Free Up Space on iOS 8, Clear the Recently Deleted Folder

We’ve already discussed several ways on how you can free up storage space on your iPhone or iPad, but in iOS 8, there’s a new feature that can gobble up storage space without you really knowing.

Apple removed the Camera Roll in iOS 8, and users were rightfully upset by this, as it was replaced with a “Recently Added” folder, along with a “Recently Deleted” folder. Of course, Camera Roll came back in iOS 8.1, but the Recently Deleted folder still remains.


Any new photos that you take get put into the Camera Roll folder. The Recently Deleted folder is put into action when a user deletes a photo. The deleted photo automatically gets put into the Recently Deleted folder, meaning that it’s not truly deleted from your iPhone or iPad.

So in order to truly delete a photo off of your iOS 8 device, you have to essentially delete it twice, which is less than convenient.

It’s easy to see why a feature like this is worth having in iOS, as it prevents users from accidentally deleting photos, and if they do delete them, they’re easily recoverable. It’s essentially like having a Recycle Bin right on your iPhone, and users have up to 30 days to recover deleted photos from the Recently Deleted folder until they officially get deleted permanently.


2014-11-03 22.37.47


However, deleted photos that get put into the Recently Deleted folder are still taking up storage space on your iPhone or iPad, and if you have a lot of photos and videos in this folder, there’s the potential that they’re taking up a lot of a lot of precious storage space.

I discovered recently that while my Camera Roll only had 7 photos in it, my iPhone was telling me that the Photos app was taking up 3GB worth of space on my iPhone. By opening up the Settings app and navigating to General > Usage > Manage Storage, you can see what’s up taking up the most space on your iPhone or iPad.

In my case, the Photos app was taking up a whopping 3GB, but I only had 7 photos in the Camera Roll. Then I remembered the Recently Deleted folder, which consisted of over 200 photos and videos that I took over the past month. Even though I deleted them, they were still on my iPhone taking up space.

2014-11-03 22.37.28


This is something that I recommend all iOS 8 users to do. Open the Photos apps and tap on the Recently Deleted folder to open it. Then tap on Select in the upper-right corner and then tap on Delete All in the lower-left corner to delete everything in that folder with one swoop. If you had 3GB worth of photos and videos like me, you’ll instantly get all that storage space back with little effort.

For those with 16GB iPhones and iPads, this little tips will probably be a huge weight off your back as you try to make room for new apps by deleting older ones and just trying to keep some storage space free.

While we can see the use of a Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it can be a nuisance at times, with photos and videos still planted on your iOS 8 device even when you technically delete them.