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API Reference

MediaLibrary

expo-media-library provides access to the user's media library, allowing them to access their existing images and videos from your app, as well as save new ones. You can also subscribe to any updates made to the user's media library.
⚠️
If your Android app created an album using SDK <= 40 and you want to add more assets to this album, you may need to migrate it to the new scoped directory. Otherwise, your app won't have access to the old album directory and expo-media-library won't be able to add new assets to it. However, all other functions will work without problems. You only need to migrate the old album if you want to add something to it. For more information, check out Android R changes and MediaLibrary.migrateAlbumIfNeededAsync.

Platform Compatibility

Android DeviceAndroid EmulatoriOS DeviceiOS SimulatorWeb

Installation

expo install expo-media-library

If you're installing this in a bare React Native app, you should also follow these additional installation instructions.

You can configure expo-media-library using its built-in config plugin if you use config plugins in your project (EAS Build or expo run:[android|ios]). The plugin allows you to configure various properties that cannot be set at runtime and require building a new app binary to take effect.
Are you using the classic build system? (expo build:[android|ios])
Are you using this library in a bare React Native app?
Learn how to configure the native projects in the installation instructions in the expo-media-library repository.

{
  "expo": {
    "plugins": [
      [
        "expo-media-library",
        {
          "photosPermission": "Allow $(PRODUCT_NAME) to access your photos.",
          "savePhotosPermission": "Allow $(PRODUCT_NAME) to save photos.",
          "isAccessMediaLocationEnabled": true
        }
      ]
    ]
  }
}

NameDefaultDescription
photosPermission"Allow $(PRODUCT_NAME) to access your photos."iOS only Sets the iOS `NSPhotoLibraryUsageDescription` permission message in Info.plist.
savePhotosPermission"Allow $(PRODUCT_NAME) to save photos."iOS only Sets the iOS `NSPhotoLibraryAddUsageDescription` permission message in Info.plist.
isAccessMediaLocationEnabledfalseAndroid only Sets whether or not to request the `ACCESS_MEDIA_LOCATION` permission on Android.

import * as MediaLibrary from 'expo-media-library';

Type: MediaTypeObject

Possible media types.

Type: SortByObject

Supported keys that can be used to sort getAssetsAsync results.

  • options? (PermissionHookOptions<{ writeOnly: boolean }>)

Check or request permissions to access the media library. This uses both requestPermissionsAsync and getPermissionsAsync to interact with the permissions.

Example

const [status, requestPermission] = MediaLibrary.usePermissions();

  • [null | PermissionResponse, RequestPermissionMethod<PermissionResponse>, GetPermissionMethod<PermissionResponse>]

  • assets (AssetRef | AssetRef[]) - An array of Asset or their IDs.
  • album (AlbumRef) - An Album or its ID.
  • copy (boolean) - Android only. Whether to copy assets to the new album instead of move them. Defaults to true.

Adds array of assets to the album.

On Android, by default it copies assets from the current album to provided one, however it's also possible to move them by passing false as copyAssets argument.In case they're copied you should keep in mind that getAssetsAsync will return duplicated assets.

Returns promise which fulfils with true if the assets were successfully added to the album.


Checks if the album should be migrated to a different location. In other words, it checks if the application has the write permission to the album folder. If not, it returns true, otherwise false.

Note: For Android below R, web or iOS, this function always returns false.

Returns a promise which fulfils with true if the album should be migrated.


  • albumName (string) - Name of the album to create.
  • asset? (AssetRef) - An Asset or its ID (required on Android).
  • copyAsset (boolean) - Android Only. Whether to copy asset to the new album instead of move it. Defaults to true.

Creates an album with given name and initial asset. The asset parameter is required on Android, since it's not possible to create empty album on this platform. On Android, by default it copies given asset from the current album to the new one, however it's also possible to move it by passing false as copyAsset argument. In case it's copied you should keep in mind that getAssetsAsync will return duplicated asset.

Newly created Album.


  • localUri (string) - A URI to the image or video file. It must contain an extension. On Android it must be a local path, so it must start with file:///

Creates an asset from existing file. The most common use case is to save a picture taken by Camera. This method requires CAMERA_ROLL permission.

Example

const { uri } = await Camera.takePictureAsync();
const asset = await MediaLibrary.createAssetAsync(uri);

A promise which fulfils with an object representing an Asset.


  • albums (AlbumRef | AlbumRef[]) - An array of Albums or their IDs.
  • assetRemove (boolean) - iOS Only. Whether to also delete assets belonging to given albums. Defaults to false.

Deletes given albums from the library. On Android by default it deletes assets belonging to given albums from the library. On iOS it doesn't delete these assets, however it's possible to do by passing true as deleteAssets.

Returns a promise which fulfils with true if the albums were successfully deleted from the library.


Deletes assets from the library. On iOS it deletes assets from all albums they belong to, while on Android it keeps all copies of them (album is strictly connected to the asset). Also, there is additional dialog on iOS that requires user to confirm this action.

