How to delete all photos from your iPhone (without losing them for good)

Whether you're looking to save on iPhone storage or selling your device, here's how to delete all photos from your iPhone

8 Dec 2017

When you’re snapping pictures of your kids, your pets, or yourself, your photo album is going to get clogged up with digital memories fast.

And at some point, unless you've got the cash to fork out for the most expensive models, you’ll hit the dreaded ‘Storage Almost Full’ alert, which is an all-too-familiar popup for any photo-taking enthusiasts.

 If you go into your iPhone’s settings and navigate to Usage, chances are you’ll see that Photos and Camera will hold one of the top spots in your phone’s storage. From here you have a couple of choices: go through manually and delete unwanted photos, or delete them all and start again. 

The former is a boring and tedious process, while the latter is actually very simple - and if you backup your phone first, you don't have to worry about losing the files for good. 

Read our iPhone photo backup explainer before continuing with this tutorial. 

Now that you’re all backed up, here is how to delete all photos from your iPhone.

How to delete all photos from iPhone

Photos iOS app

To delete all your photos using your iOS device can be slightly time-consuming depending on the number of photos you have and how many photos each album contains, but it's still faster than manually deleting individual shots. 

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Tap on the album that you want to delete your photos from
  3. In the upper right hand corner, tap on ‘Select’
  4. Drag your finger from the bottom all the way to the top of the screen which will highlight any photos that your finger touches
  5. Depending on the number of photos, there may also be a "Select all" option
  6. Tap the trash icon at the bottom when you’re finished selecting all of the photos for deletion
  7. Delete all photos on your iPhone using Moments on iOS

    This is a much faster way to delete all photos on your iPhone than the one previously mentioned, though slightly more fiddly.

    Delete all photos on your iPhone using Moments

    1. Open the Photos app.
    2. Tap ‘Photos’ at the bottom.
    3. At the top, tap ‘Years’ and then select the year of choice. You will then be presented with a collage of collections of pictures which are called ‘Moments’.
    4. Tap ‘Select’ in the upper right hand corner and you will now be able to select as many moments as you like.
    5. Then press the trash icon at the bottom.
    6. Repeat the steps for each individual year.

    Delete all photos on your iPhone using your Mac

    Thanks to Apple’s all-in ecosystem, deleting all photos from your iPhone using your Mac is the easiest and quickest way to get rid of them.

    1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using your USB cable
    2. Open the Image Capture application on your Mac
    3. A window should now appear that shows all of the photos on your iPhone
    4. In the window, hit Command + A and all your pictures should now be highlighted
    5. Press the Delete button (circle with a line through it), and then press delete once again when the prompt appears

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