How to Mass Delete Photos from Your iPhone

Removing large collections of photos from your iPhone is a great way to free up storage. The Photos app makes it easy to delete large numbers of photos at once by swiping to select multiple photos in an album or deleting large clusters of photos called moments by drilling down to specific dates and places. If you're wondering why there's no Moments tab on your iPhone, or you just want a simple way to delete bulk photos while you're on the go, then you've come to the right place. Here’s how to delete photos from your iPhone.

Related: How to Save Images from Text Messages on iPhone

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How to Bulk Delete Photos from Your iPhone:

Sometimes, you want to delete a lot of photos to free up space or stay organized while you're on the go. The Photos app on the iPhone makes it easy to delete bulk pictures from iCloud and local storage. Here's how to delete individual photos in bulk from the All Photos album inside the Photos app.

  • Open the Photos app.
  • Go to the Albums tab.
  • Select All Photos.
  • Tap Select in the upper right corner.
  • You can tap individual photos to select photos one at a time.
  • To select several photos at once, swipe your finger across rows of photos you want to delete. Make sure you swipe horizontally first as swiping vertically will cause the album to scroll up or down. Once you have swiped horizontally you will be able to swipe vertically without scrolling. Selected photos will display a blue check mark.
  • To deselect photos, simply tap those individual photos or swipe across an entire row to remove the blue check marks.

  • Tap the trash icon in the bottom right corner.
  • A pop-up will ask you to confirm that you want to delete the selected photos from iCloud, Photo Stream, and any other albums containing the photos you are deleting. Tap Delete [#] Photos to confirm. 

If you have an even larger number of bulk photos to delete, check out part two of this tip below.

How to Delete Entire Moments from Your iPhone

Apple defines a moment as a cluster of photos taken on a particular date and/or at a specific location. You can delete whole clusters of photos at once by selecting specific moments inside the Photos app. Deleting moments can be particularly helpful if you’re simply trying to delete as many photos as possible after saving them to a computer. Unlike the MacOS version of the Photos app, the Photos app for iOS does not have a specific section labeled Moments. However, you can still find individual moments to delete inside the Photos app by navigating to photos taken at particular times or locations. Here’s how:

  • Open the Photos app on the iPhone. At the bottom, tap Photos.
  • The Photos tab takes you to the current date. To back out and find additional moments to delete, tap the blue arrow on the top left.

  • This brings you to your current year. To view moments in other years, tap the blue arrow again on the top left.
  • From here, you can navigate by year. To view moments in a specific year, tap the cluster of photos below the year containing images you want to delete. For this example, I'm selecting the cluster of photos below the year 2018.

  • Now you can navigate to a date or location listed inside your selected year. Scroll up or down to find a cluster of photos containing images you want to delete. Tap that cluster of photos to continue.

  • Although the label at the top says Photos, you are now viewing a list of moments that you can select and delete. The moments will be listed in clusters by date. To begin selecting clusters of photos for deletion, tap Select on the top right.

  • Now, to the right of the date marking each cluster of photos, you will again see the word Select. Tap Select for each cluster of photos you want to delete.

  • This will cause blue check marks to appear on every image in a selected cluster. As before, if there are images you don't want to delete then simply tap that photo to remove the blue check mark.
  • Now tap the trash icon on the bottom right.

  • Confirm the deletion by tapping Delete [#] Photos.
  • The images you selected are now deleted from iCloud and will no longer appear in your Photos app.​

How to Rescue Photos Deleted by Accident

If you accidentally deleted a photo you meant to keep, fear not! iCloud saves any images you deleted over the last 30 days in the Recently Deleted Album of your Photos app. You can use Recently Deleted to restore deleted photos or empty Recently Deleted if you don't want that data counting against your iCloud storage limit. Here's how to navigate the Recently Deleted album to either rescue or remove the data from recently deleted photos.

To delete photos from the Recently Deleted Album:

  • Navigate to the Albums tab inside the Photos app.
  • Scroll down to Other Albums and select Recently Deleted.

  • Tap Select on the top right.

  • You can select individual photos to delete by tapping photos one at a time. Once you are finished selecting, tap Delete on the bottom left.

  • Instead of selecting individual photos, you can delete all the photos at once by tapping Delete All on the bottom left.

  • When prompted, confirm the deletion by tapping Delete [#] Photos.

To recover photos from the Recently Deleted Album:

  • Navigate to the Albums tab inside the Photos app.
  • Scroll down to Other Albums and select Recently Deleted.

  • Tap Select on the top right.
  • You can select individual photos to restore by tapping photos one at a time. Once you are finished selecting, tap Recover on the bottom right.

  • Instead of selecting individual photos, you can restore all the photos at once by tapping Recover All on the bottom right.

  • When prompted, confirm the restoration by tapping Recover [#] Photos.
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Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.