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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.
By
October 26, 2022

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

QUICK ANSWER

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.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to delete all photos on your iPhone

To delete all photos on your iPhone, start by going to the Photos app. Tap Select at the top-right corner of the screen.

iphone photos app select button

Tap the first photo you want to delete, and a blue tick will appear in the corner. Alternatively, you can tap Select All, and all photos on the screen will be selected with blue ticks.

iphone photos app first photo selected
  • To choose all photos, tap Select All or run your finger down the screen. As your finger passes over a photo, it will be selected, and a blue tick will be added to the photo.
  • If you want to keep a photo, tap it once, and the blue tick will disappear.
  • When you have the photos selected that you want to delete, tap the trash icon at the bottom of the screen.
iphone photos app all photos selected

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, go to the Albums tab of the Photos app. Scroll down to Utilities and tap Recently Deleted.

iphone photos app recently deleted section

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.

iphone photos app delete all

How to delete all photos from your iPhone using a Mac

macos photos app delete all photos

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.
  • Go to Edit and click Select All. This will select all images on the page.
  • To delete, right-click and choose Delete. Or use the CMD key and the delete key together on the keyboard.
  • 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

FAQs

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.