Quick Fix to “Photos Not Deleting from iPhone” Issue

Are you frustrated with the photo gallery on your iPhone because you can’t seem to delete some of the pictures? Are you looking for the little trash bin icon, but it’s nowhere to be found and you’re not sure how to remove the photos? Or do you delete some photos but when you check, the photos are still on your iPhone? This is actually a common problem, and the fix is fairly simple.

Why Are Your Photos Not Deleting from iPhone

There are two main reasons why photos will not delete from iPhone:

  1. The photos are synced from iTunes. If the photos are added into your iPhone because you synced them from iTunes, you’re going to have iTunes remove them.
  2. The photos are stored in iCloud. If Optimize iPhone Storage is enabled, you may actually be unable to delete the photos directly on your iPhone, because they are stored in iCloud.

How to Fix "iPhone Not Deleting Photos"

1. iPhone Not Deleting Synced Photos? Fix

1.1 Delete Synced Photos from iPhone Using iTunes

If the problem is that your photos were synced from iTunes, then Apple requires you to sync again to delete them. Yes, this is annoying, but it’s the official method. Basically, you have to do the following:

Step 1. Plug your iPhone into your PC or Mac, and open iTunes.
Step 2. Click on your iPhone tab in iTunes so that you can see the Summary tab.
Step 3. Go to the Photos tab and de-select the photos that you don’t want showing up on your iPhone anymore.
Step 4. Click Apple to sync iTunes with your phone.
Step 5. Check your phone to make sure the photos are gone.
Sync Photos on iTunes


1.2 Delete Synced Photos from iPhone without iTunes

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If this doesn’t work for you, or you simply want to have more control over your photos, there’s another way. You can actually delete synced photos without iTunes by using a third-party tool called iMyFone TunesMate iPhone Manager.

TunesMate is special software that lets you transfer almost any kind of media directly from your iPhone to your PC or vice versa. More importantly, it also lets you manage and delete this media on your various iOS devices.

Some of its useful features include:

  • Selectively delete photos (including synced photos) from iPhone, with just a few clicks.
  • Back up your photos from iPhone (or any iOS device) to computer/external hard drive.
  • Back up your albums (not just photos) to computer/external hard drive.
  • Transfer or manage all kinds of media: music, video, photos, playlists, podcasts, audiobook, iTunes U, etc.

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3 Easy Steps to Fix “Photos Not Deleting from iPhone”

Step 1. Download and install TunesMate on your computer and connect your iPhone and open TunesMate.
Step 2. Click on the Photos tab at the top of the main screen. You should see a list of the photos that are on your phone. Select the photos that you want to delete from your iPhone.
Step 3. Click where it says Delete at the top. When the dialog box asks you if you’re sure, click Yes.

delete photos

It’s that simple. Unlike iTunes, you have full control over your photos and can delete them anytime you want.

2. iCloud Photos Not Deleting from iPhone? Fix

Unfortunately, with iCloud, it’s a little bit more complicated. You can’t delete photos from iCloud unless Optimize iPhone Storage is disabled.

2.1 Disable Optimize iPhone Storage

Step 1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
Step 2. Select Photos & Camera.
Step 3. Uncheck where it says Optimize iPhone Storage and check where it says Download and Keep Originals under iCloud Photo Library. Or you can just turn off iCloud Photo Library
iCloud Photo Library


2.1 Backup & Delete Photos from iPhone and iCloud

Now you can back up your photos using any method you want. For example, you can use iMyFone TunesMate iPhone Manager. After that, delete the photos from your iPhone normally, and then finally from iCloud. This is how to make them completely disappear from your iPhone, and you won’t lose the original photos.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer and open TunesMate.
Step 2. Click on Backup Photos to PC/Mac from the home interface.
Step 3. Choose a computer folder or your external hard drive to store this backup. Once done, click on Select Folder.
Backup photos

This will backup all the photos on iPhone. You can also go to Photos tab to select photos to backup. Once backup finishes, you can delete them from your iPhone and iCloud.