With a camera built into the iPhone, it's easy to get carried away with taking photos of your travels or selfies with your friends. But it might not seem so easy to quickly delete them afterwards if you need to free up space on your iPhone.
Here, we show how to get rid of unwanted photos fast.
Delete photos individually
Open the Photos app, then find and tap on the photo or video you want to delete. Tap the trash (rubbish-bin) icon and confirm you want to Delete Photo, and it will be moved to your 'Recently Deleted' folder.
Photos and videos are stored in Recently Deleted for 30 days, and can be recovered at any time during this period. (We show how later in this article.) At the end of the 30 days they are permanently removed.
Delete multiple photos
If you want to delete more than one photo at once, you can tap Select in the top-right corner, choose the photos you want to delete, then tap the trash icon. To make your life a little easier, you can tap and drag your finger across the screen to select adjacent photos more quickly.
You can delete every photo/video in an album in one go. This can be useful if you want to remove all of a particular image type (screenshot, burst, selfie, Live Photo etc), which are grouped together in albums; but also applies to the albums you create yourself.
Once in the album, tap Select in the top-right of the screen, then tap Select All, and then finally tap the trash icon to delete them.
You can delete an album entirely (provided it's one you created yourself, not one of the automatic ones such as Screenshots) by navigating to Photos > Albums > Edit and then tapping the red circle that appears. But note that this doesn't actually get rid of the photos inside - it just removes the album and puts all of the photos that were in it into the default Camera Roll.
How to get photos back from Recently Deleted
All of the above methods move one or more photos and videos to the Recently Deleted folder. If you send one there by accident, don't worry: you can get it back easily.
Navigate to Photos > Albums > Recently Deleted. Tap the photo you want to get back, and tap Recover, then confirm Recover Photo.
To recover multiple photos at once, tap Select from the Recently Deleted screen, then either tap Recover All, or tap the ones you want to get back and tap Recover.
How to permanently delete photos
If you want to completely delete a photo rather than keep it in your 'Recently Deleted' folder (where it will continue to take up space), you'll need to navigate to Photos > Albums > Recently Deleted and then tap Select in the top right corner, and choosing the image again.
To delete every photo in your 'Recently Deleted' folder, tap Select and then Delete All.
Delete all photos and videos at once
Now you know how to delete single or multiple photos and videos, and whole albums. But what if you want to delete every single photo and video on your iPhone? It's possible to do this using a Mac or a PC (and we show how below), the simplest method in our view is to use Google Photos.
Google Photos is a great app. It provides unlimited photo and video backup via a smart compression technique; you won't notice any drop in quality, but the photos are compressed.
Simply download Google Photos from the App Store, sign in with your Google account and back up your photo and video library. Depending on the size of your media library, this could take some time.
But now the real magic can begin. You see, in addition to providing cloud storage for iOS users, Google also offers the ability to delete all photos and videos from your iPhone that have been backed up in a single tap.
To do this, open the Google Photos app, tap the menu icon in the top-left of the display and tap Settings > Manage Device Storage > Free Up Space.
It'll then search your library for photos and videos that have already been backed up to Google Photos, and present you with a final confirmation before removing the items. If you're sure you want to delete them, tap Remove (and give Google Photos permission to delete the photos) and they'll be removed from your Camera Roll.
The final step is to head into the Photos app, access the Recently Deleted folder and delete everything within. It's as easy as that.
All Macs have a hidden gem for deleting photos from your iPhone too. Image Capture is a simple yet useful program that lets you very quickly delete photos permanently from your iPhone.
Open Image Capture and ensure your iPhone knows that it can trust your Mac (usually a popup will appear on your iPhone asking you to confirm that you trust the Mac). You'll see your iPhone photos appear in the app.
To delete them all, hit Cmd + A on your keyboard or select them with your mouse and then click the small red circular icon next to Import To at the bottom of the window. You'll be then prompted to confirm the deletion.
You could also use iPhoto or Photos (iPhoto is replaced by Photos if you've upgraded your Mac beyond OS X 10.10.3) to delete images from an iPhone too. It isn't as fast as using Image Capture but you'll have the ability to recover the images more easily should you accidentally delete them.
If you're on a Windows PC, the process is very straightforward. Plug your iPhone into your PC and ensure you Trust/Allow the PC to access your iPhone.
Once connected, navigate to your iPhone's DCIM photo folder within Windows Explorer and select your photos you wish to delete, or Ctrl + A to select all. Now delete them by right-clicking or Shift + Del to permanently delete them from your iPhone.