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How to delete all photos on your iPhone

It's easy to hit the reset button and delete all those photos.

Published onMarch 25, 2024

Taking photos with our smartphones has become so commonplace and easy these days that it is easy to fill our camera rolls with hundreds or even thousands of photos without realizing it. If you see that you’ve fallen into this situation one day and want to delete all photos or photo albums on your iPhone to start again, we’ll show you how to do it. It’s easier than you might think. Just remember, though, that any deletions to your iPhone Photos app will wipe them from iCloud. So move any photos you want to keep off iCloud first.

Read more: How to delete iPhone search and browsing history


To delete all photos on your iPhone, tap the Select button and then the first one you want to delete. Then run your finger along and down the screen, which will select the rest automatically. You can deselect photos by tapping them once. Then tap the Trash icon. You then need to clear the Recently Deleted folder to permanently delete them.


How to delete all photos on your iPhone

Apple’s heavy push into iCloud upgrades means there’s no straightforward method to select all the photos in the Photo  app on your iPhone. So, deleting all photos can be a little tricky, especially if you’ve already accumulated thousands of photos.

  • To delete all photos on your iPhone, start by going to the Photos app. Tap Select at the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Tap the first photo you want to delete, and a blue tick will appear in the corner.


  • To choose all photos, tap and drag your finger across at least two of the last photos you’ve taken. As your finger passes over a photo, it will be selected, and a blue tick will be added to the photo. To speed up the process, tap on the top left corner of your screen that displays the time without lifting the finger you’re using to select the photos.
  • When you have the photos selected that you want to delete, tap the trash icon at the bottom of the screen and confirm by tapping Delete.


How to permanently delete all photos on your iPhone

The previous method will delete the photos from your main screen, but they are still stored in the Recently Deleted folder of the Photos app for a further 30 days. This is in case you have second thoughts, and you want any of the photos back. Or maybe you accidentally deleted a photo, in which case you can easily grab it back again.

If you would prefer that the photos not be on your phone for another 30 days, here’s how to wipe those photos immediately:

  • Open on your Photos App.
  • Navigate to Albums.
  • Scroll down to Utilities and tap Recently Deleted.
  • Tap the Select button at the top of the screen.
  • At the bottom of the screen, you will now see a Delete All option. Select that, and all pictures will be permanently deleted.

How to delete all photos from your iPhone using a Mac


If you have a Mac computer, then you can delete the photos even faster.

  • Open the Photos app on the Mac and click the first photo you want to delete.
  • Press CMD + A on your keyboard. This will select all images on the page.
  • To delete, right-click and choose Delete.
  • Go to Recently Deleted and empty out the folder if you don’t want to take advantage of the 30-day grace period.


Read more: How to delete contacts on an iPhone


Yes. iCloud is a cloud sync service, not a cloud backup service. There’s a big difference between the two. Make changes on your device, and iCloud will change accordingly.

Usually, the reason you can’t delete photos on your iPhone is that they’re synced to another device (say, an iPad, Windows PC, or a Mac). If your photos are synced to your computer with Windows iTunes or macOS Finder, they can only be deleted when connecting your iPhone to that device and using that program.

You could move them to an actual backup service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Alternatively, an external hard drive is a good option if you don’t want to pay recurring monthly cloud storage fees.

If you turn off the iCloud Photo Library, it will remove photos from your iPhone that were not taken on that device. However, they will stay on the device they were taken on.

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