On an iPhone, photos are a huge potential privacy leak. They include not only visual information but also metadata that might reveal your location or when the photo was taken, among other facts. Luckily, it’s easy to see which apps have access to your photos and even revoke access if necessary. Here’s how.

First, open “Settings” on your iPhone.

In “Settings,” tap “Privacy.”

In iPhone Settings, tap "Privacy."

In “Privacy,” scroll down the list and tap “Photos.”

In "Privacy" settings on iPhone or iPad, tap "Photos."

After tapping “Photos,” you’ll see a list of installed apps that have requested access to your photos. Beside each one is a status that shows one of three options. Here’s what they mean.

  • Selected Photos: The app can access only a set of photos that you manually select.
  • All Photos: The app can access all photos on your device.
  • None: The app cannot access any of your photos.

To change these settings, tap an app name in the list.

In the Photos privacy list on iPhone, tap an app name to change its settings.

On the details screen for the app, you can change whether or not the particular app you selected can access your photos. To disallow access to your photos completely, select “None.”

In an app's detailed privacy view, tap "None" to disallow the app from accessing your iPhone photos.

Alternately, you can choose “Selected Photos,” and a pop-up that browses your photo library will appear.

Choosing "Selected Photos" on iPhone in Photo Privacy Settings.

Tap any photos you would like the app to access, then tap “Done.” Any photos you don’t select will be unavailable to the app.

After that, tap “Photos” in the corner to go back one screen, then exit “Settings.” The change will take effect immediately. If you ever need to change the setting again, just revisit Settings > Privacy > Photos.

If you have free time later, it might be worth exploring other iPhone privacy settings. You might be surprised at how much control is in your hands if you take the time to pay attention to the options.

RELATED: How to Check and Tighten All Your iPhone's Privacy Settings

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Benj Edwards is a former Associate Editor for How-To Geek. Now, he is an AI and Machine Learning Reporter for Ars Technica. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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