Updated Facebook Tip: Organizing, Moving and Editing Your Photos And Albums

We all love to post photos on Facebook, right? The challenge is that while positing photos is easy to do from your phone or tablet, organizing them into albums within Facebook can be a real pain-in-the-you-know-what. It seems that the Facebook User Experience Engineers have designed an organization system that seems logical to them, but in real life isn’t really intuitive to most of us.

A while back, I wrote a post about uploading and organizing your photos on Facebook. As Facebook made changes, I tried to keep it updated with the slight UI changes to the albums and photo organizers. As I went to update for the umpteenth time…I realized that it would probably be better to just start a new post and give the most recent instructions without all the history. Likely, I’ll have to update this one 15 times, too…but that’s the world of Facebook, right?

So if you’re just looking for tips on how to organize your photos, here are the most recent instructions.

Creating a Facebook Album (also known as uploading a photo)

The first step in getting organized is making sure you have the right albums. Facebook doesn’t let you create albums on-the-fly while you’re organizing them, so the best thing to do is go through all your current folders and see if there are some logical groups. Make a list. Yes…with a pencil and paper. For me, the groups are basically family photos, pictures of good things to eat, critters who have visited my house, cute pet photos and cupcakes. Yes…I’m a bit of a cupcake fanatic so they get their own albums.

To create a new album just go into the Albums section of your photo gallery and then click “Create New Album”.

To get started organizing your Facebook photos, choose the Albums section

Facebook doesn’t provide an intuitive way to create an empty album (there is a way, but it ‘s strange), so it’s best to upload a photo into the new album. Don’t worry…you can delete it later if you don’t want to keep the photo in the album.

Once the photo is selected, give your album a new name and describe the types of photos that people can expect to see in the album when they browse it. If the album contains photos that were all taken in the same location (e.g. Hawaii or New York City) you can also add a location.

Provide a new name for your Facebook album

Just before you click the “Post Photos” button in the lower-right corner, be sure to set your privacy settings by clicking the gear icon and choose who can see the photos in the album. Remember, this privacy setting will be set for all the photos you are uploading.

When organizing your photos in Facebook, be sure to assign the appropriate privacy settings

Once you click the “Post Photos” button, the new folder will be created and you’ll be able to move other photos into this album.

Moving Photos Between Albums

As I mentioned, moving photos between albums isn’t very intuitive. For me, I would just go to the individual photo, choose to edit it and expect that I can move the photo to another album from there. But this isn’t how it works. In the image below, you’ll see that the drop-down menu for editing a photo doesn’t include a link to “Move To Another Album”. Soooo…we’ll have to determine a different way to accomplish this.

The Edit Photo dropdown doesn't let you move a photo to another album

To move a photo from one album to another, you don’t edit the photo….you edit the album where the photo currently exists. I know, not very logical but hey…Facebook never asked me.

To edit an album (and eventually move a photo):

1) First, decide on which album you want to move the existing photo from. You can see the full listing of your current albums by choosing the “Albums” section at the top of your photo gallery.

2) Next, click the album where the image currently resides. In my case, I am moving an image out of the “Mobile Uploads” album and into a new one I have created.

3) Click the “Edit Album” link which will give you a tiled view of the photos in the selected album, giving you more control over the album and the ability to move photos.

4) Find the photo you want to move and locate the  small drop-down image in the upper-right corner. Click that and choose “Move To Another Album”

You can move an image to another album with this new dropdown menu

5) Select the new album and then click “Move Photo” and you should be all set!

Choose the new Facebook album where you want your photo to be located

Deleting Photos From An Album

But what if a photo is just too embarrassing or isn’t something you want posted on Facebook anymore? You can delete a photo by locating the photo, clicking the dropdown menu on the upper-right corner and selecting “Delete This Photo”. Facebook will ask you to confirm, and then once you delete it…it’s gone from your albums. Keep in mind, however, that it may not be gone from Facebook forever, though.

According to their terms of use the types of information Facebook collects from/about you is not limited to just your status updates, but also includes the photos  you upload:

Information we receive about you

We receive a number of different types of information about you, including:

Your information
Your information is the information that’s required when you sign up for the site, as well as the information you choose to share.

  • Registration information: When you sign up for Facebook, you are required to provide information such as your name, email address, birthday, and gender. In some cases, you may be able to register using other information, like your telephone number.
  • Information you choose to share: Your information also includes the information you choose to share on Facebook, such as when you post a status update, upload a photo, or comment on a friend’s story.

This might seem silly to mention, but you’ll understand where I’m going with this when you read what you agree to allow Facebook to do with that information once you upload it to the site. In the “How we use the information we receive:” section of their Terms of Use, Facebook states:

Granting us this permission not only allows us to provide Facebook as it exists today, but it also allows us to provide you with innovative features and services we develop in the future that use the information we receive about you in new ways.

While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don’t share information we receive about you with others unless we have:

  • received your permission;
  • given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or
  • removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.

So, while this sounds all well and good, what Facebook is saying is that once you upload a photo to Facebook, it is theirs to use as they please. Why? Because they have already given you notice that they can use your photo because they have included notice about it in their terms of use. Circular and tricky, right? Right.

