How to delete photos from iPhone but not from iCloud


A very useful trick to free up space on your mobile without touching iCloud photos.

By now, everyone knows what iCloud is, Apple’s tool for backing up photos and videos. That does not mean that, with the daily use of the iPhone, you are taking up space in your storage, something that can be avoid if you delete photos from iPhone regularly.

We refer to photos because it is one of the files that weighs the most in the memory of the device. Although iCloud synchronizes all the files that reach your mobile, but if you delete something from the storage, it will also be deleted from the Apple cloud and vice versa. Unless you follow the steps that we are going to tell you so that they do not disappear from iCloud.

How to Delete Photos from iPhone without Touching iCloud

There are several alternatives within the Apple ecosystem to delete photos without touching what is stored in iCloud. You have some faster than others to do, but all are very simple after all.

Delete photos from Settings by disabling iCloud photos

Disable iCloud to delete iPhone photos

The first thing you can try to avoid touching what you have in iCloud is directly deactivate the library from the cloud itself. With this, you will be able to delete the photos from the gallery without iCloud knowing. It is as if you disconnected the internet connection so that the backup is not updated, but temporarily. Instead of thinking about removing mobile data or Wi-Fi, you are going to do the following:

  1. Open the iPhone or iPad Settings and click on the your Apple ID name.
  2. Enter the section “Photos in iCloud“.
  3. Within this menu, you have to turn off two options. First, disable “ICloud Photo Library” and “My photos in streaming“.
  4. Just in case, disable the “Photos shared on iCloud“so that users with whom you share albums in iCloud also do not see the changes.

The backup will still be available, but it will not automatically sync to iCloud. The main drawback of this method is that if you turn these options back on, the cloud will be fully synchronized again. This means that all photos deleted from storage will also be deleted from iCloud at that time, so be careful with this step.

How to add a new iCloud account so you don’t lose your photos

If that method does not convince you, you can opt for another more elaborate but just as effective. You can register a new Apple ID account so you don’t touch the iCloud content on the main account. With logged in to the new profile, you can delete the photos you want from the storage. They will be deleted from that new iCloud account, but not the one you had before. You have to do the following:

  1. Synchronize all the photos from your iPhone to the existing iCloud account and log out.
  2. Sign up for the new Apple account and fill in the necessary information. Later, log in with that account on your iPhone.
  3. From there, you can delete all photos from the terminal memory, freeing up space without touching the photos synced in the previous iCloud account. When you’re done, you can go back to your primary Apple ID.

Delete old photo backups

Delete old iCloud backups

Another recommendation that we can give you is to save space in iCloud to, indirectly, free up the internal storage of the device. In this way, you will have more space to synchronize photos in the cloud and delete them from storage.

A useful method is to delete old iCloud backups, removing storage from the platform. Note that iCloud is accumulating backups, so anything other than the current copy is useless. To do this, you have to do the following:

  1. Open the Settings from your iPhone.
  2. Click on your Apple ID name.
  3. Enter the section “iCloud“.
  4. Click on “Manage storage“.
  5. Access the section “do you copy“and delete all those from the history that you don’t need.

Download other apps to save files in the cloud

If you do not want to touch anything on your terminal system, you can choose to download an application that makes backup copies in the cloud. There are several options in the App Store, totally free and very popular on the mobile platform.

Google Photos

Google Photos backups

We go to the most direct competition to download your photo gallery. It has its own cloud service where you can save and synchronize both your photos and your videos. In this case, if you decide to delete files from storage, they won’t necessarily be deleted from Google Photos. In addition, related to the previous section, it allows you to use a different cloud to make backups without touching the content of the App Store.


MEGA backup

It is another of the alternatives to have a platform to make backup copies in the cloud and that is totally independent of what you do with the storage of the iPhone. We have chosen MEGA because it offers one of the largest offers of free space, with 50 GB available for uploading files at no cost.

What if photos have been deleted from iCloud without knowing this?

Recover Deleted Photos iPhone

If you have deleted photos because you thought you had no other choice to save storage and consequently they have been deleted from iCloud, there may still be a solution. If you have thought that there was no going back, you can recover these photos from iPhone to save them in the cloud and delete them from the device. This is possible thanks to an album in the Photos app intended for that purpose, although the photos only have 30 days of expiration. This is how you should do it:

  1. Open Photos and tap the Albums tab.
  2. Scroll down, tap the Deleted album , and then tap “To select“.
  3. Tap the photo or video you want to keep or choose “Retrieve all“.
  4. To confirm, press again “Get it back“.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *