Tech Support

Fix It: When iPhone Won’t Allow Apps Access to Your Photos

Update 09/27/17: iOS has updated several times since this post published; a simple reboot – turn your phone off and then on again – may be all you need to restore access to your photos. If that doesn’t work, read on for another trick that worked for me.

I wanted to Instagram but the app kept telling me it needed access to my photos. It told me to enable this in the setting Privacy -> Photos.

Digital Zen on Instagram

Navigating to this screen, it said “Apps that have requested access to your photos will appear here”.

But there were no apps. Zippo.

I tried several things, including turning the phone off and on, deleting Instagram and re-installing, attempting to change my Instagram profile picture to prompt it to request access to my photos, and confirming that the setting under General -> Restrictions -> Privacy -> Photos was set to “Allow Changes”.

Nothing worked, until I did this:

  • Go to the setting General -> Reset -> Reset Location & Privacy.
  • Enter your passcode and follow prompt to reset Location & Privacy.
  • Login to Instagram, and take a photo.
  • Follow prompts to allow access to your camera and photos.
  • Microphone and location can be allowed as well, if you like.

Happy Instagraming!

reset-location-2

112 Comments

  1. Patricia Blomeley-Maddigan

    01/07/2015 at 4:31 pm

    Zippo!!!
    Still zero apps requesting access to my photos. Instagram asked for camera access, but not for photo.
    I am going crazy!!
    Do you have anything up your sleeve, Digital Zen??
    Thank you,
    Patricia

    1. Samantha

      01/09/2015 at 10:22 am

      Bummer! You did the reset, and made sure General -> Restrictions -> Privacy -> Photos was set to “Allow Changes”? Are you trying this with Instagram or some other app? Maybe try using photos in a different app, like Contacts, will prompt your iPhone to behave better. Try adding a photo to a contact, tell me what happens.

      1. Keekoo

        03/14/2015 at 11:03 pm

        I tried the contact photo and still nothing!!!!

        1. Kehlani

          07/16/2017 at 3:14 pm

          Just power off your phone for a little minute and turn it back on and it should work that’s how I fixed mines

          1. Kristy Brooks

            10/12/2017 at 8:05 pm

            This works!

      2. Sonal

        09/03/2017 at 8:08 am

        You r awesome thank u so much my problem is solved

        1. Samantha

          09/03/2017 at 11:44 am

          So glad this worked for you, Sonal. Thanks for writing in!

          1. Debbie

            09/05/2017 at 6:45 pm

            What about when the i-phone won’t allow access to contacts? Any advice?

      3. Laura

        10/10/2017 at 9:46 am

        I want to thank you! I have been struggling with this problem since installing IOS 11. I forgot all about the restrictions! This solved my problem not being able to post photos to Facebook!

        1. Samantha

          10/10/2017 at 9:51 am

          Glad I could help! Thanks for letting me know this worked for you.

    2. Noer

      12/18/2015 at 2:45 pm

      Go to settings , general , restrictions and go to photos where you can check “Allow changes” . Only then the apps will have acess

        1. Katie

          02/27/2016 at 10:38 am

          all u have to do is go to settings, general, reset, then reset location and privacy, after that power off ur phone for a few seconds and turn it back on and it works!

          1. Ciara

            03/02/2016 at 8:42 am

            Thank you so much my problem has solve😊

          2. Jas

            11/07/2016 at 10:17 pm

            THANK YOU SOOOO MUCHH

          3. Oscar

            04/14/2017 at 1:48 pm

            Thanks so much it worked

          4. Kirstin

            04/24/2017 at 11:14 am

            Mine still doesn’t work..?

          5. Lailai

            06/08/2017 at 11:25 pm

            Thanks! It worked 🙂

          6. Angel Antoinette

            08/30/2017 at 10:06 pm

            It WORKED! IT WORKED! IT WORKED!! You guyss!! Yayyyyyy!!! Thank you!!!

        2. Eden Smith

          02/12/2017 at 6:45 am

          When I go onto Snapchat it keeps telling me to go onto settings and change my access to my photos but when I go to settings it already on

        3. Sixta

          07/02/2017 at 1:16 am

          Thank you it worked 😆

      1. Kyung Yu

        10/14/2017 at 12:47 am

        Holy cow! I spent 2 hours trying to get this to work and finally this was it! You are my hero!!!!! Gratitude.

