How to Use Photo Collections in Messages on iPhone and iPad

If you’ve always wanted your iPhone’s Messages app media to be more organized, iOS 15 has a solution for you. The Messages app now offers photo collections for easy viewing of photos. The collections not only keep discussions clutter-free, but also display them in a carefully designed format. If you haven’t used this notable feature of iOS 15 yet, follow us to learn how to use Photo Collections on iOS 15 and even iPadOS 15.

How to Use Photo Collections in Messages on iPhone, iPad

The photo collections in the Messages app have a lot more features. Stacks of shared photos can be transferred, saved to Camera Roll, and deleted if you no longer need them. You can consult them step by step to get to know them well.

What is a photo collection and how does it work?

Photo collections are designed to present multiple images in a well-organized stack, making it easier for you to view the group of images. It’s pretty much like the way pictures and videos appear on WhatsApp, except Apple’s version looks more advanced. Another cool feature that might attract a lot of people is the convenience of browsing all the images from one place. Yes, you have that right! You no longer need to scroll up and down to view a group of shared images in iMessage, although that is still an option. This will come in handy when you are viewing a large collection of holiday or party photos. Additionally, the feature won’t let randomly shared images spoil the entire chat.

If you are wondering how to enable photo collections in iMessage on iOS 15, it’s enabled by default. So, no steps for this part. The moment you select multiple images, iMessage turns them into a pretty neat stack that you can share like any other image.

How to send a collection of photos in the Messages app

  • To get started, launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Now select the chat head that you want to share the photos with.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Tap the Apps button to the left of the text field.
Applications button next to the text field
  • Next, find the Photos app icon and tap on it.
Photos application under applications
  • Now select the photos you want to send. Then press the To add button in the upper right corner of the screen.
Select photos and press Press
  • You can also choose to add an appropriate comment. After that hit the send button and you are good to go!
Send photos as collections in the Apple Messages app

View pictures from a photo collection in the Messages app

You can simply swipe left or right to browse the images you received in a collection. Plus, you have the option to display them all in a neat grid.

  • Open the Messages app and head to the conversation thread where you received a collection of photos.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Now you will see a grid icon above the photo collection. This is the grid view. Tap on it to activate.
Grid view button above a collection of photos
  • Then you should see all the images in a well-organized grid layout. If you want to check a full size image, just tap on it. Once you have viewed the photo collection, you can select the back button “ in the upper left corner of the screen to finish.
Show images in a grid layout on iMessage

As mentioned earlier, you can check out the images by dragging them directly from the chat. Take a look at the GIF to better understand how you can browse the photo collection and also display the group of images in a grid layout!

How to use Photo Collections in the Messages app on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Use Tapback, Reply, Forward with photo collection in Messages app

You can react (Tapbacks), forward and even reply to a collection of photos, the same way you would with messages. Here’s how.

How to use Tapbacks with a photo collection

  • Head to the discussion lead on the Messages app.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Now press and hold any photo in the collection you want to Tapback. Pick the one you like and it’s done. You will get Heart, Up Hit, Down Hit, Ha Ha, Exclamation Mark, and Question Mark as options.
Tapbacks in the Message app

How to reply to a collection of photos

  • Go to the conversation thread in the Messages app.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Again, long press on the collection image you want to reply to. You will see a bunch of options. Select Reply, enter your reply, and then press To send.
Reply to photo collection

How to transfer a collection of photos

  • Launch the Messages app and go to the chat In the question.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Now touch and hold the collection of photos you want to transfer. After that press Following in the pop-up window. Select the photo collection by tapping the circle icon (as shown below), and then tap the forward arrow.
Select More and the Upload icon
  • Then add the contact and then send it.
Add contact and send

Download images from photo collections

Download the entire collection of photos in the Messages app

  • Go to the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad and select the conversation thread.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Now tap on the download button (down arrow) next to the photo collection. After that choose the Save to Photo Library option.
Tap on download option and save to photo library

Upload a specific image from the photo collection

  • Again, choose chat in the Messages app.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Now find the image you want to save to your Camera Roll. And then, long press on the image. Then choose Save.
Save a specific photo to the photo library

Notably, when you save a stack of photos in iMessage, it is automatically added to your iCloud Photo Library. Therefore, you can view your saved photo collections on devices synced with the same iCloud account.

Delete a collection of photos in the Messages app

If you no longer want to keep a collection of photos in the Messages app, you can easily delete it. Here is what to do.

  • First, go to chat in the Messages app.
Choose the conversation thread
  • Now long press on the collection of photos you want to get rid of. After that press Following in the pop-up window. Next, select the photo collection by tapping on the circle icon to its left.
Select the More option, then the collection of photos to delete
  • Next, tap on the Trash button in the lower left corner and choose Delete message.
Select the trash can icon and delete the message

How to stop saving photos in messages in Camera Roll

iOS 15 also has a new “Shared With You” feature, which automatically saves images and videos shared with you to Camera Roll. While for some this makes it easy, others might not like adding unwanted media to their photo library. If you belong to the latter group, here’s how to turn off shared photos on iOS 15:

  • Go to the Settings app and select the Messages option.
Messages option in settings
  • Scroll down a bit to access the “Shared with you” option. Tap on it. Here, turn off the “Auto-share” option so that the shared media does not appear in the Photos app. Shared content appears on some apps such as Music, TV, Safari, and Podcasts, except Photos.
Shared with you option, turn off automatic sharing

Alternatively, you can head to the Messages app, select the desired chat, tap on the person’s name to access more options, scroll down to find the option “Show sharing with you”, and simply deactivate it. You will no longer find shared media in your Camera Roll.

disable shared with you on a chat basis

Use photo collections in the Messages app like a pro

Sharing tons of photos and videos with people is now standard and Apple’s efforts to make the process convenient is something we can all use. As someone who enjoys sharing pictures with friends, this is a welcome addition for me.

Having said that, what do you think of this cool feature in iOS 15? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jack C. Nugent