How to Download and Save Photos and Images to the iPad's Camera Roll

Screenshot of NASA photo of the day

The iPad makes it extremely easy to download photos and images on the web to the iPad. This is also true for photos sent to you in email and pictures you see in popular social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. However, not all websites are quite so friendly when it comes to saving images to your iPad. Whether they are trying to protect copyrighted photos or simply aren't very tablet friendly, the website may block your attempt to download the image. However, there's an easy workaround to that as well.

How to Download Photos to the iPad:

  1. First, locate the photo you want to save. You can save from the Mail app, the Safari Browser, Facebook, etc. 

    How to save photos to iPad
  2. Press your finger down on the photo and hold it on the image until a menu pops up on the screen.

    How to save photos to iPad
  3. Depending on the app you are using, you may see different options on this menu. But if the app supports saving photos, you will see a Save Photo or Save Image option in the menu.

    In Safari, the menu may include options such as "Open in a New Tab" or "Add to Reading List." This happens when the image is also a link to another webpage.

  4. In apps like Facebook or Twitter, you will need to click on the photo to display it full screen before you can download it.

    How to save photos to iPad from Twitter

    Some apps may prompt you to grant permission to your Camera Roll before you can save an image.

  5. This process works the same in every app that supports it.

If You Can't Save an Image

While many websites and apps support this feature, some notable exceptions, including Instagram and Pinterest. But you can still save images that you want with a screenshot.

  1. Before you snap the screenshot, try expanding the image to fill the screen by using the pinch-to-zoom gesture.

    Some apps, like Instagram, also have a full-screen toggle button if they don't display that way by default.

    Viewing an image on Instagram on iPad
  2. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the top of the iPad and the Home button at the same time. The screen will flash when you've successfully taken the screenshot.

  3. After you take a screenshot, the photo should appear on the bottom-left side of the display as a thumbnail image. You can tap this photo to edit it before saving or swipe it off the screen to save it.

    Screenshot preview on iPad
  4. When you tap the preview and go into edit mode, you can drag the tags at the sides and corners of the screen to crop the photo.

    Photo cropping tags on iPad
  5. Press Done when you've finished cropping the screenshot.

    Finalizing image crop on iPad
  6. You can also edit the photo in the Photos app.

Where Does the Photo Go?

The "Camera Roll" is the default album in the Photos app for storing all of your photos and movies. You can get to this album by opening Photos, tapping the Albums button at the bottom of the screen, and tapping Camera Roll.

Finding the Camera Roll on iPad