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How do you delete photos from iCloud? This article will show you how to delete iCloud photos in 3 ways. By default, your device syncs photos to iCloud, where you have about 5 GB of free storage, which get used up pretty quickly.

If you are uncomfortable with entrusting your photos to any cloud service, or if you simply don’t want to pay for iCloud storage anymore, this article will show you how to delete pictures from iCloud and downgrade your iCloud storage plan.

TIP: If you have Photo Stream enabled, check out this article by Apple on how to delete photos from My Photo Stream.

Don’t forget to back up your photos to PC from time to time so that you don’t lose them if something happens to your iPhone. Anyway, let’s get started!

Before you start:

Choose the method you prefer below:

We also thought that you might be interested in:

The quickest solution will delete your photos from iCloud in just three clicks:

  1. Start CopyTrans Cloudly.
  2. Log in to your iCloud.
  3. Click on “Empty iCloud Photo Library”.

How to delete photos from iCloud

How to delete photos from iCloud but not iPhone

If you want to delete photos from iCloud but keep them on your iOS devices, make sure to disable iCloud Photos first.

Go to Settings -> Apple ID (your name at the very top) -> iCloud -> Photos -> Toggle off “iCloud Photos”.

How to disable iCloud Photos

Now, when you delete photos from iCloud, they will stay on your iPhone.

Delete all photos from iCloud

  1. To help you mass-delete photos from iCloud, we have developed a program of our own: CopyTrans Cloudly. Download it here:
    Download iCloud photos

  2. Run the app. Enter your Apple ID and password.
    CopyTrans Clouldy login screen

  3. If you have two-factor authentication enabled, please allow the connection on one of your devices and enter the code.
    CopyTrans Cloudly iCloud connection

  4. Wait until your iCloud library is loaded. To delete all the photos and videos from iCloud, click on “Empty iCloud Photo library”.
    Delete photos from iCloud Photo Library

  5. Confirm that you want to delete ALL your photos and videos from iCloud by ticking the checkbox.

    Important: Your photos and videos will be deleted from all devices synced with the current iCloud account. To safeguard yourself against any unwanted loss, you can disable iCloud Photos on your device.

  6. Voila! All you need to do now is wait until all your photos and videos are deleted.
    Delete all photos from iCloud Photo Library

We compared the strengths and weaknesses of all three methods described in this article and created a table for you to decide which one suits you best. Check it out!

CopyTrans Cloudly iCloud.com iOS
Deleting all photos Deletes everything at once Deletes only 1000 items at a time Have to select manually
Speed Instantly 1000 at a time Eternity
Retrieving permanently deleted photos Yes No No
Downloading all photos to PC Yes 1000 at a time No
Uploading photos to iCloud Yes 1000 at a time Only from Camera Roll
Uploading videos to iCloud Yes No No
Viewing and selecting photos before deleting No Yes Yes

BONUS: If you accidentally deleted files that you didn’t mean to delete, don’t panic: you can still rescue your permanently deleted photos using a little trick from CopyTrans Cloudly! Who would’ve thought?

Delete multiple photos from iCloud (not all at once)

Use icloud.com

The biggest drawback of this method is that you can’t delete more than 1000 pictures at once.

iCloud.com deletion limit exceeded

If you do not want to delete all the photos at once, select photos for deletion manually at icloud.com.

  1. Go to icloud.com and log in using your Apple ID and password.
    iCloud sign in page

  2. Click on “Photos”.
    Click on Photos icon in iCloud

  3. You will see all the photos and videos stored in your iCloud. Select the one(s) you want to delete and click on the trash bin icon.
    Delete iCloud photos one by one

  4. You can also delete photos by moments. Choose a moment and click on “Select” (1). Now you can click on the trash bin icon (2) and delete the entire moment.
    Delete iCloud photos by moments

Use your iPhone

It is also possible to delete iCloud photos directly from your device (iPhone/iPad) if you have iCloud Photos enabled.

  1. To make sure your iCloud Photos is enabled, go to Settings > tap on your name on the top > iCloud > Photos. The switch next to iCloud Photos should be on.

    Enabled iCloud Photo library

  2. Go to your Photos app, tap “Select” in the top-right corner, and then select all the photos you want to delete.
    Select iPhone photos

  3. Click on the trash bin icon in the bottom-right corner. Don’t forget to delete your photos from the Recently Deleted folder as well 🙂

How to upload photos to iCloud from PC

After you have deleted everything from iCloud, you might want to upload some photos and videos back. Not all of them, just the ones you need. CopyTrans Cloudly can do that too!

Here are the steps:

  1. Instead of “Delete”, click on “Upload”;
    CopyTrans Cloudly upload button

  2. Select the files you want to upload to iCloud. CopyTrans Cloudly works with .HEIC, .PNG and .JPEG images and .MOV, .MP4, .M4V video files;
    CopyTrans Cloudly file selection

  3. When everything is selected, click on “Go!”;
    CopyTrans Cloudly upload confirmation

  4. Great! Your selected photos are now back in iCloud.
    CopyTrans Cloudly upload success

That’s it! Now you know 3 ways of deleting iCloud photos and can delete photos from iCloud while still keeping them on your iPhone. If your data size still exceeds 5 GB, check out our tips on how to clear more iCloud storage.

Avatar for Irina CopyTrans
By Irina CopyTrans

Irina is a marketing and tech-support specialist in charge of the English-speaking market, who dyes her hair in the color of her cats' fur (future cat lady detected) and enjoys sitting on her balcony on a rainy day reading books, watching TV shows, playing video games and drinking hot chocolate. With marshmallows.