Returns promise which fulfils with true if the assets were successfully deleted.


  • title (string) - Name of the album to look for.

Queries for an album with a specific name.

An object representing an Album, if album with given name exists, otherwise returns null.


Queries for user-created albums in media gallery.

A promise which fulfils with an array of Albums. Depending on Android version, root directory of your storage may be listed as album titled "0" or unlisted at all.


Provides more information about an asset, including GPS location, local URI and EXIF metadata.

(#assetinfo) object, which is an Asset extended by an additional fields.


Fetches a page of assets matching the provided criteria.

A promise that fulfils with to PagedInfo object with array of Assets.


iOS Only. Fetches a list of moments, which is a group of assets taken around the same place and time.

An array of albums whose type is moment.


  • writeOnly (boolean)

Checks user's permissions for accessing media library.

A promise that fulfils with PermissionResponse object.


Returns whether the Media Library API is enabled on the current device.

A promise which fulfils with a boolean, indicating whether the Media Library API is available on the current device.


Moves album content to the special media directories on Android R or above if needed. Those new locations are in line with the Android scoped storage - so your application won't lose write permission to those directories in the future.

This method does nothing if:

  • app is running on iOS, web or Android below R
  • app has write permission to the album folder

The migration is possible when the album contains only compatible files types. For instance, movies and pictures are compatible with each other, but music and pictures are not. If automatic migration isn't possible, the function will be rejected. In that case, you can use methods from the expo-file-system to migrate all your files manually.

Why do you need to migrate files?

Android R introduced a lot of changes in the storage system. Now applications can't save anything to the root directory. The only available locations are from the MediaStore API. Unfortunately, the media library stored albums in folders for which, because of those changes, the application doesn't have permissions anymore. However, it doesn't mean you need to migrate all your albums. If your application doesn't add assets to albums, you don't have to migrate. Everything will work as it used to. You can read more about scoped storage in the Android documentation.

A promise which fulfils to void.


Available only on iOS >= 14. Allows the user to update the assets that your app has access to. The system modal is only displayed if the user originally allowed only limited access to their media library, otherwise this method is a no-op.

A promise that either rejects if the method is unavailable (meaning the device is not running iOS >= 14), or resolves to void.

Note: This method doesn't inform you if the user changes which assets your app has access to. For that information, you need to subscribe for updates to the user's media library using addListener(listener). If hasIncrementalChanges is false, the user changed their permissions.

Removes given assets from album.

On Android, album will be automatically deleted if there are no more assets inside.

Returns promise which fulfils with true if the assets were successfully removed from the album.


  • writeOnly (boolean)

Asks the user to grant permissions for accessing media in user's media library.

A promise that fulfils with PermissionResponse object.


  • localUri (string) - A URI to the image or video file. It must contain an extension. On Android it must be a local path, so it must start with file:///.

Saves the file at given localUri to the user's media library. Unlike createAssetAsync(), This method doesn't return created asset. On iOS 11+, it's possible to use this method without asking for CAMERA_ROLL permission, however then yours Info.plist should have NSPhotoLibraryAddUsageDescription key.

  • listener ((event: MediaLibraryAssetsChangeEvent) => void) - A callback that is fired when any assets have been inserted or deleted from the library, or when the user changes which assets they're allowing access to. On Android it's invoked with an empty object. On iOS it's invoked with MediaLibraryAssetsChangeEvent object.

Subscribes for updates in user's media library.

An Subscription object that you can call remove() on when you would like to unsubscribe the listener.


NameTypeDescription
approximateLocation
(optional)
LocationiOS Only. Apply only to albums whose type is 'moment'. Approximated location of all assets in the moment.
assetCountnumberEstimated number of assets in the album
endTimenumberiOS Only. Apply only to albums whose type is 'moment'. Latest creation timestamp of all assets in the moment.
idstring-
locationNames
(optional)
string[]iOS Only. Apply only to albums whose type is 'moment'. Names of locations grouped in the moment.
startTimenumberiOS Only. Apply only to albums whose type is 'moment'. Earliest creation timestamp of all assets in the moment.
titlestring-
type
(optional)
AlbumTypeiOS Only. The type of the assets album.

Acceptable values are: Album, string.

string - Acceptable values are: 'album', 'moment', 'smartAlbum'.

NameTypeDescription
includeSmartAlbums
(optional)
boolean-

NameTypeDescription
albumId
(optional)
stringAndroid Only. Album ID that the asset belongs to.
creationTimenumberFile creation timestamp.
durationnumberDuration of the video or audio asset in seconds.
filenamestringFilename of the asset.
heightnumberHeight of the image or video.
idstringInternal ID that represents an asset.
mediaSubtypes
(optional)
MediaSubtype[]iOS Only. An array of media subtypes.
mediaTypeMediaTypeValueMedia type.
modificationTimenumberLast modification timestamp.
uristringURI that points to the asset. assets://* (iOS), file://* (Android)
widthnumberWidth of the image or video.

