iPhone - how do I delete photos?

As part of my storage issue, I’m trying to delete pix from my iPhone. But when I hit delete, it says the picture will be deleted from my iCloud and related devices.

But I want to take old pix off my iPhone to free up space, not delete from iCloud.

Am I just not understanding this?

After I hit “delete”, the pic disappears from my iPhone, but then reappears a few seconds later.

I’ve been trying to follow the instructions on this web-page:


But the problem is that the photos aren’t moving to the “Deleted Photos” album. No matter how many times I delete a photo, it stays in the original album instead of moving to the “Deleted Photos” album.

If you are using iCloud then photos shouldn’t be taking up much space on your phone at all: that’s the whole point of cloud storage.

Have you got the “optimised” photo storage setting on?

Go to Settings > iCloud > Photos and then make sure “Optimise iPhone Storage” is ticked. That way, only low-res thumbnails are stored on your phone if space is short. The downside is you have to wait a few seconds (or more if you have poor/no signal) to download the full-resolution pics to view or edit them.

There’s some discussion (not necessarily up to date) on Quora here: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-delete-photos-from-my-iPhone-but-keep-them-in-iCloud

However I find just having the “Optimise iPhone storage” option ticked works fine for me, and I have almost 70,000 photos in my library (with thumbnails of all of them on my phone).

Yes, I’ve got “Optimise” ticked, but according to the “Storage” info under “Settings”, “Photos” is taking up 9.03 GB on the IPhone.

My “Photos & Camera” is taking up 19.67 GB. But I still have over 8GB free on the phone so it doesn’t worry me. I think in Apple world you are not really “supposed” to delete photos, just let the phone manage storage. The idea is meant to be that if you start running out of space then the Photos app will delete photos locally by itself, but I don’t know how well that actually works in practice,

I hope my solution can help people who want delete photos from iPhone but not iCloud.

We can use iCloud’s features to store photos in iCloud, but with some limitations. I suggest that you’d better store your photos to the cloud server.