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How to Delete Photos From iPhone Camera Roll

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Many of us use the iPhone as our primary camera, but very few of us delete old pictures because we love to show them off to friends and family.

All of these pictures can quickly add up in the camera roll, taking up precious space on the iPhone’s internal storage. These pictures, and especially movies, use a lot of space.

In a few quick and simple steps you can slim down your camera roll to just the shots you want to keep.

If you turn on PhotoStream, you can always see the last 1,000 photos and videos you’ve taken during the last month, even if you remove them from your iPhone.

How to Delete Photos from Camera Roll on the iPhone

Deleting a single photo

1.  Select Photos on the home screen.

2. Tap on a single photo that you would like to delete.

3. Then tap the trash can icon in the bottom right of the screen, and then choose Delete Photo.

*As a side note, when the picture is deleted there is no need to “remove it” from a trash can or recycle bin like when deleting files off a computer.

Deleting Multiple photos at once 

1. While in your camera roll choose the Share Button.

2. Choose the photos that you wish to delete and press Delete.

How to Delete entire Albums

Deleting individual photos from the camera roll is the best way to clear up space but another way is to Delete Albums. When an album is deleted however the pictures inside the album are still stored in camera roll so they do not get removed entirely, they are only no longer in that specific album.

How to Delete Albums

Edit

Tap Edit in the Top Right.

Tap Red CircleTap the Red Circle.

Select DeleteSelect Delete.

Delete Album

Tap Delete Album to complete the process.

Once again the photos in the album will be still located in the camera roll, but they will no longer be inside that album.

Connect to a Computer

In addition to the methods mentioned above you could also sync your phone to iPhoto. Once your camera roll is backed up there, you could delete all the photos from your iPhone and only put back the ones you want.

It is much simpler to just delete multiple photos by using the share button, compared to the transferring back and forth of the camera roll.

Read: How to Take Better iPhone Photos

Another tip to be aware of deals with when photos are both in an album and also stored in the camera roll. There is No Way to delete a photo from the camera roll and also keep that photo in an album. While it may be nice to trim down the camera roll and sort your photos into albums, the original photo must stay in the camera roll. If Apple ever changes this, the post will be updated to say otherwise.

54 Comments

  1. Rene

    06/17/2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for the advice! I’d been struggling to figure out how to delete photos from the photo stream – and you made it so easy!!

    Much appreciated…

    • Darren

      12/12/2012 at 12:42 am

      I’ve tryed I tune photos are the but still won’t leave my phone

    • connie carcel

      05/18/2013 at 5:50 am

      I was stumped on a way to delete an entire album. This site was the best. Done!!!

  2. j khan

    07/14/2012 at 9:41 pm

    THE SIMPLEST WAY to DELETE the stuff (photos) you synchrounized previously is the same process of synchroinization again.but you just need to SELECT an EMPTY FOLDER in your pc and then synchronize.it will remove all the early synchronized photos in few minutes

    • Pete

      08/17/2012 at 9:03 am

      That’s what I’m talking about! Nice hint, worked like a charm. I just upgraded my phone and wanted to give my old one to my 9 year old. He didn’t need a couple thousand pics :-)

    • Mac Geek

      10/09/2012 at 12:20 am

      The simplest and fastest way to delete a whole bunch of photos you don’t want form your iPhone or iPad using a mac is to use image capture (a native app). Here’s a handy video tutorial: http://youtu.be/tdvo3j24GhA

      • Dragonness

        01/02/2013 at 11:27 pm

        Genius, thank you, best and easiest tip of all. I just followed your video (under 2 mins!) and 9K photos are on their way to the trash. I’ve backed them up to an external hard drive, of course.

    • dennis

      10/23/2012 at 7:51 pm

      thanks, best info. Dennis

  3. C.McN

    08/12/2012 at 9:14 am

    Wow, I have the latest iPhone update for iPhone 4S, but it is not helpful. The image capture above showing the steps that illustrates the Delete button in Photos on the bottom right corner is not available to me. REALLY Apple? This really shouldn’t be an issue and it is so confusing and annoying. PLEASE make this much more friendly rather than these annoying workarounds, it just shouldn’t be this difficult. bad taste…..

    • TC

      02/07/2013 at 2:05 pm

      I agree with u. So difficult to get albums off. Come on apple!!!

      • Jack Horn

        02/07/2013 at 2:38 pm

        This still misses my point. I have many albums which I have downloaded via sych-ing from my computer. Each album has many photos in them. For some reason on successive synchs, Apple has place duplicate copies of some photos into the albums.
        I want to know how to delete individual photos from within albums. And I want to know how to stop apple from duplicating individual photos within my albums.

