How do I quickly delete unwanted photos from my phone?

How to delete photos How-To

Do you have a young child who loves to take pictures? He doesn’t have his own camera yet, so he takes pictures on your iPhone. Now the phone memory has pictures of dog food, asphalt, couch, carpet, and just a black screen.

My daughter’s photos look like modern art, but I wish there were a few fewer of them on my phone. Especially the repetitive ones.


Maybe there’s a handy way to get rid of unnecessary pictures and leave only the ones that art connoisseurs would appreciate.

What’s the fastest way to delete unwanted photos from your phone?

To do this, install the application “Google Photos” and set them to autoload. In “Google Photos” there is a button “Free space”. It removes from the phone memory those photos that have already been uploaded to the cloud.

How often do you delete unnecessary photos and videos? Do you make sure your smartphone memory doesn’t accumulate unnecessary stuff?

Digital junk is not much different from piles of unused stuff in the garage. Often our phones are overflowing with files we’ve long forgotten about.

Google has reduced free storage to 15GB, and we’ll have to pay for more than that. The company announced its decision, saying at the time that the service stores 4 trillion photos and has 28 billion new photos and videos uploaded each week.

Digital junk isn’t just a private problem like a closet with a bunch of junk you can’t find anything in. It’s also an environmental problem – files lie on cloud servers that consume huge amounts of energy, thus contributing to the carbon footprint.

Deleting unnecessary and forgotten pictures from your phone memory and storage is more important than it seems at first glance. We’ve gathered ways to help get your devices in order.

What’s the best way to find and delete unwanted photos on your phone?

Unfortunately, there is no one easy way to delete bad pictures and leave only the good ones. Neither artificial intelligence nor any outsider can guarantee you that the row of bad photos won’t include particularly memorable pictures your daughter took.

But there are a few ways that will make it easier to clean up your phone’s gallery. You said you have an iPhone, so I’m going to describe all the steps for iOS, but on Android, you can do the same thing by analogy.

This is the most reliable, albeit a rather slow process. It can be accelerated with the built-in iPhone features. Which of the functions to choose depends on whether the photos are taken in a row or mixed.

If you want to delete a lot of photos taken in a row from the media library. Click “Select” in the upper right corner and select all the photos you want to trash at once. You don’t need to poke each individual photo – instead, swipe horizontally to select photos in a single row, and vertically to select them in rows. When you’re done highlighting, tap the trash can icon in the lower-right corner, and the iPhone will prompt you to delete all those photos at once.

If the good and bad photos in your media library are mixed up. Then group highlighting probably won’t help. But there are a couple of tricks that will save you from the painful deletion of pictures one by one.

Creating a Series

The first trick comes in handy if your daughter often takes a series of photos. In the Photos app, in the Albums tab, you can scroll down to the Media File Types section and go to Series. Delete unnecessary items there, and you’ll immediately free up memory for dozens of new photos.

Adding to Favorites

The second trick can help if you’re actively using the “Favorites” feature in your media library to give your photos a hearty “favorite”. To use the trick, you’ll need a macOS computer and sync your photos through iCloud.

How to create a smart album – instructions from Apple

You can create a smart album in the Photos app on your computer. It will contain photos and videos that meet a certain criterion. For example, it can be an album with only photos that are not marked as “Favorites”. You will be able to go through this album and clear the memory of unnecessary pictures without the fear of deleting your favorite photos.

You can set a condition for a smart album, for example, “Photo not matching favorites”.

Use a dedicated app

You can’t trust artificial intelligence to select photos by their content: which ones are suitable for a popular magazine, and which ones you can safely delete. But the phone may well choose technically poor quality photos. However, with the built-in features of the phone, you can’t do this – you will have to install an application from the App Store.

Applications for cleaning your phone

Such applications group photos in the gallery according to the similarity of scenes, try to choose one best picture in each group and offer to send the rest to the trash. Such apps also have a search for blurry photos. However, they don’t always work well and offer to delete not only low-quality, blurry photos, but also photos of the sky, snow or portraits of cats.