        1. Samantha

          10/16/2017 at 10:15 am

          So glad this post helped you! Thanks for writing in.

    3. Diego

      11/26/2016 at 10:20 am

      Eureka!
      To that problem I address a knew way to solve it. You don’t need to do anything involving using settings. Just tap the home and power button three times BUT ON THE 3rd TAP HOLD IT. (this is a method for restarting the phone). Please tell me if it worked or not.

  2. Olivia

    04/04/2015 at 1:22 pm

    Hi I am trying to post a picture on Instagram and it says I have to enable camera access and I have tried every single thing I can possibly do and it still won’t let me post a picture on Instagram please please help me thanks

    1. Noer

      12/18/2015 at 2:46 pm

      Please see my comment of December 18 . I think this might help

  3. Kee

    04/11/2015 at 5:01 pm

    I had the same issue the best thing I did to solve this problem is I went to the restrictions tab and turned it off

  4. Corien

    04/29/2015 at 5:40 pm

    Do all the things in the previous comments, then turn your phone off and back on.

    1. Iaysh

      04/14/2017 at 12:02 pm

      Best method turn your phone off then restart it👍🏻

  5. QueenK

    05/25/2015 at 4:13 pm

    Hey, My name is Kristianna also known as Kris and I having problems with my iPhone it won’t allow apps to access my photos and it keeps freezing and restarting itself and randomly exiting out of apps and when I go to my photos there’s usually nothing there.

    1. Sidrah

      02/05/2016 at 9:39 pm

      This is exactly what is happening to my iPhone 4s… I can’t figure out if it has to do with the fact that my phone is out dated or if it has something to do with the wifi?? I need help!!

  6. Kirsty

    05/31/2015 at 4:02 am

    I tried your reset location thing above but sadly no joy. I can access my camera and take a photo through Instagram however rather annoyingly I cannot access any of my saved photos in an album or photo stream through Instagram. Any suggestions?

  7. jenn

    07/11/2015 at 10:40 am

    hey my instagram says i need to enable access to my photos in order to post things and it seems like nothing is working ive tried deleting and re-installing the instagram app and its not working and i tried turning restrictions off and turning it back on so could anyone please help? thanks

  8. Anna Grace

    07/13/2015 at 6:06 pm

    When you do what you said to do, will it hurt you’re phone in any way, like does it mess with a lot of stuff or is it easy to fix again?

    1. Samantha

      07/20/2015 at 8:36 pm

      I can’t say exactly what this setting will do to every app on your phone. But when I reset Location & Privacy on my phone it did not have any negative side effects. Good luck!

  9. Pat

    07/20/2015 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you so much!!!! Followed your directions and it worked.

    1. Samantha

      07/20/2015 at 8:34 pm

      thanks Pat for letting me know. glad it worked!

  10. Lisa

    07/26/2015 at 6:57 pm

    worked, thank you!!

    1. Samantha

      07/27/2015 at 12:51 pm

      Great, thanks for letting me know!

    2. Samantha Metekingi

      08/26/2015 at 4:31 am

      It hasn’t worked for me so how did it work for you?

      1. Fun size

        09/06/2015 at 12:10 pm

        If you go into settings-general-restrictions put in 4 digit passcode -photos in check the box then it will allow you to do so.

  11. MPD

    09/13/2015 at 12:47 pm

    Thanks so much. You solved my problems. It was the restrictions that needed to be disabled and once I did this, all was great!

    1. Samantha

      09/14/2015 at 1:15 pm

      Glad it worked! Thanks for writing in 🙂

  12. Stephanie

    10/18/2015 at 4:45 pm

    This helped!! Thank you!

  13. Leanne

    10/24/2015 at 11:37 pm

    Power your phone completely off then back on again. That’s what worked for me😊

    1. Samantha

      10/25/2015 at 1:18 am

      Glad that worked! This didn’t do the trick for me, but you’re right, often it does! I should have mentioned that it’s a good idea to try the simple reboot first. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Gareth

    11/17/2015 at 5:36 pm

    Couldn’t save anything from Twitter and tried everything. This finally solved it. Thank you!!

