Fix: There was an error while preparing to share

Sharing your photos through first-party and third-party services is easier than ever. At least it should be. Some iPhone users report that, when they try to share a photo from the Photos app, they get the “There was an error while preparing to share”. If you are among them, check the solutions we listed below.

Table of contents:

  1. Restart your device
  2. Check for connection issues
  3. Make sure you have enough storage space
  4. Download problematic photos from iCloud
  5. Reset Network Settings
  6. Update iOS
  7. Transfer photos to your PC or Mac

Why won’t my iPhone let me share pictures?

1. Restart your device

The first thing to do is to restart your device. Sometimes, the simplest of solutions is the best and there might be a temporary system halt at hand. What’s the best way to resolve that than to just power cycle your iPhone or iPad.

On the other hand, if the issue persists, continue with the steps below.

2. Check for connection issues

Whatever mean you use to share photos from your iPhone, make sure that you are either connected to a stable Wi-Fi or mobile data (cellular) network. You can try disconnecting or even forgetting your current network and reconnecting again.

Alternatively, if you use mobile data (3G/4G/LTE/5G) to share photos from the Photos app, make sure that the app is allowed to use Data. Unless the photos you are trying to share are locally stored, iCloud photos, as we mentioned above, need to be downloaded before being shared. Follow these steps to enable the Photos app to access Cellular data:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Photos.
  3. Tap Cellular Data.
  4. Toggle On Cellular Data.

If the “There was an error while preparing to share” prompt appears again, continue to the next step.

3. Make sure you have enough storage space

Unless you are sharing a link from iCloud, all photos need to be downloaded from the cloud to your device before sharing. This can be a problem for users that are low on storage space.

So, make sure to clear some storage space before giving it another go. Here are some tips to make some room for new data on your iPhone:

  • Delete all photos and videos that are backed up to iCloud.
  • Use Optimized photos when downloading from iCloud. Navigate to Settings > Photos and choose Optimize iPhone Storage instead of Download and Keep Originals.
  • Offload Unused Apps in Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
  • Transfer media files to your PC or Mac.
  • Remove apps you are not using.

4. Download problematic photos from iCloud

Some users found a workaround that can be a bit cumbersome but it works. They logged into iCloud via a browser on their PCs and emailed their photos to themselves. Now, if you were planning on sharing a lot of photos or videos, this can be quite a drag. Not to mention that compression might reduce photo quality.

However, since the reports state that this occurs for certain photos only, taking this action shouldn’t be that time-consuming. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open a web browser on your PC or Mac.
  2. Navigate to icloud.com.
  3. Sign in with your AppleID credentials and confirm on your trusted Apple device if prompted.
  4. Open Photos.
  5. Select photos you want to get on your device and email them to yourself.
  6. On your iPhone or iPad, open the email and download photos.

You can also just simply download them to your PC/Mac and transfer them to your iPhone. Whatever you deem easier.

On the other hand, if you are not keen to try this workaround and the “There was an error while preparing to share” prompt prevents you from sharing photos, move on to the next step.

5. Reset Network Settings

Now, many users suggest that resetting network settings to their default values helps address the problem. You can, as many already did, give it a go and see for yourself. Of course, keep in mind that this will restore all network settings to their default values. This means that all your Bluetooth pairings and Wi-Fi network credentials will be deleted.

Here’s how to Reset Network Settings on your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select Reset from the bottom of the list.
  4. Tap Reset Network Settings.
  5. Confirm with your PIN/Password.

6. Update iOS

Another important thing that we need to mention is keeping your device up to date. All Apple’s services function the best on the latest iteration of iOS (at least, that’s the idea). So, verify that your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS. This suggestion must be noted for the sake of troubleshooting. If you contact Apple support, they’ll recommend the same.

To manually check for updates on your iPhone, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. Download and install all available updates.

7. Transfer photos to your PC or Mac

Finally, you can just simply transfer all photos from your iPhone/iPad to a PC/Mac or download them directly to your PC from the web-based iCloud client. From there, you have a variety of sharing options, albeit you won’t be able to share them via iMessages or AirDrop from there.

For that, you’ll need to transfer them back to your iPhone. And that, again, can be quite an inconvenience if there are a lot of photos and you need to handpick them.

That’s it. Thank you for reading and make sure to share your thoughts, alternative solutions, or questions with us. Tell us what’s on your mind in the comments section below.

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