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With the Photos app you can edit your photos, organize them into albums and delete those you no longer need. However, some users come unstuck when trying to delete pictures. In this guide, we will try to explain why you can’t delete photos from iPhone or any other iOS device like iPad or iPod Touch and provide workable solutions to delete photos from iPhone.

Choose what applies best to you:

I can’t delete photos from iPhone

There are several reasons why you can’t delete photos from iPhone. The chances are that it’s because you have previously synced your photos from computer with iTunes or any other third-party app. Most likely the photos you can’t delete are located in the From My Mac section of the Photos app.

Camera Roll contains pictures taken with your iPhone, whereas From My Mac section stores photos synced from your computer. For more details and useful tips refer to our support article “Camera Roll vs Photo Library”.

When you open a photo, you don’t see a Recycle bin icon:

no recycle bin

There’s a certain limitation, introduced by Apple that doesn’t allow you to delete synced albums directly on your phone. Luckily, we have a solution! CopyTrans Photo is an absolute lifesaver – it can delete synced photos from your iPhone in just a few steps.

How to delete photos from iPhone

CopyTrans Photo has an intuitive interface, gets things done quickly and you can see thumbnails of all the files you’re operating at any moment. The process of deleting photos from iPhone is intuitive, but you can always see our instructions on how to remove photos from iPhone below:

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Photo: Download CopyTrans Photo

  2. Connect your device. Your synced albums will appear on the left side of the interface, under the Photo Library category.Photo Library contains all the synced photos

  3. To delete synced photos from your iPhone, simply select them and press the “Delete” key on your keyboard.
    TIP: You can also delete entire albums. Delete photos from Photo Library

  4. Once you are done, click on the “Apply changes” button to delete photos from synced albums. Click Apply changes to delete photos

That’s it! Here is how to delete photos from iPhone!

💡 Still have other questions like “If I delete photos from iPhone, is it deleted from iCloud?” or “How to remove photos from iCloud?“, learn some useful tips in our comprehensive article: “How to delete photos from iPhone”.

Some other marvellous features of CopyTrans Photo:

🌞 Introduces a convenient way to manage photos and videos on your iPhone from PC;

🌞 Transfers photos and videos between iPhone and PC preserving the original quality and EXIF data;

🌞 Copies photo albums back and forth, preserving album structure;

🌞 Converts HEIC to JPEG;

🌞 Works offline;

🌞 Compatible with the latest iOS, iTunes, and Windows versions;

🌞 Works with the new Apple format, ProRAW.

Get a free test version

I can’t delete photos with CopyTrans Photo

Camera Roll holds photos that users take with their cameras or save from apps, messengers, emails and websites. Even if your receive an error message when deleting photos, our overview of common problems below will mitigate frustration.

error message

There are 3 common reasons that may prevent you from deleting photos from Camera Roll:

1. iCloud Photos is enabled on your device

To check go to Settings -> your Apple ID -> iCloud -> Photos. You will see whether iCloud Photos toggle is on (iCloud Photos enabled) or off (iCloud photos disabled). CopyTrans Photo doesn’t support deletion of photos when your iCloud Library is turned on. Here’s how to disable iCloud Photos on your iPhone.

If you don’t want to disable your iCloud Photos you can switch to CopyTrans Cloudly to delete your iCloud photos at once. This app is a multi-purpose tool to mass-delete all the photos from iCloud Photo Library, upload JPG, PNG, HEIC photos to iCloud, download iCloud photos to your PC and restore permanently deleted iCloud items.

Download CopyTrans Cloudly

delete with cloudly

For more details on how to delete photos from iCloud please refer to the article “How to delete photos from iCloud”.

2. Your iPhone is not recognized correctly

Open “Computer” or “My Computer” where all the connected PC drives are listed and make sure that your iPhone is displayed as a portable device, not a camera.iphone under my computer

NOTE: If you don’t see your iPhone at all, reconnect your device to the PC with a USB cable.

If your iPhone appears as a photo camera icon or another drive symbol different from the true iPhone icon seen above, follow this tutorial: My iPhone, iPod touch, iPad is not recognized or detected as a camera.

3. Your iPhone is not properly connected to your PC

If there was an error in CopyTrans Photo, follow the steps below:

  1. Make sure that the iPhone is unlocked and you are on the Home Screen.
    iPhone home screen

  2. Connect your iPhone to CopyTrans Photo and hang on for up to 30 seconds.

  3. Now try deleting some Camera Roll photos, the screen should be unlocked.
    Delete photos from Camera Roll

  4. Click on the “Apply changes” button to permanently delete multiple photos from Camera Roll. Click Apply changes to delete photos from Camera Roll

4. You are trying to delete pictures from native albums

Due to an Apple limitation, albums created from within the iPhone or iPad are read-only in CopyTrans Photo. This means that you cannot add or delete photos/videos from albums like Panoramas, Selfies, Screenshots, Live Photos, etc., or delete the albums themself. These pictures and albums can be deleted only from within the iPhone.

delete photos from native albums

Here are our guide how to create an editable album and transfer photos to the Recents album.

I can’t delete recently deleted photos on iPhone

In an attempt to free up some storage on iPhone by deleting photos in Recently Deleted Items some users come across an iOS bug. No matter how many times you try, those photos won’t delete and that can be confusing and frustrating at the same time.

We suggest that you restart your iPhone and delete “Recently Deleted” items from the settings. Here we go:

    recently deleted

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone and go to “General”.

  2. Select “iPhone Storage”. You will find the installed apps listed along with the storage consumed.

  3. Tap on “Photos”.

  4. Tap on “Empty” next to the “Recently Deleted Album”.

  5. Wait 5-10 minutes and check again.

Using these three options you can easily delete photos from iPhone and save some space on your device. Which one is the most relevant to you? Let us know in the comments section below.

Avatar for Marika CopyTrans
By Marika CopyTrans

Marika (pronounce like 'Merica) dreams of saving the world from boredom. Fairly believes that she was the one for the part of Wonder Woman in DC movies, but for now she is eager to make your CopyTrans journey remarkable.