    1. Samantha

      11/19/2015 at 10:06 am

      Great! Thanks for writing in 🙂

  15. Ryan Scheffert

    11/23/2015 at 10:10 am

    Hey, I tried this on my iPod 4 because Minecraft PE couldn’t access my photos, which I need to do because I want to change my MCPE skin. I am using an iPod 4th gen, running iOS 6.1.6. Please help

    1. Samantha

      11/24/2015 at 4:58 pm

      Ryan, is it only Minecraft that can’t access photos or all your apps? Try deleting the app and adding again. I believe this tip was written when I was running iOS 8x. I’m not familiar with iPod, so not sure I can be of much help… sorry 🙁

  16. Orla

    11/23/2015 at 12:49 pm

    Argh. I have tried everything!! Still no luck. I have no camera on any of my apps and I have been trying to work it for the past three days😫 I have tried going through my restrictions in the settings but everything is turned on. Any help???

    1. Samantha

      11/24/2015 at 5:20 pm

      iphoneWhat iOS are you running? (Find this in Settings -> General -> Software Update). Does address book have access to the camera? Try adding a photo to a contact, you should see these options.

  17. Noer

    12/18/2015 at 2:43 pm

    Guys I found the solution for when you can’t get access to photos . Go to settings > General> Restructions> And under photos , check “Allow changes”
    Only then apps will have acess to the photos

  18. Chloe Cunningham

    12/29/2015 at 5:22 pm

    I just went onto my snapchat account about a half hour ago,and it said I need to allow access to photos,so it took me to settings but there was no option to allow access,then went to Instagram and it wouldn’t let me upload a photo because I need access,but again it wouldn’t let me allow it. I tried switching on restrictions and off,deleting the apps,resetting the location and privacy but still no luck. If anyone knows of a way to fix this it would be much appreciated.

    1. brooke kjar

      01/05/2016 at 9:39 pm

      I’m having this exact same issue. so frustrating help please.

  19. Rayne

    01/07/2016 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks it’s worked for mine

    1. Samantha

      01/19/2016 at 10:34 am

      Great! thanks for writing in.

  20. Steve

    01/14/2016 at 12:35 am

    Had same issue. Very frustrating. I had enabled restrictions and made sure everything was allowed. Did the locations and privacy reset. Disabled restrictions then rebooted the phone. This allowed all the apps to access camera, contacts, photos etc.

    1. Samantha

      01/19/2016 at 10:34 am

      Yes so frustrating I know! Glad this worked out for you too.

  21. Kafui Gbetroh

    01/19/2016 at 10:27 am

    Hi there… I have solved my problem. Thanks to you. The best solution to this annoying situation is to reset the privacy and location settings. There is no negative effects but rather it gives u the chance to allow or not allow the app to access your camera, photos and microphone. Thanks one again bro

    1. Samantha

      01/19/2016 at 10:33 am

      You’re welcome Kafui! Glad this worked for you.

  22. Steve

    01/27/2016 at 2:01 pm

    Turning phone on and off after reset phone and location settings really does work

  23. Brianna Welch

    02/01/2016 at 5:01 pm

    I’m trying to get on things like Musical.ly, Instagram, and stuff like that and whenever I try to shoot something, take a picture, or even post something, it doesn’t work!!! It says “Let us access camera.” And it gives me options whether to say “OK” or “Go To Settings” and when I click “Go To Settings” The camera access won’t pop up! It’s not there! Please help! 😱

    1. Sidrah

      02/05/2016 at 9:37 pm

      I am having the exact same problem

    2. Anon😊

      02/07/2016 at 4:43 am

      Well, after I reseted the location services, I tried Turing on & off restrictions, which didn’t work. I turn on and off “allow changes” which didn’t work. I didn’t delete and re-download the apps though. But after trying everything, I simply just shut down my phone and turn it back on. I went to snapchat, and I could finally take pictures. And settings>privacy>photos had snapchat and the rest of the apps on it!

  24. crstsrvn

    02/13/2016 at 7:02 pm

    Resetting locations and privacy and then turning my phone off and back on worked for me. THANK YOU! I spent the majority of the day trying to problem solve this. And here it was so simple! Blessings upon you! 🙂

    1. Samantha

      02/16/2016 at 2:20 pm

      So glad I could help!

  25. Broken101

    02/20/2016 at 3:27 pm

    Will it actually reset any data?

  26. Broken101

    02/20/2016 at 3:31 pm

    Tried it TWICE! Didn’t work :/ Maybe because I’m using iPad? I don’t know, but it’s annoying ;3;

  27. Bssbb

    02/28/2016 at 1:38 pm

    Do everything above turn phone off it works !

