NOTE: This post has been fully updated recently. There were a lot of changes to the way Facebook allows for the moving of photos, so I updated all the steps and the screen captures. I hope they help!
Facebook has rolled out the new version of its desktop experience, so if you are on the new desktop version and you are confused about how to rearrange photos in your Facebook albums, be sure to pay attention to the updates at the end of the post.
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? And it’s not like you can just pick up the phone and call or email Facebook.
So if you’re just looking for tips on how to organize your photos, here are the most recent instructions.
Quick Note Before We Start: If you are trying to figure out how to move and organize photos in a Facebook GROUP, read this post instead.
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 Photos section of your Facebook profile and then click “Create Album”.
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.Facebook does allow you to re-organize your photos and albums, it just takes some know-how. Click To Tweet
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.
With respect to this album, these photos were all taken in Iceland, so I could add that geo-location to the album. If you’re interested in learning more about my visit to Iceland, you can read all about it via my blog series at FlatlandersIn.com
Just before you click the “Post” button in the lower-left corner, be sure to set your privacy settings by clicking the “Public” button and choose who can see the photos in the album. Remember, this privacy setting will be set for all the photos you are uploading.
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.
Making Your Photos On Facebook Private
I know it seems a bit repetitive and I covered a bit of it in the last section, but I have received so many questions about this that I feel like it’s worth breaking it out into its own section.
If you want to upload photos to Facebook and keep them completely private, meaning only you can see them, then it’s important that you set the privacy settings for that photo or album to “Only Me”. By doing that, you are telling the Facebook application to never show that specific photo or album to anyone but you.
Some of you might wonder why anyone would store completely private photos on Facebook, but there are actually some valid reasons like:
- You use Facebook as a chronological journal of life events, but some of them are personal so you want to restrict their viewing
- There might be some older photos that you added to Facebook in the past that you don’t want showing going forward
- One person told me that they set some of their “wilder” photos to “Only Me” why they were searching for a new job. They felt this tamed down their Facebook profile a bit, limiting what their future employers might see.
One thing that is important to note is that setting the privacy on a Facebook photo or album to “Only Me” isn’t truly a privacy protection. Because you are using the Facebook platform, you are granting Facebook the right to use your photos.
“To provide our services, though, we need you to give us some legal permissions to use that content. Specifically, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content”
That means when you upload your photo, even with “Only Me” privacy set, Facebook could turn your photo into its next worldwide ad.
Just something to think about as you add new photos that you want to remain private to Facebook.
Editing The Facebook Photo Album Name, Description, And The Photo Details
Just in case you made a mistake when editing your album name or details, there is a way to edit the album name and fix the mistake. You can even edit the pictures and their captions. To edit the album name, description, or the photo details inside an album:
Step 1 – From your Facebook profile, choose the “Photos” tab. This displays the listing of all the photos you have uploaded to Facebook.
Step 2 – From the photos page, click the Albums tab to show your photo albums.
Step 3 – Find the album that you would like to rename and click on the three dots in the lower-right corner of the album.
Step 4 – From the menu that opens, click “Edit”. This takes you to the page where you can edit the name of the Facebook photo album, as well as the description. You can also edit the captions of any photo located within the Facebook photo album.
Step 5 (REALLY IMPORTANT) – Be sure to click the “Save” button after you have made all your edits. This will save your album or photo changes.
Moving Photos Between Albums
Fairly recently, Facebook made a big improvement to their albums in the fact that they added the ability to move photos between albums. Previously, when you clicked on the edit icon for the photo, the menu item did not include the ability to move a photo to another album, as shown in the image below.
Luckily, we now have an option to move photos!!!
To move a photo from one album to another, just click the “Move To Other Album” link in the dropdown menu. In the popup that opens, select the other album where you want the photo to be moved to.
In the image below, my photo would be moved to the “Camelback Mountain” album. Once moved to that album, all the permissions for that album would be applied to the photo.
Once you move the photo, you will notice that it disappears from your new album, because Facebook moved it into the album that you selected.
Yeah…but can I move a Facebook photo into another album that already exists?
Certainly. If you already have a photo in an album that you want to move into another album, just do this:
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 “Camelback Mountain” album and back into the Iceland 2019 album.
3) 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”
4) Select the new album and then click “Move Photo” and you should be all set!
Can I Rearrange The Order Of Photos In A Facebook Album?
This is always a popular question that I get, because people miss a step when they try to reorder or reorganize their Facebook photos inside an album. The trick is to be sure you click the edit button.
If you want to change the order of the photos in your Facebook photo album, here’s what you do:
Step 1 – Locate the album that you want to edit and click the album to view it.
Step 2 – Click the Edit button in the upper-right corner.
Step 3 – In the edit view, you can now drag and drop the photos into any order you would like.
Step 4 – Click the Save button to apply the changes. The photos should now be in the order you specified.
