Daily Tip: How to reset your Photo Stream in iCloud

Curious about how to remove the photos that iCloud stores in your Photo Stream? Maybe you have a few controversial pictures you need to clear out of the stream before letting a friend use your iPhone or iPad?

With iOS 5 and iCloud, Apple introduced Photo Stream to keep your photos synced between devices. By default, photos are automatically deleted after 30 days or after you cross the 1,000 photo threshold, but what if you need to manually remove them? We'll show you how after the jump!

Getting Started

To get started, you'll need to navigate to iCloud.com from the desktop in order to access advanced iCloud preferences. Once you're there, just follow these quick steps to reset Photo Stream and clear out your pictures.

  1. Once you're at iCloud.com on the desktop, click on your name in the upper-right hand corner.
  2. From the Account Settings pane, click on 'Advanced'.
  3. Now, click 'Reset Photo Stream' to begin the process.
  4. Finally, you'll be asked to confirm before iCloud erases all contents in your Photo Stream.

And that's it!

I'd run a quick check on your iPad or Mac to make sure all the photos have been fully removed from the Photo Stream before handing over your iDevice to a friend, but this process should do the trick if you're looking to clear out or reset your Photo Stream contents.

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Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to reset your Photo Stream in iCloud


How about deleting only those photos that you want or select? Why does it have to be keep all or delete all?

Only apple can answer that. They have deliberately made iCloud a method of synchronising things. You can't even view your pictures online like flickr or picasa - it defeats one of the main benefits of cloud storage - actually using it from the cloud!

I'm so glad I looked into this before setting it up on the wife's iphone. She would have been devastated that after 30 days the photos were deleted. This is NOT cloud storage at all, just a fancy way of syncing devices. False advertising nearly cost me some memories.

think it would be helpful tho if you delete the picture from the device you could delete individual pics from photo stream- not just all or nothing

You can also just go to Settings > iCloud on your iOS device and turn Photo Stream to "off"... it will ask you to allow deleting the photos. Then turn it back on.

Steve Paulo's trick of deleting by turning off photostream On my device (IPAD2) worked just fine even though deleting from PC did not

Actually you are both right. If you don't follow his process then yours...it will just "cloud-down" (tech jargon I just made up). See ,you need Andrew's helpful article in actuality. See I figured this all out earlier today when deciding not to send my friend a photo of an abnormally sized poop I had...had, earlier in the day. Not a hobby I pursue recreationally, this was a gentemen's retaliation for a similar prank months earlier. I decided it wasn't a great idea yet the deleted photo had a way of reappearing in the Photo Stream.
The lesson here is that I learned to think something through before I crap on someone for no true benefit.
I think you may benefit a little something from this lesson as well.

Sounds great - basically works for phone and iPad - does nothing for Apple TV - which has decided to keep my old photos for life somehow. They are not on any computer connected to iCloud or any phone, ipad. How... Maddening... Oh Wait I forgot... Apple thinks for you, I really wanted to keep this garbage. Sorry Mr. Jobs - I forgot you always know best...

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