How could you ever get by without your iPhone? They are indispensable for business communications, calendars, travel, personal connections – even making phone calls (sometimes it’s hard to remember that was the initial purpose of cell phones).
iPads fall into the same category as a tool we’ve learned to apply for everyday living – including everything from mission-critical business applications to educational and entertaining devices for young children.
Not only are these devices powerful and useful for their amazing technical features, but their built-in cameras take great pictures. They’re perfect for selfies, sharing personal and family activities, showing friends what you’re having for dinner, and taking videos of cute kids or cats playing the piano.
In fact, snapping quality photographs is now so easy and convenient that you may find yourself filling up your iPhone’s storage in no time.
When that happens, a little housekeeping is in order. There are likely many photos and videos on your iPhone and iPad that you no longer want or need, photos that are near duplicates, or some that are no longer relevant enough to retain. They eat up space on your devices, and make it harder to find the photos you’re really interested in.
Apple has made it simple to determine how much remaining space you have available. Just access the information through Settings>General>Device Storage.
So how do you quickly and easily get rid of unwanted photos from your iPad and iPhone, to free up space for more? It’s not really difficult to become proficient in how to delete photos from your iPhone and iPad devices.
Deleting Photos From Your Devices
Basic functions for deleting individual photos from your iPhone or iPad are simple tasks:
Find the photo you no longer need in the Photos app, and tap the trash icon.
The quickest way to find the photos to be cleaned out is by selecting the Camera Roll or All Albums. Once you tap the trash icon, the photo vanishes to your Recently Deleted album. Want the photo back? You have 30 days to change your mind and retrieve it, before the OS will remove it from the deleted album for good.
To delete multiple images at one time, simply tap all videos or photos to be deleted, then tap trash to remove them all. If you’re running iOS 10 or later, it’s even easier to delete a group of photos by touching, holding, and swiping to select a range to be deleted when you tap the trash icon.
Remember that if you’re utilizing the iCloud Photo Library, deleting from one device will mean each device that you use with the same Apple ID will also delete the photo or video.
If you’re anxious to get rid of the photos from your Recently Deleted album before the 30-day automatic clean-out, you can utilize the same basic steps to remove them permanently:
- Open the Photos app
- Go to the Albums tab, select the Recently Deleted album and open it
- Tap each photo to be deleted, then tap Delete
Use caution – deleting from the Recently Deleted album means they are gone from your device for good.
Take Precautions – Backup Photos Before Deleting
Especially if you plan on deleting a large volume of photos or videos from your devices, it’s wise to make a backup copy before purging them from your systems. It’s important to understand how to delete photos from your iPhone or iPad, but it’s even more important to do so without losing important
Apple support provides details on how to safely and securely backup your photos and videos to your Mac or PC to retain a copy, before you begin cleaning up your iPad and iPhone.
Image Capture utility on your Mac is an easy way to import all your iPhone or iPad’s photos, copying them securely to the computer. Simply:
- Connect your device to your Mac with the synch cable and launch Image Capture
- Select your device from the displayed Image Capture Devices available
- Choose a folder to house the imported images – pick from the presented options, or name your own
- Click Import All, and your iPhone’s Camera Roll images are transferred to the folder you selected
If you want to then delete them all from the iPhone, use the Command/A function to select all photos, and press Delete. Confirming the request will delete them all from your iPhone.
If you already have your photos backed up, or just want to quickly delete the images in your Camera Roll without importing, you can skip the import steps and just take the Command/A to select then delete all photos.
Caution – Image Capture removes your photos without moving them to the Recently Deleted album or trash. Once you confirm the request, your images are gone.
What If You Change Your Mind?
Remember that 30-day storage in the Recently Deleted album? That’s your second chance to get them back, if you change your mind or accidentally trashed photos you want.
Getting them back within the 30-day limit is as easy as deleting:
- Open the Photos app and navigate to the Albums tab
- Select the Recently Deleted album and open it
- Simply tap the images or videos you want to recover
- Tap Recover and then confirm your choice to recover the selected items
Your selected photos will be restored to the All Photos album.
Clearing Everything From Your iPad Or iPhone
There may be times when you need to start fresh, cleaning out all photos, videos, contacts, and everything you’ve saved on your device.
Examples could be if you’re trading in your iPhone or selling it to another party.
In such instances, Apple has provided an easy way to perform a total reset of your device. This is an extreme step to take, naturally. This process resets your iPhone or iPad to original factory settings from photos to contacts and calendar information.
Does This Work For All Photos?
No, there’s a catch. If you’ve loaded photos from iTunes instead of taking them with your iPad or iPhone, they are not eligible for deletion through this process.
To delete photos synched from iTunes:
- Connect your device to your computer, and start iTunes
- Click on your device within iTunes
- Go to the Photos tab, and choose Selected Albums
- Deselect the albums or photos you want to delete from your device
- Click Apply
More Tips For Bulk Deleting
There are other bulk methods that can be applied for how to delete photos from your iPhone or iPad.
Quite often, you’ll find that you want to delete everything from a certain period of time. That’s where the Moments view of your photos comes in handy.
Select the Moments view, and go to the Moment you want to clean up. You can also delete an entire Moment by selecting it, and clicking the trash icon.
Using the Moments view facilitates ease of deleting vs. scanning through your entire Camera Roll.
There are apps available for download that make the process easy. One of these is Gemini Photos. You can clean out all your photos quickly and easily:
- Download the Gemini Photos app (it’s free), then install and launch it
- Tap on the Menu icon
- Scroll until you see the Delete All Photos option
- Tap the icon to execute the delete function
You get a confirmation prompt to make sure you really want to do this – good idea.
Gemini Photos includes options to remove similar photos to clean up images where you took multiple shots of the same thing, and another function to remove blurry photos. Premium features result in a monthly charge, but the free functions cover the basics of what you may need.
Alpaca is another app for ease of cleaning up your iPhone’s Camera Roll quickly, freeing up storage and eliminating clutter you no longer want or need.
If you’re an iCloud user, you benefit from the synching of your photos to all your devices. In addition, deleting photos from one device also synchs the delete to iCloud and your devices. Your photos are removed from iCloud, as well.
There could be a time where you want to discontinue use of iCloud, deciding to delete the photos stored in iCloud. You, of course, want to save your photos on your iPhone or iPad. To remove your iCloud images:
- Go to Settings>Photos and turn off iCloud Photo Library
- Log into your iCloud account, where you can access and delete your files
Before taking that step, determine if you have Optimize Storage setting enabled. If so, your iPhone only contains lower-resolution copies of your photos, with the full-resolution originals saved in iCloud. This is to reduce storage consumption on your device.
When you switch off the iCloud Photo Library, you’ll be asked if you want to download the original versions. If you confirm the request, all your iCloud photos will start downloading.
Be sure you have plenty of time, storage, and battery power available for the download to complete.
Keeping Your Photos Organized
You’re probably as prone to snapping multiple photos of the same thing to get that “perfect” picture as anyone.
How often do you take the time delete the versions that are not so perfect? Following the above steps for how to delete photos from your iPhone or iPad will help eliminate the many images that you don’t really need to retain.
Using these tips, apps, and utilities, combined with the discipline to put them in practice, will give you the most available storage on your iPhone and iPad, and will keep your Camera Roll as clean as possible.