How To Delete Photos From iCloud

ICloud is a wonderful place where many people store information safely and securely. One of the greatest assets of this iCloud is the ability to store photographs, lots of photographs. Sometimes people want to get rid of their old photographs and have no record of them for a variety of reasons.

Save space on your HDD with CleanMyMac 2!

ICloud will permanently store all of your photographs for perpetuity without any danger of accidental erasure. However, if you desire you can have you can take certain steps to delete your photographs from iCloud that are also permanent, with no remaining record of these photographs remaining in iCloud.

If you get to the point where you are certain you want to delete photographs from iCloud and are wondering what you have to do to be able to do so, we have discovered there is a variety of different ways you can delete them safely efficiently and effectively.

There are several main ways that usually people will use that people will usually use to delete photos from iCloud, and then there are several alternatives as well. Let's take a look at exactly what you can do to remove the photographs that you no longer want to store in iCloud:

Best Ways to Delete Photos on iCloud

Best Ways to Delete Photos on iCloud

There are a number of different ways to delete photos on iCloud regardless of the reason you want them erased.  Some of them are simple and others are more complex. We have provided a list of them here with instructions on how to complete deleting photos on iCloud.  Let's take a look below:

Before you attempt to delete photographs from your iCloud account you need to take a few preliminary steps.

When you remove photographs from your iCloud account you can do so in the following format:

It depends on the settings that you choose and there are one or two main ways that your settings for iCloud and your iPhone will operate as far as your photo library is concerned. When you turn on your iCloud photo library, there are two specific options to choose from.

  • Optimize iPhone storage

When you select optimize iPhone storage all of your videos and photographs will be stored in iCloud and the optimized versions of photographs are stored in iPhone using this option means that there is no way to delete your photographs from iCloud in this format and setting.

  • Download and keep Originals

When you download your photographs from iCloud onto iPhone, a copy is kept in your iPhone.  if you then delete all of your photographs from iPhone they will be deleted from iCloud as well.

Instructions on How to Manually Delete Photos on iCloud

  • 1
    Turn on phone and open photos application in iCloud.
  • 2
    Tap on the bottom area where it says “photos”.
  • 3
    You will see all the photos and videos displayed.  Tap the “edit” tab located in the upper right-hand corner.
  • 4
    Tap all of the photographs that you wish to have deleted in order to select them.
  • 5
    Tap the “trash“ icon located in the bottom right-hand corner.
  • 6
    Confirm your selections by tapping “delete (x) photos”.

You may also choose to delete the photos using your Mac computer as well as the same application. If you are signed in via iCloud you will find options to delete your photos using this application from there.


Instructions on How to Clear Recently deleted Album

  • 1
    When you are present in the photo app, navigate to the “albums” area located in the bottom of the screen.
  • 2
    Tap the tab named “recently deleted”.
  • 3
    Make sure to tap “select” tab located in the upper right-hand corner.
  • 4
    Tap the tab named “delete all” located in the bottom left-hand corner.
  • 5
    Confirm your choice by selecting “delete (x) items”.

If you are accessing your iCloud account from your Mac computer, there are certain ways you can delete photos from your iCloud account using your iOS.  Besides the steps outlined above used with that application, there are several more you should be aware of. Take a closer look at these here:

  • Delete all photos from iCloud instantly
  • Using the AnyTrans for iOS (and all-in-one data management tool) you can instantly delete all of your iCloud photographs and one series of steps
  • Obtain the AnyTrans for iOS and install and follow the rest of these steps

Steps to using AnyTrans for iOS:

  • Click iCloud content, sign into your iCloud account
  • Scroll down and click on the “photos” tab
  • Click the tab that select all the photographs
  • Click the delete button and all photographs will be instantly deleted

You could also use another method to delete all of your photos from iCloud.  In this one you access the “my photo stream” feature in iCloud and use that to manage photos.  This is how you would use that feature to delete photos:

  • Open photos tab located on devices on devices
  • Tap the albums tab
  • Tap the “my photo stream” tab
  • Tap the “select” tab
  • Tap and select one or more photos
  • Tap on the “trash” icon
  • Tap the “delete photos” tab

Some types of photos won't be deleted when you delete photos through my photo stream. There are three types that will not be deleted effectively using this method:

  • Photos that you copied on into a folder that are not connected to my photo stream.
  • Photos that you imported into your photos or iPhotos on your computer system
  • Photos you copied to your camera roll or photos tab using an iOS device

​Disable your iCloud photo library to delete photos

Photos in the iCloud photo library automatically store there for access from the library from any device at any time. This Library also will organize videos and photos into collections, moments, and years allowing you to find what you're looking for anytime you like.

If you want to delete all of your photos from iCloud you can turn off iCloud photo library to permit more space on your iCloud.

In order to perform this operation, take the following steps:

  • Go to the settings area on devices
  • Tap on the “iCloud” tab
  • Tap on the “iOS storage” tab
  • Tap on the “manage storage” tab
  • Tap on the “iCloud photo library” tab
  • Tap on the “trash” icon

Free Up Storage Space in iCloud by Deleting Photo Backup Files

Sometimes all people are doing is looking for ways to free up storage space on their iCloud and may or may not want to actually temporarily or permanently delete their photos. If you just want to free up some storage space on your iCloud, one thing you can do is delete your backup photo files and that will give you plenty of room.

In order to accomplish this mission, do the following:

  • Tap on “iCloud” tab
  • Tap on “storage” tab
  • Tap on “manage storage” tab
  • Turn off “photo library” tab

When Considering Deleting Photos on iCloud

iCloud has virtually unlimited storage of as many photographs as you would like to store, so you need not worry that there will be too many photographs for the system to handle.

Although you have to pay for storage space on iCloud, unless you have an extremely large volume of photos you would like to delete the storage capacity on an iCloud account is sufficient enough to be able to handle most personal photograph collections.

This would be of course without the additional expense of buying extra data storage or maintaining an extensive amount of data storage that would add up significantly in the long run. Since this is the case you may not want to ever remove any photographs or delete any photographs from iCloud unless you really don't want them in your collections anymore.

There's no reason to remove a photograph from iCloud unless you just don't want it in your possession anymore, and if you don't want to photo as you can see it's not too hard to delete them. There are situations where you would not want to hold on to a photograph, for sure, but you should think it your decision through carefully before you decide to delete any photographs.

Unfortunately, iCloud does not keep any additional data other than what is in your account related to what is in your account, and, without any backup for these files, they are permanently lost when you permanently delete them.

The only exception to this is to use a data recovery program such as PhoneRescue to recover the lost data after you have erased it.  And the only way to recover files in iCloud that have been lost is if you take steps to preserve them before they are lost.

If you want to delete photos from your iCloud account you are free to do so at any time, just be careful and only select the photographs that you wish to permanently erase from your files that you would have no problem in the future that could be that could arise potentially in doing so.

Being certain that you are ready to delete your photos, follow the above steps in your photos will be deleted from iCloud without any issues.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

About the Author

Leave a Reply


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This