Google Photos

If you use the Google Photos app to upload your photos to the cloud, you can use the service’s built-in blurry photo search.


To do this, go to the web version of Google Photos and click on “Storage”. You’ll be offered ways to free up space in the cloud by deleting oversized videos, screenshots, and blurry photos.


Apps For iPhone

Gemini Photos

searches for duplicate photos, and screenshots and still offers to delete blurry and bad shots. But the last word is up to you – you see what the program offers to delete, and if the program’s assumptions are wrong, you cancel the cleanup of the files you want. Free access for three days, then $4.99 a month, $19.99 a year.

Smart Cleaner

Removes duplicate photos, screenshots, and contacts on iPhone. The app is paid, free trial for three days.

Photo Cleaner

knows how to search for duplicate content, and you can also use it to compress files that are too heavy. There’s also a free three-day period.

Apps For Android

Google Files

This is a completely free application. Helps you clear your phone memory, and find and share files quickly, even without an Internet connection.

Duplicate Files Fixer

This application finds and removes duplicate files – not just photos, but other files in the internal and external memory of your phone.

Files Go

This application works with images uploaded to Google Photos.


This app looks for duplicate photos, notices bad, blurry frames, and still allows you to reduce the weight of heavy images.

Deal with it and buy more space

You can simply store all your photos in the cloud or on your hard drive and not worry about running out of space on your phone. If you’re willing to put up with pavement, couch, and dog food among the photos you want in your gallery, that’s the easiest way out.

The most logical thing to do is to buy space on iCloud, a cloud storage service from Apple. The company offers to buy from 50GB to 2TB of storage. 50 GB is enough to start with, then you can expand to 200 GB.

Buy the cloud space, and then go to your iPhone settings, open the “Photos” section and make sure that “iCloud Photos” and “Storage Optimization” items are enabled. Now your phone memory will not run out: if space becomes scarce, it will simply delete large files, but leave them in “iCloud”. Manually quickly delete photos saved in the cloud, you can not.

If for some reason you do not want to buy “Aycloud” or you have a lot of free space on “Google disk”, then pictures from the gallery can be saved there as well. To do this, install the application “Google Photos” and set up autoloading in them.

Google Photos has a “free space” button. It removes from the phone memory those photos that have already been uploaded to the cloud.

You can also save copies of photos from the iPhone on your computer. That way there will remain a backup copy, even if you decide to free up memory on your phone. It’s not as convenient as cloud storage. But if you have a large hard drive, you can periodically transfer copies of photos and videos to it.

Turn off the camera

You probably don’t want to use this method, but I’ll mention it nonetheless. Your iPhone allows you to launch the camera right from the lock screen, without even unlocking your phone. This can be used by children who have learned to use the iPhone.

If you run out of space on your phone and your patience, you can take the camera off the lock screen. True, to do this you’ll have to turn off the camera in your phone altogether, which means it will stop working in all applications. The good news is that you can turn the camera on and off pretty quickly if you need to.

To remove the camera from the lock screen, go to your phone settings, go to “Screen Time” and there to “Content and Privacy.” The “Allowed apps” menu lets you turn basic iOS apps like the Safari browser, Siri, or the camera on and off. If you disable the camera, it will stop launching from the lock screen and the app icon will disappear from the home screen.

Helpful Habits

Every year there’s a Digital Cleanup Day – Digital Cleanup Day The organizers offer specific digital cleanup activities for users. Here are a few of the easiest and quickest ways, as well as a couple of other tips.