Asset extended by:

NameTypeDescription
exif
(optional)
objectEXIF metadata associated with the image.
isFavorite
(optional)
booleaniOS Only. Whether the asset is marked as favorite.
isNetworkAsset
(optional)
booleaniOS Only. This field is available only if flag shouldDownloadFromNetwork is set to false. Whether the asset is stored on the network (iCloud on iOS)
localUri
(optional)
stringLocal URI for the asset.
location
(optional)
LocationGPS location if available.
orientation
(optional)
numberiOS Only. Display orientation of the image. Orientation is available only for assets whose mediaType is MediaType.photo. Value will range from 1 to 8, see EXIF orientation specification for more details.

Acceptable values are: Asset, string.

NameTypeDescription
after
(optional)
AssetRefAsset ID of the last item returned on the previous page.
album
(optional)
AlbumRefAlbum or its ID to get assets from specific album.
createdAfter
(optional)
Date | numberDate object or Unix timestamp in milliseconds limiting returned assets only to those that were created after this date.
createdBefore
(optional)
Date | numberSimilarly as createdAfter, but limits assets only to those that were created before specified date.
first
(optional)
numberThe maximum number of items on a single page.

Default: `20`
mediaType
(optional)
MediaTypeValue[] | MediaTypeValueAn array of MediaTypeValues or a single MediaTypeValue.

Default: `MediaType.photo`
sortBy
(optional)
SortByValue[] | SortByValueAn array of SortByValues or a single SortByValue value. By default, all keys are sorted in descending order, however you can also pass a pair [key, ascending] where the second item is a boolean value that means whether to use ascending order. Note that if the SortBy.default key is used, then ascending argument will not matter. Earlier items have higher priority when sorting out the results. If empty, this method will use the default sorting that is provided by the platform.

NameTypeDescription
latitudenumber-
longitudenumber-

NameTypeDescription
shouldDownloadFromNetwork
(optional)
booleanWhether allow the asset to be downloaded from network. Only available in iOS with iCloud assets.

Default: `true`

NameTypeDescription
deletedAssets
(optional)
Asset[]Available only if hasIncrementalChanges is true. Array of Assets that have been deleted from the library.
hasIncrementalChangesbooleanWhether the media library's changes could be described as "incremental changes". true indicates the changes are described by the insertedAssets, deletedAssets and updatedAssets values. false indicates that the scope of changes is too large and you should perform a full assets reload (eg. a user has changed access to individual assets in the media library).
insertedAssets
(optional)
Asset[]Available only if hasIncrementalChanges is true. Array of Assets that have been inserted to the library.
updatedAssets
(optional)
Asset[]Available only if hasIncrementalChanges is true. Array of Assets that have been updated or completed downloading from network storage (iCloud on iOS).

string - Acceptable values are: 'depthEffect', 'hdr', 'highFrameRate', 'livePhoto', 'panorama', 'screenshot', 'stream', 'timelapse'.

NameTypeDescription
audio'audio'-
photo'photo'-
unknown'unknown'-
video'video'-

string - Acceptable values are: 'audio', 'photo', 'video', 'unknown'.

NameTypeDescription
assetsT[]A page of Assets fetched by the query.
endCursorstringID of the last fetched asset. It should be passed as after option in order to get the next page.
hasNextPagebooleanWhether there are more assets to fetch.
totalCountnumberEstimated total number of assets that match the query.

Acceptable values are: 'never', number.

Acceptable values are: PermissionHookBehavior, Options.

EXPermissionResponse extended by:

NameTypeDescription
accessPrivileges
(optional)
'all' | 'limited' | 'none'Indicates if your app has access to the whole or only part of the photo library. Possible values are:
  • 'all' if the user granted your app access to the whole photo library
  • 'limited' if the user granted your app access only to selected photos (only available on iOS 14.0+)
  • 'none' if user denied or hasn't yet granted the permission

string - Acceptable values are: 'default', 'mediaType', 'width', 'height', 'creationTime', 'modificationTime', 'duration'.

NameTypeDescription
creationTime'creationTime'-
default'default'-
duration'duration'-
height'height'-
mediaType'mediaType'-
modificationTime'modificationTime'-
width'width'-

Acceptable values are: [SortByKey, boolean], SortByKey.

NameTypeDescription
remove() => voidA method to unsubscribe the listener.

NameTypeDescription
canAskAgainboolean-
expiresPermissionExpiration-
grantedboolean-
statusPermissionStatus-

  • PermissionStatus.DENIED : "denied"
  • PermissionStatus.GRANTED : "granted"
  • PermissionStatus.UNDETERMINED : "undetermined"

The following permissions are added automatically through this library's AndroidManifest.xml.
Android PermissionDescription

Allows an application to read from external storage.

Allows an application to write to external storage.

The following usage description keys are used by this library:
Info.plist KeyDescription

A message that tells the user why the app is requesting access to the user’s photo library.

A message that tells the user why the app is requesting add-only access to the user’s photo library.