How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad

Sep 23, 2020 - 5 Comments

How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad

Do you want to remove all the photos from your iPhone or iPad? While there’s no direct option that lets you delete all photos at once from iPadOS or iOS, there is a handy trick to help you delete all photos from a device.

With the help of a lesser known gesture, you should be able to select your entire photo library in the matter of a few minutes and then remove the photos, clearing up storage and ridding a device of whatever pictures you have on it.

Users who’re trying to free up the physical storage space on their iOS devices might consider deleting their photo library after backing them up elsewhere (you can learn how to copy and import photos to Mac, transferring photos from iPhone to Windows 10 PC, or to a computer more generally). Additionally, this is also necessary if they’re planning on reselling their used iPhones & iPads. Regardless of what your reasoning is, it’s fairly simple to remove all the photos that are stored on your device.

So, want to learn how you can bulk delete photos on iPhone or iPad? Then read along as we’ll be discussing how you can use a gesture trick to delete all photos in iOS and iPadOS.

How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad

Deleting photos on any iOS device is a two-step process, since it gets moved to the “Recently Deleted” folder first, similar to how the Trash works in MacOS and Recycle Bin works on Windows. The following procedure was tested on an iPhone X running a modern iOS release, so if your device is running an older iteration of iOS, the steps might slightly vary.

  1. Open the stock “Photos” app from the home screen of your iPhone or iPad.

    Photos iOS icon

  2. Head over to the “Photos” section within the app.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad
  3. Make sure you’re in the “All Photos” section as shown below. Now, tap on “Select” at the top-right corner of the screen.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad
  4. Here, swipe diagonally while holding your finger, from the  most recent photo to the top-right or top-left corner of the screen. the app will now automatically start scrolling up while selecting all the photos that show up on the screen. Keep pressing your finger until all the photos in your library are selected. Once done, tap the “bin” icon at the bottom of the screen.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad
  5. Now, you’ll be prompted to confirm the deletion. Tap “Delete Items” to move all the photos to the Recently Deleted section.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad
  6. As mentioned earlier, photo deletion on iOS is a two-step process. In the Albums section within the Photos app, scroll all the way down and choose “Recently Deleted”.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad
  7. Here, tap “Select” at the top-right corner of the screen.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad
  8. Now, press “Delete All” to permanently delete all the photos stored in your library.

    How to Delete All Photos from iPhone & iPad

That’s pretty much all that is required to bulk delete all the photos from your iPhone or iPad.

It’s not mandatory to remove all the photos in your “Recently Deleted” folder, unless you’re in a hurry. By default, photos and videos are stored for 30 days in the Recently Deleted section. After that, they will be automatically removed from your device without any action necessary from the user. This feature also allows you to recover any of the photos that you might have accidentally deleted.

If you’re using iCloud Photos to conveniently store your photo library on the cloud, you need to keep in mind that deleting your photos would remove them from all your other Apple devices as well. This is because, when you’re using iCloud Photos, your photo library gets automatically synced across all your iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Windows PC, etc. as long as they’re logged in to the same Apple account. In case you’re trying to resell your device or conserve storage space, make sure you have physically backed up your photos to the computer by downloading them from iCloud first, or use any other cloud platform to store your photo library, like Dropbox or Google Drive. This allows you to recover your photos, if you need them at any point in the future.

Did you manage to successfully bulk delete all the photos that were stored on your iPhone and iPad? What do you think of this hidden gesture that lets you quickly select all your photos and then remove them? Would you prefer a simple one-click ‘Delete All Photos’ option? Do you have any other tips or tricks for clearing out photos and media from iOS and ipadOS? Let us know your thoughts, experiences, and opinions in the comments section down below.


Related articles:

Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Steven McLean says:

    Isnt it funny how on the IPAD there is a “Delete ALL” Button in the “Deleted Sections” – but there is no “Delete ALL” Button in the actual Photo Section – where you need it……

    Would be alot simpler if they just added this option into the Photo Section……

  2. Yvette says:

    Everything you propose I do to delete photos/albums in the instructions above is not possible.
    The photos don’t reflect what appears on my iPad Pro. Does this have something to do with the latest software update to 14.1?

    • Damon says:

      Confirming this doesn’t work on my iPad Pro either. The “swipe while hold” action doesn’t select any additional photos.

  3. Toby says:

    I prefer the ease of deleting with ImageCapture.

    • Indy says:

      Using ImageCapture means owning a Mac.
      Can you suggest a better, quicker, way to “Delete All” photos using just the iOS device they are on?

Leave a Reply


Shop on and help support OSXDaily!

Subscribe to OSXDaily

Subscribe to RSS Subscribe to Twitter Feed Follow on Facebook Subscribe to eMail Updates

Tips & Tricks


iPhone / iPad



Shop on Amazon to help support this site