Xcode: How to ask for user permission to access photo library?

Protecting user data privacy stands as a critical pillar in iOS application development. Despite the potential need for additional lines of code and ongoing maintenance, this aspect must never be compromised. Users are increasingly aware of the data being gathered by applications and exhibit a heightened sense of caution regarding unauthorized access to their iPhone resources.

This can easily be achieved by adding some lines of code in “info.plist” file in your Xcode project.

Just open up your project in Xcode, and look to the right pane, the “file”Project navigator”. Locate the file “Info.plist”. Add a new entry at the direct sub-level of “Information Property List”. From the list choose “Privacy – Photo Library Usage Description”. On the right side of this entry, provide a text description which will be presented to the end user.

Xcode will take care of the rest. The first time your app needs to access the user’s photo library, iOS will prompt your customized message to the end user, asking for their blessing. This is as easy as it was to how to ask for user permission for photo library access. You may replicate this for other types of access.

Alternatively, if you are a hard-core developer and like to modify source code, you may follow these steps below: “How to ask for user permission using source code”?

To ask for photo library access permission in Xcode, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open your Xcode project and locate the Info.plist file.
  2. Right-click on the Info.plist file and select “Open As” -> “Source Code.”
  3. In the Info.plist source code, add the following key-value pair:
<string>Our app needs access to your photo library to [provide specific functionality or reason]</string>

Replace [provide specific functionality or reason] with a clear and concise explanation of why your app requires access to the user’s photo library.

  1. Save and close the Info.plist file.
  2. In your code, where you need to request photo library access, you can use the PHPhotoLibrary class from the Photos framework. Import the framework at the top of your file:
import Photos
  1. To request photo library access, you can use the following code snippet:
PHPhotoLibrary.requestAuthorization { status in
    switch status {
    case .authorized:
        // Access to photo library granted
    case .denied, .restricted:
        // Access to photo library denied or restricted by user
    case .notDetermined:
        // User has not yet made a choice
    @unknown default:
  1. Based on the authorization status received in the completion handler, you can handle different scenarios accordingly under each “case” statement.

Make sure to provide a clear and meaningful usage description in step 3 to explain to users why your app needs access to their photo library. This description will be displayed to the user when the permission dialog is shown, and it plays an essential role in gaining their trust and ensuring user data privacy.