How to Share Photos, Websites, and Files on the iPad

Send fun or important things to your friends and family

Businessman and businesswoman using digital tablet and smart phone in office corridor

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The Share button is one of the most useful features on the iPad's interface. With it, you can share photos, websites, notes, music, movies, restaurants, and even your current location. And you can share these things through email, text message, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The location of the Share button will change based on the app, but it is usually either at the top of the screen or the very bottom of the screen. The standard Share button is a box with an arrow pointing out the top. It is usually blue, but some apps use different colors. For example, the icon looks almost identical in the Open Table app except it's red.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 7 and later.

Share button on iPad

The Share Button

When you tap the Share button, a menu appears with all of the options you have for sharing. This window includes two rows of buttons. The first row of buttons is designated for ways to share such as text messaging or Facebook. The second row is for actions like copying to the clipboard, printing or saving to cloud storage. 

Share menu on iPad

The Share menu is context-sensitive, which means the features available will depend on what you are doing when you access it. For example, you won't have the option to assign a photo to a contact or use it as your wallpaper if you aren't viewing a photo at that time.

Here are some of the items you'll see in the Share menu:

  • Message: This button lets you send a text message. If you're viewing a photo, the photo will be attached.
  • Mail: This will take you into the Mail application. You can enter additional text before sending the email.
  • iCloud: This will allow you to save the file on iCloud. If you are viewing a photo, you can choose which photostream to use when saving it.
  • Twitter/Facebook: You can update your status via the Share menu using these buttons. You will need to have your iPad connected to these services for this to work.
  • Flickr/Vimeo: As with Twitter and Facebook, you will need to connect your iPad to these services in the iPad's settings. You will only see these buttons if it is appropriate. For example, you will only see the Flickr button when you are viewing a photo or image.
  • Copy: This option copies your selection to the clipboard if you want to copy a photo and then paste it into another application.
  • Slideshow: With this option, you can choose multiple photos and start a slideshow with them.
  • AirPlay: If you have Apple TV, you can use this button to connect your iPad to your TV to share a photo or movie with everyone in the room.
  • Assign to Contact: The contact's photo will show up when they call or text you.
  • Use as Wallpaper: You can assign photos as the wallpaper of your lock screen, your home screen, or both.
  • Print: If you have an iPad-compatible or AirPrint printer, you can use the share menu to print documents.

How to Use AirDrop to Share

Above these buttons is the AirDrop area. The easiest way to share your contact information, a website, a photo, or a song with someone that is at your table or standing next to you is through AirDrop. By default, only people who are in your contacts list will show here, but you can change this setting in the iPad's control panel.

If they're in your contacts list and they have AirDrop enabled, a button with their profile picture or initials will show up here. Tap the button, and they will be prompted to confirm the AirDrop.

Share menu on iPad

How to Set up Sharing for Third-Party Apps

If you want to share to apps like Facebook Messenger or Yelp, you'll need to do a quick setup first. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Share menu by tapping the Share button.

    A website open on an iPad with the Share button highlighted
  2. Scroll along the top row until you find a More button with three dots as the icon. Tap it to open a new menu.

    The Share menu on an iPad with the More button highlighted
  3. When you tap the button, a list of sharing options will appear. Tap the switch next to an available app to on/green to enable sharing. 

    The switch to enable sharing to an app on an iPad
  4. Change the order of the Share menu options by tapping and holding the three horizontal lines next to the app and sliding your finger up or down the list.

    The ordering handle in the Share menu on an iPad
  5. Tap the Done button at the top of the screen to save your changes.

    The Done button in the Share menu on an iPad
  6. You can make these changes to the second row of buttons as well. If you have an account with Dropbox, Google Drive, or some other form of file sharing, you can add them to the second row and organize the icons.