How to quickly delete photos and videos to free up storage on your iPhone or iPad

How to quickly delete photos and videos on an iPhone or iPad

It's all too easy for the Camera Roll on your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to grow out of control. The list grows incredibly, uselessly long and photos and videos end up eating up a ton of your storage space. If you have only 8GB or 16GB, or even 32GB there can come a time when you have to delete the old photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad in order to free up space for the new ones. You might even have to do it regularly! Luckily, Apple makes it fairly easy to delete large batches of photos or videos and reclaim your storage space!

Note: Make sure you sync or upload any important photos or videos before deleting them!

How to delete batches of photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the Photos tab along the bottom.
  3. The Photos tab lets you go from the top category of Years to Collections and finally to Moments. You want to be in the Moments section so drill down if you need to until you see Moments at the top.
  4. Tap on Select in the top right.
  5. Tap on Select next to a set of photos instead of a single photo.
  6. Tap on the Trash Can in the bottom right.
  7. Confirm you'd like to delete the photos.

While it isn't a perfect solution, it's much faster than individually tapping individual photos in the Camera Roll. Until Apple gives us a way to mass delete all photos, it's what we've got. The next time you've got large amounts of photos to delete, give this method a try and tell me how it works for you!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to quickly delete photos and videos to free up storage on your iPhone or iPad


Good tip, I hadn't noticed!
Previously with iOS 6 on iPad you could hold down two fingers on one photo, then swipe over other ones to select them then delete. Not sure why it was taken out of iOS 7.

Sent from the iMore App

I have an iPad 2 but that did not work with IOS 6. I can not upgrade to IOS 7 until I remove over 2000 pics to make room for additional storage. Help! I need a way to select and delete a large amount of pics at a time, preferably NOT using iTunes.

And once you highlight the entire group, you can de-select the ones from the group that you want to keep. Great tip!

Another way to do mass deletion is to use Image Capture on the Mac. I was able to delete a couple thousand photos off of my phone and clear up a whole bunch of space...after I synced them with iPhoto/Google+/Dropbox/OneDrive first. #redunantcloudbackupFTW

I can follow your instructions, but the trash can is not high kited so I can click on it, and it is at the top of my screen, not the bottom. Can you help?

I just found this on the web on a forum.

1. I connected my iPhone to my Mac.
2. I opened Image Capture and selected my iPhone from the devices list.
3. When all of the images were listed in Image Capture, I selected all of them (Cmd+A).
4. I clicked the delete button at the bottom of the window.
5. I verified the images that I wanted to remove from my iPhone and watched with tears of joy running down my face.

I havent tried it yet, but I need to before my old iPhone explodes with my many pictures.