My point in telling you this is to remind you that just because you delete something from Facebook, doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. Who knows, that embarrassing photo of you at the office party might actually show up in Facebook’s marketing materials because you uploaded the photo and Facebook chose to include it under their “innovative features and services we develop in the future…” clause.

Just to set the expectation, understand that something uploaded to and then deleted from Facebook isn’t necessarily deleted forever.

Hopefully, that helps clear up the process of adding/editing/moving/deleting photos within your Facebook albums. If you see something that isn’t clear or have an additional tip to help others out, be sure to leave a comment!

Cheers!

–Sean

Comments And Reactions

  1. Thanks! Zuck sure makes it tough to keep up. When I get frustrated with FB, I remind myself that it is free and also pretty cool.

  2. This was so helpful! Thank you so much! Do you know how to change the order of the photos in an album? I used to be able to do it with the old settings, but I can’t figure out how to do it now. I looked through your site, but I couldn’t find it. Thanks!

  3. FYI – as far as moving photos goes, you cannot move photos that were added in a multiple photo upload, nor can you move the cover album.

    That would have been nice to know before I uploaded 90 pictures at once and then wanted to sort them afterwards… SIGH

  4. Phil Newton says:

    Thanks for this Sean, but I’m having problems moving from my Timeline Photos Album (where FB puts your photos if you just upload to a post.)
    The option to move isn’t there – just to make cover, or delete.
    Any ideas?

  5. Still can’t seem to re-arrange the order of photos within an album. Used to be able to do it, but can’t figure out how to do it now. Is this possible?

  6. thank you for the instructions on how to move photos from album to album, i’d have never figured that out on my own!

  7. This is a great post! Any tips on rearranging the order of photos within an album? I’ve found that the previous “click and drag” method doesn’t work anymore and in fact, FB has been randomizing the order of pics as I upload them (even if I upload in my desired order). Advice?

    • Yes, this worked for me, too. I always post a few from mobile at an event but want to make an album later with more fixed-up ones. You can use this same method after fb messes up your photo order. Make a new album (viewable to only you at first, if you like!), Move the photos into there in the order you WANT, then get rid of their original location. The tags and comments come with them. You and drag them around in that album before you save it.

  8. Can I move photos from an album into my timeline album? It gives me the option to move my photos to every album except the timeline album

  9. akshay inamdar says:

    Hey Sean..
    Thank u so much for u r post…
    But m trying to move a photo from one album to another in Facebook app on my mobile..
    Its just nt working
    There’s no ,option such as edit.album on facebook app. Plz do reply about this what to do???
    Thank u…..

  10. This page was SUPER helpful in helping me organize my photos! Thanks!…. One question tho, when i go to my album “Cover Photos” (album containing banner photos on timeline) the option to “edit the album” does not exist. How do i move “Cover Photos” to another album? Is it possible?

  11. You can’t reorder the photos in an album any more – ridiculous!

  12. Hi – please help. The photos on my timeline photo box are old photos that never move off my timeline. Any pics posted on my timeline dont show up in my photo box on timeline neither do they move into my photos at all. Help please… thanks… I see other people that have photos or images posted on their timeline immediately move into the photos box so the photos box is kept up to date. How do i achieve this have spent ages fiddling and cannot find a way………… would be sooooooo grateful if anyone could help with. this thank you Shirley

  13. Ana-Maria says:

    Sean, can you please tell me if there’s a way to organize the photos within a single album? I have one album with photos of my experiences during the few years I lived in Europe. I would like for them to be organized by date (in chronological order). I cannot for the life of me see how to affect the order of the photos in this album. It’s total chaos. Help!

  14. This doesn’t seem to work for Cover Photos or “Photos of Me”. Is there a way to move these photos into albums, too?

  15. Just want to say thanks! This helped a lot :)

  16. I have a new problem. My mobile uploads no longer go to Mobile Uploads album. They go straight to Timeline Photos where I cannot move photos!

  17. Tom my G Lawrence says:

    I have a photo album on my desk top that I want to move to a new face book album. Do I have to move each photo, one at a time or is there a way to move the whole desk top album to FB ??

  18. it doesn’t give me
    3) Click the “Edit Album” link which will give you a tiled view of the photos in the selected album, giving you more control over the album and the ability to move photos.

    anymore

  19. I do not really want to create an album, I just wonder why when I put a photo from my timeline into “my photos” then delete it on timeline it removes it from my photos too. I see some people with multiple photos but no album. How is this done?

  20. Can you please post instructions on creating an album without uploading a photo? It is the biggest source of my frustration with fb and I’ve complained about it for a long time. I’ve tried to figure it out and I have not been successful and I can’t find any up to date instructions on google. Bottom
    line: I should not have to upload a photo to create an album. Thank you.

    • Mickey,

      Perhaps creating an album with a title text picture would be a good solution?

      Or upload one picture, but set the privacy to you only so it’s not visible to everyone else.

      Cheers

      Joel C

  21. On my iPad 3 how can I transfer Facebook Timeline “Photos of You” to an existing album?

  22. Any tips on moving old photos into a new album? I’m a page admin and want to “clean up” a bunch of old photos and put them into albums. It doesn’t look like I can do this but I’m thinking someone’s got to have come up with a work-around!

  23. I was able to move photos within an album (clumsy, but they still moved) through April 26 but not since then; why would FB delete that option?

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