Delete Photos From Photo Stream

Apple's My Photo Stream automatically uploads photos to all of your connected devices and keeps them there for 30 days. But what happens if you take a picture that you don't want to spread to your iPhone or iPad? You can delete an image from the Photo Stream, and unlike iCloud Photo Library, you can remove it from the stream without deleting it from your device.

How to Turn On 'My Photo Stream'

Before you can manage the photos in your Photo Stream, you should turn it on. It isn't active by default in iOS, so you'll go into Settings to get it working.

  1. Open Settings.

    How to delete movies from iPad
  2. Tap Photos.

    Delete from My Photo Stream
  3. Tap the switch next to My Photo Stream to on/green.

    Delete photo stream iPad
  4. With this setting on, any device signed in to the same Apple ID can see all of the photos you take on others. So if you take a picture on your iPhone, you can see it on your iPad or Mac without having to export it.

How to Delete a Single Photo From 'My Photo Stream'

My Photo Stream is an album folder in your Photos app. It's different from your other albums in that it synchronizes with your other Photo Stream-enabled devices. But for the most part, it acts just like any other album. And this means you can delete pictures from it just as you would any image on your device. 

  1. Delete photos from iPad
  2. Tap the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen.

    Delete photos from iPad
  3. Tap My Photo Stream.

    Delete photo stream ipad
  4. To delete a photo, tap it, which will bring it full screen, and then tap the trash can button in the upper-right side of the screen.

    Delete photos from iPad
  5. When you delete a photo from your My Photo Stream album, it remains on your device in the Camera Roll. You only remove it from this album.

How to Delete Multiple Photos at the Same Time

If you are doing a full-scale purge, you can also delete several images at once.

  1. Instead of tapping a single photo, tap Select at the top-right.

    If you have a single photo selected, you can back out of it by tapping the < My Photo Stream link at the top-left of the display.

    Delete photos from iPad
  2. As you tap photos, a blue check mark will appear on them.

    Delete photos from iPad
  3. When you have every photo you want to delete checked, tap the trash can in the upper-left side of the screen to remove all of the images you selected.

    Delete photos from iPad
  4. Confirm that you want to delete all of the photos, and they will disappear from the folder.

When you delete a photo from My Photo Stream, it will remain on your device if that is where it originated. It also will appear in the Recently Deleted album because the image is still on your iPhone or iPad.

To remove the image completely from your device, you will need to delete it from the Camera Roll album. Doing so will remove it from your Camera Roll and every folder you're keeping it in, including My Photo Stream.

Photos you delete from Camera Roll move to the Recently Deleted album for 30 days. So, if it is the type of image you would like to remove permanently, also delete it from the Recently Deleted album. The process for deleting photos from the Camera Roll and Recently Deleted is the same as removing them from My Photo Stream. 

What's the Difference Between My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library?

My Photo Stream transfers every photo you take (including screenshots) to every device on your Apple ID account that has My Photo Stream turned on. This is the actual photo, not a thumbnail. And once it goes to your other devices, you don't need an internet connection to view it.

iCloud Photo Library uploads photos to a centralized server (iCloud) and allows your devices to download them from the cloud. The images will download as thumbnail versions until you actually tap one to view, which saves some space on your device. You can also view iCloud Photo Library photos from your PC, Mac, or any web-enabled device that can connect to icloud.com. You can turn on iCloud Photo Library in your iPad's settings by going to iCloud and choosing Photos.

Is There Any Other Way to Easily Share Photos?

If you would rather choose specific photos to share rather than uploading every single picture you take on your device, iCloud Photo Sharing is the way to go. This feature allows you to create a shared album and send invitations to friends and family. You can even choose to allow them to participate by sharing their own photo. You can then send a photo to your shared album by navigating to the photograph in the Photos app, tapping the Share button, and then choosing iCloud Photo Sharing from the list of destinations.