Smartphones help with everything from reminders to business, but one of their main draws is the ability to take and save photos instantly. If you’re like me, you have so many pictures on your phone that you probably forget about most of them. That’s a lot of clutter, and those photos are taking up valuable space on my phone. I found myself asking, “How do I delete photos from my iPhone?” There has to be an easy way, right? I decided to do some research, which led me to create this step-by-step guide to clearing space on your phone.
How Do I Delete Photos from My iPhone - Deleting Photos
I got tired of looking through duplicate pictures of the 100-some sunsets that I don’t even remember taking. Luckily, the iPhone makes it easy to delete those.
Here’s the short version:
Simple, right? That’s all there is to deleting photos off your iPhone. At least, it seems simple to me now.
Before I knew what to do, it seemed a lot more complicated than that. If you’re asking yourself, “How do I delete photos from my iPhone,” then this step by-step guide will walk you through it.
Step 1: Starting from Scratch
The first step to deleting photos from iPhone is knowing what you want to delete. I didn’t realize I had this problem until I was trying to find a photo from my sister’s birthday and ended up lost in a sea of useless photos I never even posted online.
I didn’t need to know every single image I wanted to get rid of, but it helped to know that I did want to delete quite a few. So, I made the time to do it. All in all, it took me about five minutes to complete. It might take you longer depending on how many photos you have, though.
Step 2: Digging In
I started by opening my photos app. If you're new to iPhones, this is the color wheel icon that looks kind of like a rainbow flower. It also says “Photos” underneath the icon if you’re unsure. When the next screen opens up, you’ll see the photos you’ve taken separated by the date you snapped the picture. Don’t worry about scrolling through all of them just yet. The first thing you want to do is tap the word “Select” in the top right corner. It sits next to the magnifying glass icon.
Now that you are in select mode, you can begin tapping on all the photos you want to delete. Keep scrolling down through your albums and select any you want to get rid of. There’s no limit to how many you can choose, so feel free to go crazy.
Step 3: The Long, Long Process
If you have dozens of photos, it could take you a while to select all the ones you want to delete. While it took me five minutes, I also kept a lot of my pictures. Take your time and go through everything if you want to clear up the most space.
Step 4: To the Trash
Once you select your photos, it’s time to throw them away. To do this, just tap the delete button. You won’t see any words that say Delete though. Instead, the iPhone has an icon that looks like a trash can in the bottom right corner of the screen.
A prompt will pop up asking you if you really want to delete these pictures. It says, “Delete X Photos,” in red, with X being the number you select. Tap the red words, and you’ve successfully deleted your pictures from your iPhone.
How Do I Delete Photos from My iPhone - Deleting Albums
Instead of searching through each picture, you can choose to delete entire albums to save time. Theprocess is almost identical, save a few changes. To get started, open up your Photos app and tap on albums in the bottom right corner.
Instead of tapping Select, press Edit in the top right corner. It’s in the same place that Select was in the previous steps. Now, you should see a minus sign in a red circle next to each album. Press this icon to delete any album you wish.
Just like before, a prompt will pop up asking if you want to remove the album. Press the red words that say, “Delete Album,” and you’re done. Every picture inside will be removed from your Photos app.
How Do I Delete Photos from My iPhone - Recovering Deleted Photos
While I was busy deleting my pictures, I accidentally got rid of a few that I wanted to keep. It’s an easy mistake to make. Luckily, there’s a simple process to recover those images.
Start by launching the Photos app and tapping on Albums as you did before. In black at the bottom of your albums, the phone will say, “Recently Deleted.” Tap on that to get started. Keep in mind that you might have to scroll up or down to find it.
After pressing Recently Deleted, your iPhone takes you to a screen that contains the photos you chose to remove. Whether you got rid of whole albums or individual images, they all end up here. In the top right of the screen under your battery icon, tap on Select to start choosing which images to recover. You can tap on each picture like you did when deleting them. Each one will receive a blue check mark, highlighting the images you want to recover. When you’re done, tap the word Recover in blue on the bottom right of the screen.
A prompt will come up just like before, this time asking if you want to recover the photos. The words “Recover Photos” will appear in red. Tap on that, an your images will make their way back to your photo library.
This isn’t a fix all, however. Any photo you delete is only stored for 30 days. After that period, they’re lost forever. I found that the 30-day hold was helpful. It gave me enough time to realize that I had removed images I wanted to keep, which I regret to admit took me over a week.
Removing Pictures Permanently
While doing my research, I found a way to delete photos from your phone permanently. This eliminates the 30-day period where the iPhone saves them. A lot of people found this useful after a breakup if friends took a bunch of silly pictures when they weren’t looking, or just to instantly free up space.
To do this, you need to start by deleting the images and albums you want to get rid of normally. This moves them into the Recently Deleted folder inside the Photos app. Once you’ve done that, you can get started.
In the Photos app, tap on Albums in the bottom right corner of the screen. Head into the Recently Deleted folder, then tap select in the top right corner. Just like you did for recovering these photos, select each one you want to delete permanently. Once you’re finished with your selection, tap Delete in the bottom left of the screen. Another prompt pops up with the words “Delete X Photos” in red. Press the red words, and the photos you selected are erased from your phone’s storage forever.
Remember that this is a permanent action. I searched far and wide to see if there was a way to recover photos after following these steps, and there simply isn’t one. So, be careful when selecting photos to delete permanently. You don’t want to get rid of something on accident.
That’s everything there is to know about removing images from your iPhone and freeing up storage space. At least, that’s everything I found after searching the internet for a few hours. While you won’t find this guide in any handbook, you can refer to this article anytime you need to.
The best part of knowing how to delete your photos is the amount of space it opens up for other apps on your phone. One picture can take up almost 4MB of space. While that isn’t a lot, hundreds of them can start to make an impact on your phone’s performance.
That doesn’t include videos, either, which can take up a ridiculous amount of space. If you want to delete videos, follow the steps in this guide just like you would for a photo. It works the same way. Share your knowledge, too! The next time someone asks you, “How do I delete photos from my iPhone,” you’ll have the answer.
featured image source: pixabay.com