, your device might struggle to load images fast from an iCloud photo link. 

If your iCloud photo sharing link is not working, see the steps below to disable low power mode: 

  1. Access the Settings app from your home screen. 
  2. Next, tap on the Battery tab. 
  3. Finally, make sure that Low Power Mode is disabled. 
iCloud Photo Link not working

Try accessing iCloud albums again to check if the problem is solved. 

7. Re-Login to Your Apple Account. 

Refreshing your Apple account can also be an effective way to fix iCloud photo sharing. If you haven’t tried this solution, it’s worth taking the shot. 

See the steps below to sign out of your Apple account: 

  1. First, open the Settings app from your home screen. 
  2. Next, tap on your name and scroll down to the bottom. 
  3. Tap on Sign Out and follow the prompts. 
iCloud Photo Link not working

Log back into your Apple account after a few minutes and check if the problem is solved. 

8. Reset Network Settings. 

You can also try resetting your network settings if iCloud photo sharing links are still not working on your device. This should roll back any configurations that cause connectivity issues to your device and Apple’s servers. 

Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. First, go to your home screen and launch the Settings app. 
  2. After that, tap on General and access the Transfer or Reset iPhone tab. 
  3. Now, choose Reset and tap on Reset Network Settings
iCloud Photo Link not working

Try accessing photo sharing links afterward to check if the problem is solved. 

9. Contact Apple Support. 

If none of the solutions above worked, the last thing you can do is report the problem to Apple’s team. Visit Apple’s support page and submit a ticket regarding the issue with iCloud photo sharing. 

iCloud Photo Link not working

Provide all the necessary information on your report, including your account details, to help Apple address the issue faster. 

You can also browse the other guides on their page and see if you can find other solutions. 

That wraps up our guide on how to fix iCloud photo sharing links if they are not working on your device. If you have questions, please drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them. 

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Jake Kovoor

    Jake is the Editor-in-Chief of Saint and an independent software developer, with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Lancaster University, UK. He loves trying out various tech from the Flipper Zero to coding Raspberry Pis for automation. He started Saint back in 2016, having written over 100 posts, with the sole purpose of creating guides for software that had yet to exist back then to help users navigate around their technical problems.

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  1. I tried all the steps above. Still have the same problem. Just sitting there with the message: “Waiting for 4 Photos…” Network was reset, version 12+, no network issues, not an Apple problem as its been like this for months.

  2. None of the steps work above. The persons I sent link to can’t download. They get “photos not available”.

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