Delete Photos From Photo Stream

iPad Photo Stream delete tutorial

Daniel Nations

Apple's My Photo Stream is a great feature that automatically uploads photos to all of your connected devices, but what happens if you take a photo that you don't want to spread to your iPhone or iPad? It's actually quite easy to delete an image from the Photo Stream, and unlike iCloud Photo Library, you can delete it from the stream without completely deleting it from your device.

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

You might be surprised to find out that My Photo Stream is really just an album folder in your Photos app. It's a very special photo album that synchronizes with your other Photo Stream-enabled devices, but for the most part, it acts just like any album. And this means you can delete photos from it, just as you would any image on your device. 

  1. First, open the Photos app. (You can quickly open it using Spotlight Search.)
  2. When Photos opens, tap the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen. 
  3. You will have several default albums including Camera Roll, which contains all of your photos, Selfies (self-explanatory), and Videos. My Photo Stream is located among these albums. Tap it to open your photo stream.
  4. To delete a photo, simply tap it, which will bring it full screen, and then tap the trash can button that is located on the upper-right side of the screen. When you delete a photo from your My Photo Stream album, it remains on your device in the Camera Roll. The image is only deleted from the photo stream.

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. This is done in the same Photos app with the My Photo Stream album open.

  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.
  2. As you tap folders, a blue check mark will appear on them. When you have every photo you want to delete checked, tap the trash can in the upper-left side of the screen. This will delete all of the photos selected.

Don't forget about the Camera Roll and Recently Deleted Album.

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.

If you want to remove the image completely from your device, you will need to delete it from the Camera Roll album. This will delete it from both Camera Roll and My Photo Stream. Rather than delete the photo immediately, this moves it to the Recently Deleted album. So, if it is the type of image you would like to remove permanently, it is important to 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 is transferred to your other devices, you do not need an internet connection to view the photos. This makes it good if you are frequently without the internet. 

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 allows you to save 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 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 choosing iCloud Photo Sharing from the list of destinations.