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Part 1: How to Delete Photos from iCloud on iPhone or iPad

This section helps you to get an answer to an extensively asked question, how to remove photos from iCloud on the iPhone or iPad. Let us start with a simple solution:

Solution 1: Deleting Photos Manually

In this solution, the iPhone user has the option of the photos they want to remove. Just follow the steps given below precisely so that you can free some storage space.

1. First of all, you are supposed to open “Photos.”

2. Find the picture that you want to delete. Hold it longer. A pop-up bar appears where you will click on “Delete.”

3. But, if you want to delete multiple photos, fin

3. But, if you want to delete multiple photos, find a “Select” option, which locates at the right corner of the screen. After that, choose the pictures to delete.

4. Find out the trash bin. Tapping on it will delete the photos from the iPhone or iPad.

This process will delete the photos from the iClou

This process will delete the photos from the iCloud website and other devices as well.


Part 3: How to Delete Photos from iCloud on Mac

When the device storage is struggling, the user often questions himself, how do I delete photos from iCloud? Worry no more as we have planned out a solution for you. Let us have a look at it.

Solution 1: Using iCloud Photo Library on Mac

Here, you will know how to delete multiple photos on iCloud Mac.

1. First, you are supposed to open your “Photos” from Mac.

2. Under the Library section, located on the left side, click on “Photos.”

3. Now, if you want to delete multiple pictures, hold the CTRL-key, and select them. But if you want to delete all the collections, hold the CTRL+A button simultaneously.

4. Now tap on the “Delete” button on the keyboard, located at the top right corner.

Deleting iCloud Photos From Your iPhone

If you want to delete photos from your iCloud, the easiest way to do this is to simply delete them from the Photos library on your iPhone. In order to do this, you’ll have to make sure that your iCloud Photo Library is turned on. Keep in mind that this will delete the photos from your other Apple devices as well.

Here’s how to do it on your iPhone:

Open your photos

Go to the Photos app and tap on the Photos option which is on the lower left, which will show you all of your photos from the most recent at the bottom to older photos at the top.

Click ‘Select’ and tap the photos to delete

Click the Select button which will float in the upper right part of your screen. You may want to start with your oldest photos by scrolling to the top of the screen by tapping once at the top.

Tap the trash can icon and confirm

Once you have tapped Select you can tap to select any photos you want to delete then tap the trash icon in the lower right to delete the photos.

Keep in mind that this doesn’t delete the photos for good. Instead, it just transfers them to the Recently Deleted album.

To completely remove all photos, follow these steps:

Open the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder

Tap on Albums, which is the second tab to the right of photos on your iPhone. Scroll down until you find Recently Deleted Photos

Tap “Delete All” to complete the deletion of the photos

Now your photos will be completely gone. If you don’t follow this step you won’t save any disk space until Photos automatically completes the deletion of “recently deleted” items.

How to Recover Deleted Photos from an iPhone Backup

Backups are your second-best option how to retrieve deleted photos on iPhone. Since there are several different ways how to backup photos on iPhone, we provide three different solutions, and it’s up to you to select the one works best for you.

When recovering deleted photos from iPhone with backups, pay attention to the age of your backups. Always use the most recent backup you have, but don’t delete all older backups. It’s always a good idea to have multiple backups just in case something goes wrong with the main backup.

Follow these steps to recover lost photos from an Since macOS Catalina, the Finder is in charge of iPhone backups and recoveries from them. If this is your first time recovering from an iPhone backup with Finder, you have nothing to worry about because Apple made the process completely painless.

Follow these steps to recover lost photos from an iPhone backup:

Step 1. Launch Finder.

Step 2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.

Step 3. Select your iPhone from the list of locations on the left.

Step 4. Click the Restore iPhone button located in the General tab.

Step 5. Let Finder back up your iPhone before rest

Step 5. Let Finder back up your iPhone before restoring.

Step 6. Click the Restore button to confirm that you’re ready to restore your iPhone from a backup.

How to Recover Deleted Photos via iCloud

via iCloudIf for some reason the photo isn’t in the Photos “Recently Deleted” area, there’s still a chance it can be recovered via iCloud. Here’s how to restore deleted photos on iPhone without backing it up to the computer first:

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to . This provides access to Apple’s cloud services, offered for free.
  2. Log in with your username and password.Once logged in, select “Photos” from the web page.
  3. Once logged in, select “Photos” from the web page.Click the album marked “Recently Deleted”. Now we
  4. Click the album marked “Recently Deleted”. Now we have a list of the photos ready for deletion within the next 40 or less days.Select the photo we want to restore and click “Rec
  5. Select the photo we want to restore and click “Recover”. It’ll be back into our photo albums. It will also be restore onto the iPhone once it syncs with the iCloud service again.

Comparison Table of the Four Restoring Ways

Still unsure about which method to choose – iMyFone D-Back iPhone Data Recovery or Apple solution? Below are the comparisons for you to refer to whenever you need to restore photos from iCloud .

via “Recently Deleted” Folder via iMyFone D-Back via iCloud Photo Library via iCloud Restore
Success rate Low High Medium Medium
Recover deleted Photo without backup Yes Yes No No
Data Loss Yes No Yes Yes
Recovery Time Needed Varies from 20-40 min Varies from 5-10 min Varies from 20-40 min Varies from 40-60 min
Difficulty Easy Easy Complex Complex

What Happens When You Disable iCloud Photos

Apple provides two ways to turn off iCloud Photos. First, you can do it for a single device — the one that you are using (photos stored in iCloud will not be removed) and secondly, you turn it off completely for all the connected devices (pictures stored in iCloud will be removed). Both differ completely, and you need to be careful while using each of them. Here’s detailed information about them.

