How to Access & Send Photos in Messages for iOS 13 & iOS 12 for iPhone & iPad

Oct 10, 2018 - 10 Comments

How to access Photos from Messages in iOS 12

The Messages app has changed the way users access all photos from within a message conversation. No longer can you simply tap on the camera button to access your photos library from Messages, in iOS 13 and iOS 12 you will instead access your photos from the app icon drawer within the Messages app on iPhone or iPad. This is a subtle change that is somewhat controversial given that it makes selecting photos a bit slower in Messages for iOS 12, but once you learn how the process works you’ll find it’s not particularly difficult.

We’ll show you exactly how to access all photos and your iPhone or iPad photo library from within the Messages app of iOS 13 and iOS 12 so that you can easily share pictures, photos, and videos as usual.

How to Access All Photos from Messages with iOS 13 and iOS 12 on iPhone and iPad

The easiest way to access all photos to send one from Messages app in iOS 12 is as follows:

  1. Open the Messages app and open any message conversation or thread
  2. Tap the “(A)” App Store button, it looks like an A made out of popsicle sticks
  3. Tap the A button to access Photos

  4. Now tap the Photos button, it looks like a color wheel
  5. How to access Photos from within Messages of iOS 12

  6. This will reveal a “Recent Photos” panel, now tap the blue “All Photos” text which is a button
  7. How to access All Photos in Messages for iOS 12

  8. Select the photo(s) you want to attach to the message from your Photos app as usual, whether from Camera Roll, Favorites, Videos, Selfies, Screenshots, Recently Added, or any other photos album in iOS
  9. accessing all other photos in iOS 12 Messages app

  10. Send the photo as usual by tapping on the send arrow button

That’s the simplest way to access Photos from Messages in iOS 12, and the trick is the same on iPhone and iPad.

If you regularly hide the Messages drawer of app icons in iOS you’ll need to get used to showing it first again before you can access Photos to send and share with other users through Messages.

Accessing All Photos in iOS 12 Messages via Camera

Another option is available, but it’s likely not faster for most users.

Similar to the above approach, open Messages and go to any message thread. Now this time, choose the Camera button, and then tap the photos button within the top corner of the active Camera app.

That will also bring up the Photos library browser for you to select a picture to send or share via Messages in iOS 12.

For most users, the Photos icon approach is faster, but the camera icon approach may work for others too, so use what works best for you.

Of course you can also still access and share photos directly from the Photos app too.

If you know of any other method or approach to accessing Photos from Messages in iOS 12 on an iPhone or iPad, share with us in the comments below!


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


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jeff says:

    Again, another pain in the neck ‘downgrade’ with iphone’s new ios. Before the icon was right there for pics, which everyone uses with message app. I don’t want all the stupid icons in my way so I shrink them down by swiping the App icon (which who uses that stupid icon anyway?), now I have to open that ridiculous thing first to get to another icon to get my pics. All I want is a keyboard and a pic button (not a camera button, I don’t take pictures while texting). I type and add pics like everyone and that’s all I need: A KEYBOARD and A PICTURE BUTTON to access my photos to add to my text message. AND THAT ALL!!!! DUH APPLE

  2. Mike Anderson says:

    This is so stupid. Why didn’t they leave it alone?

  3. Todd Coomans says:

    This change was just plain stupid and unnecessary, just like far too many changes that Apple makes for no apparent reason. Was it because no one was using that useless app drawer in Messages?

  4. Bill says:

    How can I delete a photo from a message that I added but then decided that I do not want to send in the message?

    • nt says:

      Just hit the Delete button on the keyboard, or press the little tiny (X) button on the photo in the message box

      Give it a try!

  5. Kathy says:

    If it worked and it worked FAST, Why try to fix it! This new way to access photos in iMessages is more labor intense – going backwards in technology effectiveness

  6. Geoff B says:

    I’m confused(?). I am running IOS 12.0 and the camera button on the message screen will still give you access to all photos (it just requires drilling down a little farther).

    • Geoff B says:

      Clarification: All I’m doing is tapping on the camera icon (before or after tapping in the text field), the camera app opens, then tap on the “All Photos” icon in the upper left of the camera screen (it looks like a stack of layered photos). That action opens the photo library.

    • Louie says:

      I see what you’re saying, but that method you mention doesn’t work on every device running iOS 12. I tried it on iphone and iPad and it only worked on the iphone. On iPad, the photo library icon is no longer shown in the camera app when it’s accessed from within the messages app so accessing the photo library from imessages would require the method outlined above, which works on ALL devices running iOS 12 or later.

    • Louie says:

      BTW it looks like the article was updated after you commented and now includes a section about accessing the photo library via Camera as you described.

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