  1. Watch the storage capacity on your smartphone. On Android smartphones: “Menu”> “Settings”> “Memory”. On iPhone: “Settings”> “Basic”> “Memory”.
  2. Delete unnecessary services – games, meditation apps that you downloaded and didn’t use or used a year ago. You probably have a lot of forgotten stuff piled up. Tip: your phone should have at least 1 GB of free memory.
  3. Clean the cache on your devices regularly.On Android: “Settings”> “Storage”> “Find the app you want to clear”> “Clear cache”.
    On iPhone: Select “Settings”> “Safari”> “Clear history and website data”> “Clear history and data”.
  4. 4) Store personal photos and videos on external hard drives and important documents in cloud storage like iCloud, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.
  5. Train yourself to sort your files into folders. “This will not only help you avoid a general file dump but also help you find the data you need quickly. And make digital cleaning a regular habit. The frequency of gallery cleaning directly depends on how many pictures you take. On average, it’s a good idea to clean every three to four weeks.

What other ways are there to delete data?

To do this, you’ll have to resort to a certain trick.

  • Open the Media Library section of the Photos app.
  • Press the Select button in the upper right corner.
  • Highlight multiple photos, but do not release your finger from the screen.
  • With another finger press the status bar to jump to the very first photo.

This way you can highlight all the data in the gallery and then delete them using the special button in the lower right corner. Don’t forget to clear the Recently Deleted folder in Albums after deletion.

Deleting by Albums

The option to delete all photos is not available in the general media library, but there is such a button in the albums section. If you want to delete all the photos from a particular album, from a particular event, or simply erase all the data of the same type (portraits, screenshots, panoramas), it is convenient to do it as follows

  • Go to the Albums section of the Photos app.
  • Open the desired album or file type section.
  • Press the Select button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Press the Select All button in the upper left corner of the screen and delete the selected data.

After this procedure, don’t forget to clear the Recently Deleted folder again.

Deleting large videos

Most of the time it’s not pictures that take up much space, but videos in high resolution. You can open the corresponding section in Albums and delete videos there, but there is a more convenient way.

  • Go to Settings – Basic – iPhone Storage.
  • In the list below, find the Photos app.
  • Open the Personal Videos section.

In this section, the clips will be sorted by the amount of space occupied, you can find the largest videos and delete them. Also, deleting this section will immediately clear your smartphone memory without moving the data to the Recently Deleted folder.

Deleting photos via Mac

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a cable and unlock it.
  • In macOS, launch the Image Capture app. Find it in Launchpad or search Spotlight.
  • Press Command + A to highlight all the pictures in the gallery and delete the data using the button in the top bar or the context menu.

Once deleted, the photos will be irretrievably erased from your smartphone bypassing the Recycle Bin on Mac and the Recently Deleted folder on iOS.

Deleting photos via Windows PC

As strange as it may seem, it’s most convenient to delete photos from your iPhone using a Windows PC. When connected, the smartphone will be recognized as a camera or removable drive and all data will be displayed in the standard file manager.

  • Connect your iPhone to your Windows computer using the cable and unlock it.
  • Open My Computer or Explorer and locate your smartphone under Connected Devices.
  • You will see the DCMI folder on the device, where all the photos will be stored. All you have to do is select them and delete them.

This deletion will also irretrievably erase the photos. They will not be moved to the recycle garbage can on your computer or to a folder recently deleted in iOS.

Now you know about all the fastest and most convenient ways to clean the iPhone gallery of photos or videos.


It’s just the gradual going through the photos and removing them not only allows you to free up memory, but also to reduce the pile of unnecessary photos. When their number is several tens of thousands, you have to do something about it.

Practice shows that you can easily delete about one-third of all photos and nothing will change. It will be blurry or otherwise corrupted photos. And if you clean up the duplicates and those pictures which we take three or four times just in case, then we can even talk about halving the library.

Now you know about all the fastest and most convenient ways to clean the iPhone gallery of photos or videos.


Paul Num is the founder and editor of, has more than 5 years of experience in social media marketing, and is an expert in finance and insurance. Paul has extensive experience working for insurance and financial companies and has done testing and written numerous articles.

Paul has been quoted and mentioned by major publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, WikiHow, and many others. In his spare time, Paul runs, hikes, and travels.

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