How to Bulk Remove Many Photos on iPhone Quickly with a Date Trick

Jul 17, 2014 - 3 Comments

Remove multiple photos from the iPhone at once

If you need to remove a bunch of pictures from your iPhone, the iOS Photos app now includes a handy group selection tool that allows for bulk modification of many images without having to resort to tapping and marking a ton of pics or any of the other deletion tricks. Instead, mass deleting many multiples of photos from the iPhone is now just a matter of selecting groups of images by collections, which are automatically arranged into dates by iOS, and this allows for simple removal of up to thousands of photos at once.


Remember that deleting pictures from the iPhone is permanent, so you’ll want to be sure you either have backed them up first, transferred them to a computer, uploaded them to a service online, or just genuinely don’t want the photos. Once you’ve deleted them, there’s no going back, at least without restoring from a complete backup made of the device.

How to Batch Remove Multiple Photos from the iPhone

The date selection trick is by far the simplest method of removing may photos at once. It’s not particularly obvious, but it is easy to use:

  1. Open the “Photos” app on the iPhone
  2. Photos iOS icon

  3. Choose the “Photos” tab on the bottom (the default view usually opens to Albums, the bulk delete function is limited to the Photos Collections view)
  4. Locate the date(s) in the Collections view you want to bulk delete, then tap the “Select” button in the upper right corner
  5. Photos view to delete multiple pictures from the iPhone

  6. Tap on “Select” alongside each date to select all images for and to set for removal from the iPhone
  7. Tap on Select to choose the bulk selection of photos to delete from iPhone

  8. Tap the Trash icon in the lower right corner
  9. Tap the Trash icon to delete all the photos that have been selected on iPhone

  10. Confirm the removal of the photos by tapping “Delete (##) Photos” to instantly bulk delete all photos that were selected (note the number shown of photos that have been selected at the deletion confirmation screen, if that number does not look right do not tap to confirm the removal, instead tap on ‘Cancel’ and re-select the pictures to delete)
  11. Bulk delete photos on the iPhone by confirming to delete the image count shown

This will instantly remove every photo that has been selected, regardless of the total count of photos. Again, this only deletes photos that have been selected. Once you have tapped on ‘Select’ you can also tap on individual pictures to unselect them, which would cause them to be excluded from the deletion process.

Removing Every Single Photo from the iPhone

If you want to remove every single photo from the iPhone, you can use this trick. Just repeat the process as outlined above, but staying at the initial selection screen. Then simply go through and tap on the ‘Select’ button next to every date group as you scroll through the Photos Collections view. Once every date has been selected, tapping the Trash icon then “Delete” will remove every single picture from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

iOS 8 photos

This batch select trick is new to modern versions of iOS, prior versions of the Photos app required users to select each picture to delete manually from the iPhone (which continues to work in iOS 8, it’s just slower than this method), deleting the camera roll from the Settings app (a feature which no longer exists in modern versions of iOS at all), or even hooking the iPhone up to a computer and then deleting them all from there with the assistance of a camera utility app in OS X or Windows – that method still works too but it’s hardly convenient if you wanted to handle a bunch of pics right on the device without using a computer to intervene with your photos collection.

As you may have guessed, this quick select-by-date trick is applicable to all iOS devices, so it’s not just the iPhone that can batch delete images this way, the iPad and iPod touch can as well, the only requirement is running a modern enough version of iOS to have the Collections view, which is in both iOS 7 and iOS 8.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPhone, Tips & Tricks

3 Comments

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  1. Amy Soldier says:

    Wow. Almost like surgery.

  2. Ford Pam says:

    Followed directions exactly but trashcan never became “hot” only the “add to” option was available.

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