How to Delete iPhone Photos (Without Losing Them)

Follow these simple steps to save your photos on the cloud, so you can safely delete them from your iPhone. That way, you get the best of both worlds (more space on your phone preserved photos).

Apple is known for making their devices user-friendly, but modern tech can get complex for anyone. Whether you want to learn how to delete photos from an iPhone, or just have a few that you want to store off your phone, photo management on your iPhone isn’t as confusing as it may seem. Follow these steps to learn how to delete photos from your iPhone that you don’t want stored, while also saving those pictures elsewhere. You can also hide private photos on your iPhone.

Step 1: Update your iPhone with the latest iOS

Make sure that your iPhone is updated with the latest iOS. To do this, go to Settings on your iPhone. Select General, then tap Software Update. After doing this, check out ways to get rid of annoying iPhone notifications.

Step 2: Sign up for iCloud photos

Before deleting photos from your phone that you want to keep, it’s essential to back them up elsewhere. The easiest way to do this on an iPhone is to sign up and use iCloud Photos. It will work directly with the Photos app on your iPhone to securely store your videos and photos on the cloud. It will also give you access to your photos from other devices like a Mac computer or iPad. You can also access them from Apple TV and

Here’s a catch, though: When you delete a photo from your iPhone while signed in to iCloud Photo it will delete them from other devices. Happily, there are workarounds. So, first sign up for iCloud Photos and back up all your pictures so you can then delete from your phone without losing them altogether. You can also learn how to edit your iPhone photos like a pro.

Step 3: Turn iCloud backup off

turn icloud photos offvia iPhone

After backing up all your pictures on iCloud Photos, turn the iCloud backup off to delete photos from only one device. Go to Settings on your iPhone and click on your Apple ID. Tap on “iCloud,” then click on “iCloud Photos” and “My Photo Stream.” That will then delete the iCloud photos from your phone, yet keep it in your iCloud account intact. Be aware that, if you turn back on iCloud Photos on for your iPhone, it will then sync and delete the photos. If you’re wondering “is iCould safe?”, do your research and familiarize yourself with the iCloud and its security measures to determine what you feel comfortable storing online. If you’re trading in your phone soon, learn how to delete everything on your iPhone so your personal information isn’t compromised.

Step 4: Send the photos to yourself

If you want a back-up of photos before deleting them from your iPhone and iCloud Photos, simply email each photo you want to delete from your phone to yourself. That way, you can have a copy of the photo in your email inbox, but it won’t be stored on your device. You can then download it from your email to any device you’d like to save it on. Or, if you have other Apple devices, you can learn how to use AirDrop and share it with ease. Did you accidentally delete a photo you wanted to keep? Read on to find out how to recover deleted photos on your iPhone.

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Robin Raven
Robin Raven is a travel, lifestyle, vegan food, and entertainment writer. She is also a consumer products expert covering product reviews and gift guides. Additionally, she has expertise in spas, luxury travel, and all things Disney. She has an MFA from California State University, Northridge. As an author, her latest books are Santa's First Vegan Christmas and The Kindness Workbook: An Interactive Guide for Creating Compassion in Yourself and the World.