  4. Dee

    08/14/2012 at 7:19 pm

    I just find it irritating that there is no “Select All” option. Like, really really irritating.

  5. veloiseau

    08/15/2012 at 11:39 am

    I agree with C.McN. There is no delete button for me either. Deleting photos shouldn’t be this difficult to figure out!

    • DanKelly

      11/10/2012 at 5:40 am

      I have the same problem and it is very frustrating

  6. ra

    08/18/2012 at 12:13 am

    yeah, just got the new iphone yesterday and hooked it up to my mac. I now have all the stupid icons and photos someone left on my computer of people I don’t know, on my iphone. I’ve been trying all day to figure out how to delete them, along with my more adept co-workers, and none of us can figure out how to get rid of them. Highly annoying!

  7. jackie

    08/23/2012 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve managed to make multiple copies of pics in multiple albums. I can’t delete the extra copies without deleting ALL copies. Is there a way to keep original, while removing all these copies?

    • Zach

      09/10/2012 at 11:05 am

      I am having the same issue, I want to delete the ones in my original album so I can have select albums for different types of pictures but I don’t want all of them to remain in my original album still.. is this possible?

      • Rhonda

        09/10/2012 at 6:28 pm

        Me too. I made albums from the pictures in camera roll on my I pad 3. I want to delete the camera roll…..just cannot do it! Help!

  8. veni

    09/15/2012 at 8:43 am

    I have deleted all my photos in iphone. still photos occupy space. i can not see the photos.

  9. sanjeev kumar

    09/15/2012 at 9:42 pm

    I want to delete album from my i phone 4 plz help

  10. Steve

    09/19/2012 at 4:25 pm

    My wife sat here for a half hour deleting photos one by one. She looked like she was going to keel over. I asked her is she googled for a solution like I suggested. She said no. 10 seconds later I showed her your solution and she realized the error of her ways. Well done, sir!

    • Friendly steeve

      11/14/2012 at 11:01 am

      Hahaha women are stupid.

      • Ali

        01/03/2013 at 6:03 pm

        Yeah and so are you idiot!

  11. Faith

    09/23/2012 at 12:33 pm

    Thank you. I was thinking I’d have to go through all 500+ pics and delete them one by one…which had me in a state of horror…

  12. Carl Elwood

    09/28/2012 at 11:20 am

    Easy way to delete ALL photos from Camera Roll on your iPhone:
    1 Connect your iPhone to your PC via USB
    2 open Windows Explorer
    3 on left panel find your iPhone icon under Computer then open it
    4 open Internal Storage
    5 open DCIM folder
    6 open folders listed; you should see your images; then hit Ctl+A to highlight all photos (make sure all files are only what you want deleted)
    7 right click and delete
    DONE!!!!!!!

    • loka

      09/28/2012 at 8:04 pm

      guys to delete all the photos on your iPhone if you’re connecting your iphone to a mac, follow the below steps its simple
      1. connect your phone to mac
      2. iphoto will open automatically
      3. on iphoto in the left hand side you’ll see your device, select your device
      4. after selecting your device on right side you’ll see 2 option, i) import selected photos & ii)remove photos
      5. click remove photos and you’ll be prompted keep photos or remove photos. just click remote photos the all the photos will be deleted, boom you’ll all your photos are deleted from the iPhone.

    • Brian

      11/20/2012 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks Carl…worked great. The one thing you didn’t mention (which could be step 8 is that you need to sync your phone with your pc.

  13. Hannah

    10/03/2012 at 1:44 am

    It’s made difficult so that you use iCloud and then pay for storage in the ether

  14. Amanda

    10/03/2012 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you!

  15. hueytsao

    10/05/2012 at 8:19 am

    What if you use LightRoom instead of iPhoto on the Mac. Can anyone tell me how to delete ALL photos in LightRoom after the photos are downloaded?

  16. iPhoneMD

    10/05/2012 at 12:15 pm

    Simply SELECT an EMPTY FOLDER in your pc and then synchronize. It will remove all the early synchronized photos in few minutes. This is what worked for me on Windows PC!

  17. Totto

    10/08/2012 at 6:20 pm

    Cant believe it.Impossible to delete anything on ur iPhone. Apple controls everything.

    This is crap.

    • Matt

      01/01/2013 at 5:03 pm

      You ARE RIGHT!!! I thought apples were vegetables, but these are cra[pping all over the world!!!!!

  18. aberration79

    10/20/2012 at 10:09 am

    On the PC, if you navigate to the DCIM folder, you can not delete the folder. You can go in and delete the individual pictures. Just Ctrl-A to select all and then delete.

