When it comes to the iPhone (and most other devices too), deleted doesn鈥檛 necessarily mean deleted. As it turns out, when you 鈥渄elete鈥 a photo or other media file, you鈥檙e really just telling your phone to get it out of your way for a while. It doesn鈥檛 really cease to exist until it gets overwritten by some other piece of data.

Whether you鈥檙e selling your phone, donating it, or just have a snooping little brother that you don鈥檛 want to dig secrets off of your device, you need to learn how to unsync photos from your iPhone for good.

In general, you can use iTunes to unsync photos from iPhone, but it comes with limits, like you can鈥檛 preview the photos, unsync selectively, and permanently delete photos. The good news is that you can unsync photos without ever opening iTunes (and access a host of other useful features) using a free program called iMyFone Umate Pro.

How to Unsync Photos from iPhone without Using iTunes

iMyFone Umate Pro is an all-in-one solution to your photo managing needs. More than just a tool for unsyncing photos, Umate Pro allows you to back up, compress, permanently delete photos from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod鈥攁ll without ever opening iTunes!

umate pro iphone data eraser

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Key Features:

  • Unsync Photos without iTunes: Preview and select the synced photos to fully delete.
  • Delete with Ease: Whether you are trying to remove a single photo, just a few, or your entire library, Umate Pro makes it quick and easy.
  • 100% Unrecoverable: Leave no recoverable trace of deleted photos鈥攑erfect for when you鈥檙e selling or donating your phone!
  • Backup Made Simple: Transfer your photos to your computer from one simple, easy-to-navigate user interface.
  • Compression with a Click: Save space on your phone by compressing photos without losing quality.

Windows version Mac version

Download Umate Pro Here to Unsync Photos from iPhone

Once you鈥檝e downloaded Umate Pro, unsyncing your photos from your device is much more straightforward than using iTunes, and you can ensure that any private photos are deleted for good. Just follow these easy steps:

Step 1. Connect your iOS device to your computer. From the menu on the left, select 鈥Erase Private Data鈥.
Note: If you want to back up the photos before unsyncing, just choose 鈥淧hotos鈥 tab from the home interface.

iMyFone Umate Pro

Step 2. Click the 鈥Scan鈥 button. Once the scan is complete, all of your private data will be categorized according to the type of data. Click 鈥Photo & Videos鈥 to see only that category.

iMyFone Umate Pro

Step 3. When you have selected all of the photos you wish to delete, click 鈥淓rase Now鈥. A warning box will open to confirm your decision.

Step 4. Confirm your desire to delete the selected photos by typing 鈥渄elete鈥 in the text box and then clicking 鈥淓rase Now鈥.

The process may take time. Do not disconnect or use your device during the deletion process, or you may risk losing data or damaging your device.

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How to Unsync Photos from iPhone Using iTunes

Rather than navigate your iPhone to uncover every photo that you want to unsync, you can do this fairly quickly through iTunes:

Way 1: Unsync Photos by Syncing No Pictures:

  1. Plug your device into your computer using a USB cable.The computer must be the one that you synced photos with before.
  2. Open iTunes and select the appropriate device icon.
  3. From the left-hand menu, choose 鈥淧hotos鈥.
  4. Check the box labeled 鈥淪ync Photos鈥.
  5. From the drop-down box labeled 鈥淐opy photos from鈥, select 鈥淧hotos鈥.
  6. Choose the 鈥淪elected Folders鈥 option.
  7. Do not select any folders. You can confirm that you have nothing selected because next to the drop down box will read 鈥0 photos鈥.
  8. Click on 鈥淎pply鈥 to complete the process.

Syncing with a New Folder

Way 2: Unsync Photos by Syncing with a New Folder

Sometimes, you are unable to gain access to the folder that iTunes is currently syncing photos from, and so the above steps may not work. If this is the case, you can implement the following workaround to tell iTunes to sync to an empty folder, effectively unsyncing all of your photos:

  1. Create an empty folder on your computer called something easy to remember, such as 鈥淓mpty Folder鈥.
  2. Launch iTunes from your computer, select your device, and navigate to 鈥淧hotos鈥.
  3. Select your 鈥淓mpty Folder鈥, or whatever else you named it.
  4. Click 鈥淎pply鈥.
  5. Deselect the 鈥淪ync Photos鈥 box, and click 鈥淎pply鈥 one more time to complete the process.

Syncing with a New Folder

As you can see, using iTunes to unsync photos can be a bit of a pain. It鈥檚 quite unintuitive to have to create a blank folder in order to simply remove photos from your phone.

Additionally, iTunes is significantly lacking in functions that many users require. For example, it doesn鈥檛 make it easy to permanently delete photos that you may have 鈥渄eleted鈥 on your phone but are still lingering in hiding somewhere.