Make a Photo Stream into a Public Website Easily, Anytime from iOS

Mar 15, 2013 - 7 Comments

iCloud icon, for Photo Stream Now that the simple photo sharing service Photo Stream is an integral part of the camera experience in iOS, you’re probably aware there’s an option to create a public website during the process of creating a new shared photo stream. But you also turn any existing photo stream into a public website too, so if you missed out on creating one through the initial sharing setup there’s no need to create a new stream, just toggle a setting to instantly make a public website out of a photo stream.

The auto-generated photo websites are excellent ways to share your iPhone pictures with someone who doesn’t have iOS and Photo Stream support, since the photo website can get sent to any Windows PC, Mac, Android device, literally anything with a web browser will be able to view the result.

Turn Any Photo Stream into a Photo Website

You can do this on any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with Photo Stream support. Photo Stream requires iCloud. This assumes you have a Photo Stream already active and created in the Shared images of iOS, if not you can create one quickly.

  1. Open “Photos” and tap the “Shared” or “Photo Stream” button at the bottom (it has a cloud icon on it, the button name is different depending on the version of iOS, all features are the same)
  2. Shared photo streams in Photos app

  3. Tap the blue (>) arrow button next to the name of the Photo Stream
  4. Change Photo Stream settings

  5. Flip the switch next to “Public Website” to ON
  6. Optionally, tap the “Share Link” button and send the Photo Stream URL for the newly crafted photo stream website through email, iMessages, Twitter, or Facebook

Make a photo stream website

You’ll briefly see a spinning wait cursor and the text “Publishing…” as the page is being generated. Then, the URL will be shown below, but they’re not the most user-friendly or memorable URL’s, making the Share Link feature the best way to send out the link for others to see the pictures.

How about the websites themselves? They’re minimal but quite nice, displaying thumbnails of the shared photos against black backgrounds, each can be clicked for a larger version with some additional options to either flip through the rest as a self-controlled or automated slideshow, and there’s also a button to download the picture locally.

Photo Stream sample website

Remove the Public Website of a Photo Stream

Alternatively, what if you setup a public website of a photo stream by accident, or what if you no longer want the website visible but you still want the photo stream to exist? You can toggle the website option off on a per-stream basis again, there’s no need to delete the entire photo stream.

  • Open “Photos” again and tap the “Photo Stream” button
  • Tapping the blue (>) arrow button next to the name of the Photo Stream, then flip the switch next to “Public Website” to OFF

Photo Stream icon

Remember, disabling the Photo Stream website will not disable that photo stream itself, and it will not delete the pictures, it only removes the publicly accessible website.

Disabling a Photo Stream website

The once accessible public website will instantly disappear, and if the URL was known before it will disappear with anyone trying to access the shared picture website seeing this cutesy error message instead:

iCloud page not found error

Have fun!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. astropioneer says:

    I like the ability to create a public website for non-iCloud users to view my iPhoto photo streams. However, does anybody know whether these public websites will turn up in Google searches somehow? Thanks.

  2. LES803 says:

    If you allow the photostream to be public, can the general public access the photos or only those you invite?

  3. Bob Maggard says:

    Reference your instruction: Open “Photos” and tap the “Photo Stream” button at the bottom.

    I do not have Photo Stream button on my iPhone or iPad. The only buttons at the bottom are: Photos, Shared, and Albums. I am using IOS 8.1.2

    What am I missing?

  4. Brian says:

    How did you make a vanity link? The photostream address you display is personalized, whereas I’m not given an option to have a customized address. The one I’m given is a string of 14 randomized letters and numbers.

  5. Mag66 says:

    This method doesn’t work on an iPad as there is no list and therefore no blue arrow to tap on, for an existing photo stream. You can create a new photo stream and do it then, but so far i have not found a way of making an existing photo stream, public…

    • aeon67 says:

      Hi Mag66,

      This is possible, your existing photostream album can be shared or can be made public website. In photo stream tap edit on the upper right hand side, then tap one album this will give you the “Edit Photo Stream” switch the on & off button or even add people. DONE your photostream is public website now.

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