Of course, you know how to delete photos from your iPhone. We all do. It’s so basic even my mom can do it without having to ask for directions.
Yet, deleting pictures directly from your iPhone can be a tedious task if your ultimate goal is to batch remove hundreds, maybe even thousands of photos.
In this post, we will show you how to delete photos from the iPhone photo library on iOS. We will explore the various options we have for not only deleting photos one by one but also for deleting all pictures from an iPhone at once.
All this information applies to the iPad too. The process is exactly the same, no matter if you want to delete photos from your iPad or iPhone. If you want to delete photos from your iPad, just follow the instructions below, and you’ll be all set.
If you think you already know it all, I encourage you to take a peek at this post because you might still learn a thing or two.
Delete iPhone photos one by one
Chances are you already know how to delete individual photos from your iPhone or iPad, but for the sake of providing comprehensive information, we will explain how to do that here anyway.
1) Launch the Photos application.
2) Tap Albums and go inside one or tap Library.
3) Tap the photo you want to delete.
4) Tap the Trash icon at the lower right corner of the screen.
5) Your iPhone or iPad will ask you to confirm whether you really want to delete the photo or if you want to cancel. Tap Delete Photo. The photo will be deleted from your iPhone for good.
Delete multiple photos directly from iPhone or iPad
There are two ways to quickly delete multiple photos at once from your iPhone. The first way has you manually select each and every picture you want to delete. The other way will be described in the next section.
1) Launch the Photos application.
2) Tap Albums and go to Recents.
3) Hit the Select button in the upper right corner of the screen.
4) Tap to select each photo you want to delete. To make selecting photos faster, you can also slide your finger across the screen to quickly select a row of 5 photos, for example. Even better, you can start swiping your finger down to quickly select multiple rows of photos at once. Very powerful stuff! Read more: How to select multiple photos at once on iPhone or iPad
5) Once you have selected all the photos you want to remove from your iPhone, tap the Trash icon in the lower right corner of the screen.
6) You will be asked to confirm to delete the pictures one last time before your pics are deleted forever.
Quickly select and delete multiple photos
The other way to quickly select and delete several photos from your iPhone at once is a little less known but is still pretty effective as it allows you to select multiple photos in one tap. Here’s how:
1) Launch the Photos application.
2) Tap the Library tab at the bottom left of your screen.
3) You’ll see that the Library tab organizes your photos by Years > Months > Days and All Photos. To navigate through this hierarchy, and depending on where in this hierarchy you’re at, you need to get into Years, Months, or Days until you see the Select button. We are going with this option in the steps below.
Alternatively, you can tap All Photos to see them all. However, make sure that you’ll see the Select button only when the photo thumbnail is a little large (and easier to select). If the thumbnails are tiny and you don’t see the Select button, simply tap a photo until you see the Select button or pinch out using two fingers. I understand it can be confusing to read this, but it will make sense if you have your iPhone in your hands.
4) Once you can see the image thumbnails comfortably, tap the Select button in the upper right corner.
5) You’ll notice that now, each date range has a Select All button associated with it. Tapping the Select All button of a specific date or date range selects all the relevant photos.
6) After selecting as many dates as you want, tap the Trash icon at the bottom right of the screen. All the photos you’ve selected will be deleted from your photo library.
Delete photo albums from iPhone
Deleting a photo album on your iPad or iPhone doesn’t actually delete the photos associated with this album from your Camera Roll, but I thought it would be good to add this quick tip in there as well.
1) Go to the Photos app. Tap the Albums icon at the bottom of the screen, and tap See All to make sure you’re in the list view of all the albums on your iPhone.
2) Tap the Edit button in the upper right of the screen. Deletable albums will then get a small red delete icon associated with them.
3) Tap the red Delete icon of the album you want to delete.
4) You will get a pop-up warning to confirm you indeed want to delete this album. Tap Delete.
Again, it must be noted that only the album will be deleted. All the photos that were in this album will remain in your Camera Roll until you delete them from there.
Clear the Recently Deleted album in iOS
Every time you delete a photo from your iPhone, the photo then goes temporarily in the Recently Deleted album and will stay there for 30 days. After these 30 days, the photo will be completely deleted from your device.
It’s important to note that if you do want to save space on your device by removing pictures, you will have to make sure you remove them from the Recently Deleted album. Or else, you will have to wait 30 days for those photos to be effectively gone from your device.
1) Launch the Photos app, and tap the Albums tab at the bottom.
2) Scroll to the bottom and tap Recently Deleted. There you will see all photos that were recently deleted, and you’ll notice each of them shows a time stamp on it, which is the time left until it’s automatically deleted.
3) In the upper right corner, tap Select. This will give you the option to select individual photos one by one or delete them all in one fell scoop. If you want to delete just a few individual photos, simply tap on each of them to select them, then hit the Delete button in the lower left corner. If you want to delete them all once and for all, simply hit the Delete All button in the bottom left corner. All photos will be gone for good.
Delete photos from iPhone after importing them to Mac’s Photos app
1) Launch Photos on your Mac, and plug your iPhone in via the USB cable.
2) If it’s not already selected, click the Import tab in the sidebar.
3) Select the Delete items after import check box, then click Import All New Items. All photos imported will then automatically be deleted from your iPhone or iPad.
Note this only works for the newly imported photos.
Delete all photos from iPhone with Image Capture on Mac
Here we are. The following method is, without a doubt, the fastest and most efficient way to mass delete photos from your iPhone Camera Roll. You can choose to delete one or hundreds of photos at once and get the job done in less time than it takes to say it.
1) Plug your iPhone into your Mac. Launch the application called Image Capture. You might not have heard of it before, but it comes with all Macs. It should be somewhere in your Applications folder.
2) Make sure your iPhone or iPad is selected from the Devices list in the sidebar.
3) Select as many photos as you want to delete. If you want to delete all of them in one scoop, hit the Command + A keys on your keyboard to select all photos.
4) Click the delete icon.
5) You will get one last chance to stop the mass removal of your pictures. Image Capture will ask you if you’re sure you want to delete the selected items permanently. Click Delete. All the photos will be wiped from your iPhone or iPad.
Delete iPhone pictures with apps
What if I told you there were apps in the App Store that can help you delete pictures from your iPhone in no time? Well, there are dozens of them! But as often in the App Store, it’s hard to figure out what the best apps are and how they work. This is why we have published an article about the best apps to delete photos. Make sure to give it a read, as it highlights several free or paid apps that will clean up your Camera Roll in no time.
As you can see, there are many ways to delete photos from your iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, even in iOS 16, there is still no quick and easy way to delete all photos that are on your iPhone directly from the device. In the meantime, the methods described above are your best bet to delete pix one by one from your iPhone or to delete all of them at once.
Fun fact: iOS 6 used to have an option that would allow you to delete all photos directly from the Settings app of the iPhone or iPad, but this feature disappeared in iOS 7, and Apple never added it again in any iOS version again.
Related articles that might interest you:
Make sure to have a look at some of our tutorials that explore photo management on iPhone and iPad in more detail.