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How to delete photos from iOS phones

You take a ton of photos and video, but you’re running low on space on your iPhone. Fear not, just backup and purge. Here’s how.

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Running low on storage on your phone? The massive amount of photos and video you’ve shot and shared on social media may be part of the reason. Deleting in bulk can help clear up space quickly when done the right way.

It’s important to back up your images to either a computer hard drive or cloud-based provider like iCloud or Google Drive, so that you never truly lose anything. With that set up, you can proceed to get rid of whatever photos and video clips you no longer need.

Bulk deleting images on iOS

Apple’s Photos app for iOS collects all the images stored on your iPhone or iPad. The Camera Roll is the primary repository where all images are saved, but iOS also automatically saves them into Albums, such as People, Places, Videos and Screenshots. These Albums are native to the operating system and can’t be deleted.

However, some Albums can be deleted. The ones organized below in the My Albums section are either ones you’ve created yourself or ones created by other apps you have like Instagram, Snapseed or Boomerang, for example. These can be deleted, en masse, like this:

1. When in Albums view, select Edit in the top right.

2. It will automatically scroll down to the My Albums section where they’ll all show a red delete icon.

3. Tap the one(s) you want to delete and confirm by tapping Delete Album. That’s it.

For deleting images from within your Albums:

1. Select the Album. For example, if you want to target screenshots or videos first, you can choose those. If you prefer to be more thorough, go to Camera Roll. Either way, the next steps are the same, regardless.

2. Tap Select at the top right corner. From here, you can either tap images individually or tap and drag in any direction to select multiple images in a batch in one swipe.

3. You can also Select All to delete everything.

4. When ready, tap the Trash icon at the bottom right. A pop-up will tell you the number of selected images to delete. It may also ask you if you want to delete them just from that album or from your device altogether. If you use My Photo Stream, the setting that copies images to other iOS devices under the same Apple ID, it may ask if you want the photos deleted from your other devices, too.

5. Confirm the deletion and that’s it.

Another option is to mass delete Collections or Years entirely:

1. When in any Album, tap Photos at the bottom menu and you will be taken to Collections.

2. Tap Years at the top left and images will be broken down by year.

3. In either Collections or Years, you can tap one you want and it will take you to Moments. Tap Select and you can mass delete images that way.

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