1. Turn off iCloud Photos on One Device

If you disable iCloud for a single device, the after-effect isn’t simple. It depends on many things especially the two options that Apple offers you. We are talking about ‘Optimize iPhone Storage’ and ‘Download and Keep Originals.’

Before we tell you what happens, it’s important to know how to turn off iCloud Photos.

Turn off iCloud Photos

To disable it on iPhone and iPad, go to Settings. Tap on your name present at the top followed by iCloud.

Then tap on Photos and turn the toggle off for iCl

Then tap on Photos and turn the toggle off for iCloud Photos.

If you notice in the above screenshots, you get th

If you notice in the above screenshots, you get those two options that I mentioned before, i.e., Optimize iPhone Storage and Download and Keep Originals. Now if you disable iCloud Photos here, the result depends on these two options as described below.

Optimize iPhone Storage

If Optimize iPhone/iPad storage is selected, then the chances are that the device saves the most of the photos from your Camera roll in iCloud. This option stores the original file in iCloud and you are only offered a smaller version (less resolution photo) on your iPhone or iPad. It’s quite helpful in saving storage on your iPhone or iPad.

The optimization process is entirely automatic, and Apple’s algorithm decides when to start optimizing and what to optimize. You cannot manually select photos to optimize. The feature comes into action for the photos stored on your iPhone or iPad only when it is running low on storage. But if you add photos from the iCloud website or other connected devices, then it’s always in action.

When you open ‘optimized’ photos on your device, i

When you open ‘optimized’ photos on your device, it accesses the full-resolution photos for you to view, but it doesn’t save them on your device. Things are different for small-sized photos (in KBs) for they are saved in full-resolution on your iPhone too. I’m not sure what exact size Apple considers as big or small.


Now, when this option is selected, and you try to turn off iCloud Photos, two cases arise. First, nothing will happen to your photos on iPhone/iPad, and they will also stay on iCloud. However, for that, the following three things need to hold true:

  1. Your device should not be low on storage.
  2. You shouldn’t have added any media from the iCloud website.
  3. Only one device should be connected to iCloud.

If all the above are present, then the photos will not be deleted from your device. But if any of them doesn’t apply, then you will be offered a pop-up that says optimized photos will be removed from your iPhone/iPad and whether you are interested in downloading them.

If you want to remove them from your iPhone/iPad,

If you want to remove them from your iPhone/iPad, tap on Remove from iPhone/iPad. By doing that, they will be removed from that single device only. You can still access them on iCloud (and other devices if connected).

Choosing the second option, i.e., Download Photos & Videos will download all photos from your iCloud to your phone on which you want to disable iCloud Photos.


Once downloaded, your existing photos will be available on your phone too even after disabling iCloud.

Download and Keep Originals

If this option is selected, things are pretty straightforward. That is, the original high-resolution photos are kept on your device as well as iCloud. It also means that the photos from other connected devices will be downloaded on your iPhone or iPad. It has a drawback that both your iCloud and device storages are being utilized to save the files. Again, you need to have enough storage to keep the original files.

Now, if you turn off iCloud Photos on one device,

Now, if you turn off iCloud Photos on one device, let’s say your iPhone, then all the photos will remain on your iPhone. You can also access them on iCloud and other connected devices such as iPad, Mac, etc. However, any new photo captured from your iPhone will not reflect on iCloud.


To summarize, turning off iCloud Photos will not delete existing photos from iCloud. However, they may be deleted from iPhone/iPad depending on the above two settings. If you accidentally turn off iCloud Photos, don’t worry for your data is safe on iCloud even if it disappears from your iPhone/iPad. Also, any new photo will not sync to iCloud.

2. Disable iCloud Photos on All Devices

If you don’t like using iCloud Photos and want to disable it on all your Apple devices, you get an option for that too. Available as ‘Disable and Delete,’ the feature will necessarily remove all your photos and videos saved in iCloud and free up storage space on iCloud. It will not have any impact on photos/videos stored on the iPhone or iPad, which again depends on the two iCloud settings— Optimize iPhone/iPad Storage and Download and Keep Photos.

You will find this feature under Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage > Photos. When enabled, you will still have access to the media for 30 days so that you can copy or move it to other storage devices or services.

After 30 days, they will be deleted permanently fr

After 30 days, they will be deleted permanently from iCloud, which in turn will remove it from all connected devices. To undo the action, navigate to the same path again, and click on Undo Disable & Delete. Further, you will be notified across platforms on regular intervals to back up your iCloud photos.

When you disable iCloud using this feature, you wi

When you disable iCloud using this feature, you will notice that iCloud Photos is still on. But don’t worry as it doesn’t do anything. That is, any new photo will sync with iCloud. Moreover, iCloud Photos will automatically turn off after 30 days. Think of it as preventive measure where you have paused the iCloud for 30 days after which it will be disabled.

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Dave Johnson Freelance Writer Dave Johnson is a technology journalist who writes about consumer tech and how the industry is transforming the speculative world of science fiction into modern-day real life. Dave grew up in New Jersey before entering the Air Force to operate satellites, teach space operations, and do space launch planning. He then spent eight years as a content lead on the Windows team at Microsoft. As a photographer, Dave has photographed wolves in their natural environment; he’s also a scuba instructor and co-host of several podcasts. Dave is the author of more than two dozen books and has contributed to many sites and publications including CNET, Forbes, PC World, How To Geek, and Insider. Read more Read less


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