    • Matt

      01/01/2013 at 5:07 pm

      Should NOT have to connect to a computer in order to delete photos. It’s a STUPID OS!!!!!

  19. Dan McDermit

    10/28/2012 at 7:11 am

    If you have a Mac computer, there is an extremely easy way to view, back up and delete photos from the iPhone.

    Just plug in the iPhone or iPod, and open Preview. Under the File menu select “Import from _________’s iPhone”. You will see all photos stored on the iPhone, and have the option to download the photos to your hard drive, or delete any photo. This is a very handy way of deleting photos from the iPhone.

    • gagswithoutborders

      11/02/2012 at 11:43 am

      THIS WORKS!! You’re a star.
      I tried every other suggestion here and for my case it didn’t work. Thanks

    • Denise

      11/13/2012 at 8:46 am

      I have a Mac. Looks promising up to a point: this way shows me only 2 options, Import or Import All. Can’t even hit the delete button to delete selected photo(s.) What am I doing wrong? thanks!

    • L.Alatorre

      11/13/2012 at 6:16 pm

      THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! I’ve tried every option on here and yours was the only one that worked!! Your awesome!

    • Brian Dukes

      12/02/2012 at 5:35 pm

      Terrific stuff! Would have spent all night trying to figure that out. Thank you!

  20. doug

    11/01/2012 at 3:00 pm

    i no longer have a computer… how,do,I remove thousand of pictures from the camera roll on my ipad 2 ? or suggest to apple to create a batch method or group choose. i choose a bunch then one opens with 100s selected with no,way to,delete. if i go,back the selection has cleared !!!! AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH ,!!!!!

  21. nogard00doug

    11/01/2012 at 3:23 pm

    how do i suggest to apple to create a batch method or group select/choose (like triple tap first in group,then goto last in group and triple tap it – group to delete selected !!!). i

    • Matt

      01/01/2013 at 5:09 pm

      Apple ignores suggestions. They just build a fascist OS and then tell you you’re stupid for wanting something that works reasonably!!! It’s a lost cause man!!!

  22. Bradley

    11/05/2012 at 11:54 am

    I was syncing my iphone to my itunes account and noticed that it shows that I have 8.1 GB of my storage used by photos. I recently cleared out my photos and only have 376. What would be causing me to have this issue? I have my ipad synced to the same apple id, could this be part of the cause. I also think my wife uses the same apple id on her iphone. Could they all be synced together on icloud causing all the images to show up on my memory? I’d like to clear some space, I just don’t understand some of the things that apple does. Thanks in advance for your help.

  23. Harold

    11/11/2012 at 2:37 am

    What am I doing wrong? The trash icon does not show.

  24. Jo

    11/11/2012 at 1:17 pm

    How do you select an empty folder on a pc before you sync to get rid of the photos?

  25. Barry

    12/06/2012 at 9:30 am

    great explanation. I just freed up 3Gigs in no time. Thank you

  26. Bill

    12/09/2012 at 2:31 pm

    I have move photos from my camera roll to an album. How do I delete them from the camera roll without deleteing them from the album

  27. Jack

    12/28/2012 at 10:03 am

    There is NO trash icon on the iphone for which to delete a single photo.

  28. Matt

    01/01/2013 at 5:01 pm

    This sucks sucks sucks. I on’t want to connect my iPhone to my computer every time I want to delete a lot of photos. That’s the way a STUPID OS works!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • DJLake

      01/01/2013 at 5:26 pm

      I am trying to delete photos on my iPhone and iPad, NOT from the camera roll, but from albums that I have uploaded from my PC. The reason is that on successive synchs, the damn thing creates duplicate pictures, and quickly fills up my memory. There are no dups on my PC, so don’t tell me to erase them from my PC. I need to know how to erase individual pictures from albums (not camera roll)!!!
      Also it’d be nice to know how to prevent the dups on successive synchs.
      Thanks for any help you can give me

  29. Lynn

    02/20/2013 at 5:21 am

    Thank you so much. This saved me sooooo much time.

  30. Mel

    03/04/2013 at 10:10 am

    Thanks Troy, this was exactly what I was looking for, and it worked like a champ.

  31. Patricia Dunaway

    08/09/2013 at 12:01 pm

    my iphone4 will NOT sync to my pc. it tells me my pc is not authorized. how the h do you authorize your pc?? is windows 7 home edition. also my phone says Add at top left corner and not delete.
    I just wanna clean up some space and albums and keep the camera roll. I have camera roll, photo stream, photo library and 2013-05-21 Pats ifone. showing as list of albums. I cant take any pics or videos due to messg lack of storage. helllllllp. lol

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