Help / FAQ / Public/Private

The Flickr Help pages have moved!

In order to not break the Internet and the various links posted to our Help Forum, we will keep these pages at their current location for archival purposes.

Please check out help.yahoo.com/flickr for the most current help content.

What if I don't want everyone to see my photos?

That's not a problem. Every photo has its own privacy settings. You can make a photo available to everyone (that's public, and includes people visiting the site who aren't Flickr members); make it visible only to your friends, your family, or both your friends and family; or keep it completely private.

Bear in mind that you can always see every image in your own photostream.

You can set a default privacy setting for every photo you upload here.

Changing the privacy level of any photo ("public" --> "friends", or "friends" --> "family") will change the image file name. This ensures that any photo truly becomes private.

Please note that this will "break" any photo that has been blogged elsewhere as the image file will have a new URL.

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How do I set privacy levels on my photos?

Easy! You can specify the privacy level as you upload photos using the form or Uploadr or by email). You can choose: Public, Visible to friends, Visible to family, or Private.

You can also set a default privacy level for all your uploads.

To change the privacy levels on photos you've already uploaded, you have two options: Change the privacy level in the Owner settings section under the Privacy heading on the right of the photo page, or batch them in Organizr, then click "Permissions" and select "Who can see, comment, tag?"

As of April 20, 2007, changing the privacy level of any photo ("public" --> "friends", or "friends" --> "family") will change the image file name. This ensures that any photo truly becomes private.

Please note that this will "break" any photo that has been blogged elsewhere as the image file will have a new URL.

Privacy Uploading by Email

With our upload system, you can add a little bit of text (the pink bits below) to your Flickr email address (the green bits below) to set privacy levels as you upload. These permissions will override the default upload permissions you set here.

Let's say your magic email address is foo13bar@photos.flickr.com. Then you could use:

foo13bar+friends@photos.flickr.com - Visible to friends

foo13bar+family@photos.flickr.com - Visible to family

foo13bar+ff@photos.flickr.com - Visible to friends and family

foo13bar+private@photos.flickr.com - Only visible to you

foo13bar+public@photos.flickr.com - Visible to everyone

Tip: Save the addresses you use frequently to your address book so you can email on the fly.

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Can anyone leave a comment?

Most of the time, yes -- any Flickr member can leave a comment unless you say you don't want them to. We recommend that any Flickr user be able to comment on your photos... but you don't have to go that way if you don't want to.

In your account area you can specify default settings for what you'd like most of the time. You can change the setting for individual photos.

Please note, adding an image to a group will override your comment preferences and allow people in the group to add notes and comments.

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I've uploaded photos and made them public. Where do they show up?

All sorts of places!

One page shows you all the photos uploaded to Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/

Your photo will also show up for your contacts, in a special list that shows them all photos uploaded by their contacts:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/friends/

Photos on this page will also be governed by your relationships to your contacts and how you set privacy on a photo. For example, you upload a photo and set it to be visible to your family. Your contacts who you marked as family can see that photo. Other Flickr members can't.

Your public photos will show up in tag pages, too. And if one of your photos is really interesting, it might show up on the Explore page!

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Can I make a public photo private again?

Yes. The privacy setting you associate with a photo is completely flexible. You can show or hide any photo anytime you like.

Note: Changing something from public to private will remove favourites that have accumulated. This is because a favourite is like a bookmark, and if you change the privacy so someone no longer has access, they shouldn't be able to view it any longer.

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Or, return to the main help page.