    1. Debbie

      06/28/2017 at 11:58 am

      I wish that it DID work! I have done the above hundreds of times on my iPhone 6 and this seems to be the ONLY suggestion/solution offered.

  28. May

    02/29/2016 at 12:33 am

    Ey guys I have the same problem and how do you reset your phone?
    Or on&off it?
    Won’t I lose any of my data and saved items?
    Pls help me!

    1. Jasmine

      07/14/2017 at 2:21 am

      No you wont, only press the bottom one though

  29. Chardonay

    03/01/2016 at 10:02 pm

    Look it work first u turn off your turn off restrictions then go to general and the go to reset click it press your code then reset your settings and private and then confirm it then turn it off then turn back on and then bam

    1. May

      03/09/2016 at 5:35 am

      Thanks man😘

  30. Zhane

    03/20/2016 at 10:29 pm

    Umm please help me 😒 I can’t seem to view the apps when I go to privacy, then an app for example microphone then it opens and I cannot view anything which should be to turn it on😑 Pls help me!

  31. Prince Khan

    09/24/2016 at 2:20 am

    Samanth Thanks a lot.
    It fixed my problem.

  32. Clare

    10/18/2016 at 7:25 am

    Thank you – so glad I found your article it saved the day 🙂

    1. Samantha

      10/18/2016 at 9:32 am

      So glad it helped you! Thanks for writing in.

  33. Laraib

    12/09/2016 at 3:41 am

    I’ve been trying to two days now I’ve tried everything , every time I go to post a picture on Instagram closes same with if I try and change my pfp or send pictures ok dm, it’s letting access to my other apps so I can use the camera for snapchat and twitter but for the Instagram it does even show up in restrictions – photos I don’t know what to do please help

  34. Shams

    02/20/2017 at 6:01 pm

    PLEASE help I’ve tried everything on this thread for the past three days and nothing works it’s so annoying !! X

    1. Jasmine

      07/14/2017 at 2:12 am

      Same 😒😞still not working for me either, shams

  35. Kate

    02/28/2017 at 11:11 am

    I had to turn off all my restrictions to get it to work

  36. rmig

    05/31/2017 at 12:54 am

    Awesome, I had this same problem with snap and now it works. TY!

  37. Priscilla

    06/07/2017 at 10:28 am

    Instagram is showing option ‘Enable Access to photos’ in blue but when I tap it nothing happens , I have tried all the previous options please help

    1. Samantha

      06/09/2017 at 12:48 pm

      Priscilla could you post of screenshot of what you see here?

  38. Logan

    06/26/2017 at 12:01 am

    Have you tried throwing your phone at the wall?

  39. Kaye

    06/26/2017 at 2:46 pm

    I have been trying to do this for an hour, and then I happened upon your blog. Thank you, thank you!

    1. Samantha

      06/26/2017 at 10:42 pm

      You’re welcome Kaye, glad I could help!

      1. Jasmine

        07/14/2017 at 2:30 am

        Thanks! I thought it wouldn’t work because I didn’t see any progress, but after doing this process, i turned my iphone off then on again and it works now!! Thankyou so so soo much!!!

  40. Madi

    07/12/2017 at 12:14 am

    i have tried this many times but it has never worked m y phone won’t even let me allow photos in privacy. Someone help me

    1. Samantha

      07/17/2017 at 11:25 am

      Madi, after you reset location and privacy, try powering your phone down and then back on again. This extra step seems to be helping others. Tell me what happens!

  41. Jasmine

    07/14/2017 at 2:05 am

    This still doesn’t work for me. And I’ve tried everything 😔😔can someone please email me at emeraldcookie121@gmail.com because i need more information on how to do this. Thanks.

    1. Jasmine

      07/14/2017 at 2:31 am

      Update, i turned my iphone off then on again, and now it works!!

  42. Linda De Bella

    08/10/2017 at 1:49 pm

    The key is to power off and then turn back on. Thanks everyone!

  43. LaylaFilms AJ

    09/11/2017 at 12:34 am

    It didn’t work! I did it and I can’t get into yt and I can’t allow photos on IG or yt!

