How to Empty iCloud Storage by Deleting Unwanted Files

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When your iCloud storage space is full, you will no longer be able to backup important files, send or receive messages with your iCloud email address, and your iCloud Drive and other related apps won’t update across all devices.

What you can do is to buy additional 50GB and pay $0.99 per month. Alternatively, you can save some cash by choosing to empty your iCloud storage.

How to Delete Photos & Videos from iCloud

There are two options for iCloud Photo Library.

  • If you choose Optimize iPhone Storage, the full-resolution photos and videos will be saved in your iCloud account and the optimized version will save on your iPhone, which saves space for iPhone. However, there is no way to delete photos from iCloud.
  • If you choose Download and Keep Originals, the full-resolution will be saved in iCloud and iPhone. In this case, when you delete photos and videos from iPhone, it will delete them from iCloud as well.

Steps to Delete Photos & Videos from iCloud and iPhone:

  1. Open the Photos app on your device, and then tap Photos at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap Select, and then choose the photos and videos you want to delete.
  3. Tap the trash icon, and then tap Delete XX Photos to confirm.
  4. Go to Albums from the bottom and select Recently Deleted album.
  5. Click Select and then Delete All to empty the trash folder, which means photos are deleted from iPhone and iCloud.
delete photos

Can I Delete Photos & Videos from iCloud and iPhone with Backup? Yes!

But if you don’t want to lose photos and videos, pay attention to back them up in advance. Then, you can use iMyFone Umate Pro Win/Mac to do all the things in one place for you. Umate Pro is a program that allows to manage your iPhone files at ease.

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Umate Pro Takes Good Care of Your Photos & Videos:

  • Export & Delete: It helps you to do the photos backup and deletion from iPhone and iCloud in one place.
  • Backup & Compress: It will compress photos to save 75% space in iPhone and iCloud, with a backup on computer.
  • Permanently erase existing photos and previously deleted photos with 0% recovery.
  • Wipe photos from 3rd-party apps, like WhatsApp/Kik/Viber/WeChat photos.
  • Clear photo cache from iPhone for free.

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Steps to Delete Photos & Videos from iCloud with Backup

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer where installs iMyFone Umate Pro.

Step 2. Tap “Photos” tab and it will scans your iPhone photos and videos. Click Export & Delete.

delete photos

Step 3. Select the photos and videos and tap on Backup & Delete to start the process. You can click “Open Backup Folder” to access the photo backup when it’s done.

delete photos

The select photos and videos will be removed from your iPhone and iCloud. You don’t need to clear Recently Deleted album then.

If you want to permanently delete photos to be 100% unrecoverable, you can just use the Export Only feature here and go to “Erase Private Data” mode and erase the photos.

How to Delete Old Backups from iCloud

You can empty your iCloud by deleting old backups.

1 Delete iOS App Backup

Delete old iOS app backups by taking the following steps:

On iOS 10.3 or later:

  1. Navigate to Settings > [Your name] > iCloud.
  2. If you are using iOS 11 and later, tap Manage Storage > Backup. If you are using iOS 10.3, tap iCloud Storage > Manage Storage.
  3. Click the name of your device.
  4. Under the “BACKUP OPTIONS” tab, turn off the apps you don’t want to keep backup.
  5. Confirm by tapping on “Turn Off & Delete.”

On iOS 10.2 and older versions:

  1. Navigate to Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage.
  2. Tap the name of your device.
  3. Under “Backup Options”, turn off any of the apps you no longer want to backup.
  4. Confirm by tapping on “Turn Off & Delete.”
Delete iOS App Backup

2 Delete Full Backups and Turn off iCloud Backup

Alternatively, you can choose to delete and turn off all the backups on your iOS device and your Mac. Take the following steps to do this.

1. On your iPhone, find the backup by the following:

  • a. If you are using iOS 11, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Manage Storage, and tap Backup.
  • b. If you are using iOS 10 or an earlier version, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Storage, then tap Manage Storage.

2. Tap the name of the device you no longer want to backup, then tap “Delete Backup” to confirm.

How to Delete Unwanted Files from iCloud

You can take the following steps to free up space on your iCloud by deleting file backups from your iCloud. Take the following steps to do this on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch..

If you are using iOS 11 or a later version - using Files app:

1. Open the Files app and click Browse.
2. Under Locations, go to iCloud Drive and tap a folder to open it.

Delete Unwanted Files from iCloud

3. Tap Select at the upper right corner and choose the files you want to delete, then tap the Trash icon.
4. Go to Locations > Recently Deleted > Select.
5. Select the files you want to delete and click on Delete.

Delete Unwanted Files from iCloud

If you are using iOS 10.3 or an earlier version - using icloud Drive app:

1. Open the iCloud Drive app.
2. Open the folder where locates your files you want to delete. Click on Select.

Delete Unwanted Files from iCloud

3. Select the files you want to delete.
4. Click on Delete > Delete from iCloud Drive.

Delete Unwanted Files from iCloud

How to Delete Mails from iCloud

You should free up space on your iCloud by deleting emails because mails always occupies lots of space, especially when you have a large collection.

Way 1: Delete Mails from iCloud on iPhone

1. On your iPhone where is set up to access iCloud email, open Mails app.
2. Go to All Inboxes and tap Edit at the upper right corner.
3. Select the unwanted emails and tap Trash at the bottom right corner.
4. Go back to Mailboxes and tap on Trash folder.
5. Tap Edit and then Delete All.

The emails will be deleted from your iPhone and your iCloud account. That means the mails stored in iCloud will be deleted as well.

Way 2: Delete Mails on iCloud.com

1. Go to iCloud.com from your computer and sign in your account.
2. Click Mail.
3. Tap the unwanted mail and click on the Trash icon to move it to trash folder. It doesn’t have the option to delete all mails at a time. You need to delete them one by one.
4. Click settings icon and select Empty Trash.