How to Turn Off Link Sharing on Android

Stop sharing Google Photos publicly or with specific users

What to Know

  • Disable album sharing: Go to Library and select the album. From the three-dot menu, select Options > Link sharing > Delete link.
  • Remove a person from the share: Go to Options > Members, select the three-dot menu next to the person and select Remove person.
  • Disable sharing for single photos: Select the Message button, choose the image, then tap menu > Options > Link Sharing > Delete Link.

This article explains how to turn off Google Photos link sharing on Android so only specific people can view an album, not just anyone with the link. We'll also look at enabling link sharing.

How to Stop Google From Sharing Your Photos

Disabling link sharing is the quickest way to restrict who can view a shared album or individual picture. Only people you've explicitly invited will have access (we'll look at removing their access, too).

Disable Album Sharing

First, here's how to turn off photo sharing if it's an album. Do this if you've created a share link from an album and you want to deny access through that link.

  1. Open Library from the bottom of Google Photos.

  2. Select the shared album with the link to be removed.

  3. From the three-dot menu at the top right, choose Options.

  4. Tap Link sharing and then Delete link. If nobody else has been given access to it, the button is instead called Make private.

    Google Photos delete link prompt for link sharing on Android, with "Library," "Options, and "Delete Link" highlighted

Remove Specific People From a Share

You can also remove a specific person from a Google Photos album. To see who still has access despite link sharing being turned off, repeat the first three steps above and then follow these steps:

  1. Scroll down the Options page until you reach the Members area. It lists all the people you've explicitly shared the album with, meaning they can view the album and possibly even add to it.

  2. To edit this list to stop sharing with specific people, select the three-dot menu next to a person's name to find the Remove person option.

  3. Select Remove person, then select Remove person again to confirm.

  4. After taking this action, it will delete the person's photos and comments along with their access. When removing the final person, the button will say Make private; all comments, including yours, are removed when you delete the last person.

    Remove person and make private buttons in Google Photos app for Android

Disable Sharing on a Single Photo

Is it just a single image you've shared? Then it's not included in the Library area, but instead the Sharing part of the app. Follow these steps to delete the share link for an individual image:

  1. Select the message button at the top left of Google Photos.

  2. Choose the image you've shared.

  3. Open the menu button at the top right and choose Options.

  4. Tap Link sharing followed by Delete link.

    Stop link sharing prompt in Google Photos for Android, with the Message icon, "Options," and "Delete Link" highlighted

The methods we just covered aren't the only ways to share over Google Photos. Another is with a partner, where some or all of your images and videos are shared with them automatically. To see how to disable partner sharing, check out Google's explanation.

How to Share From Google Photos Without a Link

Even with link-sharing turned off, you can still share photos and videos through direct sharing. This is more like instant messaging built into Google Photos.

  1. Select one or more items to share, and then tap the share button.

  2. Pick someone from your contacts to send it to.

  3. Optionally, include some text to provide context. Otherwise, tap Send.

    Google Photos image gallery and direct share conversation, with the Share button and "Send" highlighted

To undo direct sharing, open the conversation, select the person's name at the top, and then tap Leave next to your name. This will instantly remove all photos and comments you've added to the conversation.

How to Turn on Link Sharing

Link sharing lets anyone with the URL view one of your photo albums, even if they're not logged in to their Google account.

  1. Use the Library tab at the bottom of the app to select the album you want to share.

  2. Tap the menu button at the top right, and then Options.

  3. Select Link sharing.

  4. Choose which sharing options to disable, if any, by selecting them. For example, to let other people add photos, ensure Collaborate is kept on.

  5. Tap Copy link to get the share link.

    Link sharing options in Google Photos for Android with Options, Link sharing, and Copy Link highlighted
  • How do I create a link in Google Photos?

    In Google Photos, open a picture, album, or video and tap Share > choose an app > tap Create link. When you create a link to share in Google Photos, anyone can use it to view your photos in the cloud.

  • Why does Android crash when I share a link?

    If Android apps continue crashing or your Android phone keeps freezing, you need to troubleshoot your device. Start by updating Android and reinstalling apps that you're having trouble with, then restart your device.

  • How do I turn off previews when sharing a link in a text message?

    In the Android Messages app, go to Settings > More Settings and tap Web preview to disable previews.

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