Can I Choose Which Picture I Want To Be The Cover Photo For My Facebook Album?
You can….but once again it’s really important that you are in the edit view of the album. To change the picture that serves as the cover photo for your album, do this:
Step 1 – Locate the album that you want to edit and click the album to view it.
Step 2 – Click the Edit button in the upper-right corner.
Step 3 – In the edit view, click the pencil icon to edit the specific photo that you want to become the cover photo for your album.
Step 4 – From the dropdown menu, choose “Make Cover Photo”.
Step 5 – Click the Save button to apply the changes to the album. The selected photo should now display as the cover photo.
How Do I Delete Photos From A Facebook 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 drop-down 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.
Buckle up…here comes some legal-speak. But it’s important that you understand whether your Facebook photos are REALLY deleted from Facebook.
Be aware that even if you remove a photo from Facebook, they might still have the right to use it. Click To Tweet
Information we receive about youWe receive a number of different types of information about you, including:
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.
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.
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!
Update 1 – From A Reader Question
I recently received an email about this post asking about the privacy settings. The reader asked:
Once you make a Facebook photo or album private using the “Only Me” setting, is it possible to go back later and make the Facebook photos public again?
The answer is a definite Yes! At least until Facebook changes things again.
To make your Facebook photos public, just follow the instructions above to edit the album and then just set the privacy of the photo or the album to Public, Friends, or whatever custom privacy setting that would suit your needs. To learn a little more about Facebook privacy settings, this post might help.
I hope that helps!
Update 2 – Issues relating to the new beta version of Facebook
Quite a few folks have been mentioning that the ability to re-arrange photo albums and move photos between albums has been removed in the beta view of the new “dark mode” and “light mode” version of Facebook.
If you have decided to proceed with using the beta version of Facebook (beta meaning that it is not their production version and is not fully tested), be aware that you are likely going to lose these capabilities.
Hopefully, before they move the beta version to their fully-supported production version, they will return these features once again.
The way you can tell if you are on the beta version is to visit Facebook.com in a web browser (not the app) and click your profile photo in the upper-right corner. If the menu has “switch to classic Facebook” as an option, then you are on the beta view.
Once you switch back to classic Facebook, you should have the ability to organize Facebook albums and move photos between albums again.
If you do choose to switch back, but sure to send feedback that the ability to move photos and organize Facebook photo albums has gone missing from the beta so they know we need these features. Here’s an image of my feedback that you can replicate.
Update 3 – Facebook is forcing the new view, so we have to adapt and identify how to reorganize photos in our albums
While there are some tricks for forcing Facebook back to the classic view (see some of the comments below), it’s obvious that Facebook is moving forward, so we have to figure out how to rearrange photos in Facebook albums in the new Facebook layout.
It looks like the functionality still exists, but it’s a little different. Facebook implemented a drag-and-drop model that seems to work.
To edit the order of your photos in the NEW Facebook desktop layout (not in the mobile app):
Step 1 – Login to the Facebook desktop via your favorite browser. I am using Firefox in the example images below.
Step 2 – Click your profile and then click “Albums” near the top of your profile.
Step 3 – Click into the album that you want to edit. In this case, I am editing my “Camelback Mountain – Phoenix 2019” album. Take a look below and you will see that the first image in the album is one that shows that Piestawa Peak is a double-black diamond hike.
The second photo in the album is one that has a red arrow saying “we’re going way up there”. You’ll see both of those image have red boxes around them because I drew those boxes to help you see which is first and which is second.
Step 4 – In the upper-right corner, click the three dots to open a menu and choose “Edit Album”.
Step 5 – In the edit album mode, you can now just drag and drop your images into the order that you want them. For instance, in the image below, I drug the image with the arrow to the first position, which automatically moved the double-diamond image to the second image.
There is no need to save the change, because it is instantly applied once you move the photo to the new location.
Step 6 – Exit the edit album view, but clicking the back arrow in the upper-left corner to return to the regular album view. You can also just press the Esc key on your keyboard.
Check it out! The photos in my Facebook album have now been reordered and the photo with the arrow is now in the first slot.
Using those steps, you should be able to fully rearrange the photos in your Facebook album in any order you desire.
One other note that some people seem to be confused about. Facebook doesn’t display the order of the albums in traditional left-to-right. As a result, some people are thinking that Facebook isn’t applying the changes. It is, it’s just ordering them in a different order than you are wanting.
To see what I mean, here is an image that shows the order of the photos in the album I edited above. It shows that Facebook shows image #1 in the upper-left and then image #2 in the lower-left. Then, it puts #3, #4, and #5 in the right column stacked.
Confusing, I know…but Facebook does what Facebook wants.
I hope that help!
Keep those comments coming as you see changes. It helps all of us understand the changes that are happening at Facebook and the impact to features like photo albums.