  44. Josh Adams

    09/19/2017 at 11:41 am

    With all due respect to what I’m sure are nothing but the best of intentions, Digital Zen, I suspect that this tip is actually doing more harm than good for most people in that a) this resetting of the Location & Privacy settings might have some unwanted side effects (if you’re going to put that tip out there, the responsible thing to do is to investigate what those side effects might be for people or at least point them to resources where they can investigate for themselves) and b) it seemingly is doesn’t even solve the problem for most people and for those for whom it does solve the problem, it seems it’s likely not the best solution to the problem in most cases. Please edit this post to note that the first thing to try is to simply turn the phone off and back on again (it wouldn’t hurt to force quit all apps before turning the phone off but I’m not sure it’s necessary) as that solution is a) definitively non-destructive and b) seemingly more widely successful. And at that point you can feel free to delete this comment.

    1. Samantha

      09/20/2017 at 1:37 am

      Thanks for writing in Josh! I should have noted that turning my device off and on was the first thing I tried, and more than once at that. No luck.
      The aim of this blog is to simply share tech tips, insights, and fixes that work for me. This is a personal blog that I write in my limited spare time, so I don’t aim to test every combination of device, operating system, software version, browser, etc. that a reader might have. I didn’t experience any unwanted side effect after resetting Location & Privacy, but you’re right, that’s not a guarantee for everyone else who might try it.
      If you know of any specific side effects that we might want to avoid, please share them here.

    2. Samantha

      09/27/2017 at 9:31 pm

      Something else worth mentioning – a reader should look at the post date, which I don’t hide, and see that it was published in Sept 2014 – a million years ago in tech time 🙂 It’s very likely that the issue I had was fixed in subsequent iOS updates. I am going to start including my current hardware/iOS and also add an update to the top of this post. Thanks again for helping me think this through.

  45. Saaj

    09/27/2017 at 10:03 am

    Hey there, ever since updating to iOS 11, I cannot upload a photo via any app. It always says “this app does not have access to your photos, you can change this in privacy settings” when I go to “photos” in the privacy settings, it says “apps that have requested access to your photos will appear here” but there’s nothing there. It’s like it doesn’t realise these apps want to have access to photos and stuff. I deleted Facebook and re-installed it, thinking maybe I clicked “don’t allow” by mistake when it asked to have access. But I Deffo clicked “allow” when re-installing and no change. It’s really annoying me, as I can’t even upload photos to Instagram and that’s the whole point in Instagram!
    I’ve googled it a million times and nobody seems to have the same problem, and if they do they seem to have solved it by going to privacy settings.
    I’ve even went into the separate apps in privacy settings and again it doesn’t seem to realise that the apps even want access to photos.
    Please help!

    1. Samantha

      09/27/2017 at 9:42 pm

      Did you try turning your phone off and then on again? Did you follow the steps outlined in the post to reset Location & Privacy? This is under General settings. It sounds like you were looking in Privacy and specific apps.

    2. Theresa

      10/13/2017 at 12:33 pm

      I experienced and tried everything EXACTLY the same as you, Saaj. Until today. I found this blog, went to General > Restrictions and “Disabled” all restrictions. Now everything works fine. Go figure.

  46. Vilmakaroliina

    10/01/2017 at 1:15 pm

    Does resetting location and privacy delete my pictures or apps?

    1. Samantha

      10/02/2017 at 12:13 pm

      It shouldn’t, and nothing was deleted from my phone when I reset location/privacy (in 2014). Always good to have a backup before making changes just in case.

  47. Vilmakaroliina

    10/02/2017 at 3:06 pm

    I have the same problem, cant allow any of my apps to use camera,photos,microphone etc. i have tried literally everything and now that i found this trick, im just wondering that if i reset location and privacy, will it delete all my apps and media? I havent been able to use any social media for three days now and i need some help real quick.

  48. Vilmakaroliina

    10/02/2017 at 3:08 pm

    Oh, didnt notice your reply, but thank you!!

    1. Samantha

      10/02/2017 at 3:17 pm

      Let me know if it works for you!

  49. Vilmakaroliina

    10/03/2017 at 7:47 am

    It didnt work for me😩 i tried turning my phone off after but it stil doesnt work.. do you know what could be wrong or what mitgth help me with this?

    1. Samantha

      10/03/2017 at 10:13 am

      What iOS are you on… is it up to date? Outside of that, I don’t have any other clues 😐

  50. Theresa Eggleston

    10/04/2017 at 11:52 pm

    I followed all of your steps on my iPhone 6 and I can access Facebook camera, but it still won’t let any of my apps access photos.

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