How to Mass Delete Images and Photos in Bulk on iPhone, iPad

Free up space on your iOS device by getting rid of old pictures

It's simple to delete a single image in the Photos app for iPhone and iPad. Just tap it and tap the trash can. However, that's not the way to handle mass deletions when you have hundreds or thousands of photos on your iPhone, and you need to clear up space pronto.

Apple makes it easy to bulk delete photos in the Photos app on an iPhone or iPad. To free up space, though, you need also to delete them from the Recently Deleted album, where they sit for 30 days after deletion, in case you change your mind.

Information in this article applies to iPhones and iPads running iOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11, or iOS 10.

How to Bulk Delete Photos on an iPhone or iPad

Although there's no option to delete all your photos at once, you can highlight large groups of pictures for easy deletion:

  1. Tap the Photos app on the iPhone or iPad Home screen.

  2. Tap Photos at the bottom of the screen to see all your photos grouped by the date they were taken.

  3. Locate the date or group of photos you want to delete. Tap Select at the top of the screen to select every photo in the group.

    If there are a few photos in a group that you don't want to erase, tap them after all the photos are selected to remove the check mark and deselect the images.

  4. Tap the Trash can icon to remove the selected images.

    Using Select option in Photos app

If you sync your photos to all your Apple devices using iCloud Photos, deleting the images on your iPhone or iPad deletes them from every synced device.

Permanently Delete Photos

After removing the files, you may notice that they are still taking up space on your device. That's because Apple automatically places your deleted photos in the Recently Deleted album in case you want to recover the images later. They'll sit there for 30 days unless you remove them. After that, they are gone forever.

To permanently remove the deleted items:

  1. Open the Photos app.

  2. Tap the Albums icon to go to the Album view.

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the Album view screen and tap the Recently Deleted folder.

  4. Tap Select at the top of the screen.

    The Recently Deleted images album in Photos
  5. Tap Delete All at the bottom of the screen and confirm the deletion.

    Screens for deleting all images from the Recently Deleted folder in Photos

If you want to clear up more storage, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage) to view which apps are using the most memory.

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