[4 Ways] How to Permanently Delete Photos from iCloud

Photos take up too much space in iCloud? You may need this guide to know how to permanently delete photos from iCloud to save more space for your other data to backup.

Demi by Demi Updated May 13, 2024
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Thanks to cloud storage, you can securely store your photos and make changes or remove them whenever you want. Sometimes, you might take more photos than you need to get a good picture, or you might want to pick and choose which photos to keep in your collection. However, these photos are all backed up to iCloud, and run out of 5 GB of free iCloud storage space. It’s time to clean up these unwanted photos.

delete icloud photos

No matter whether you’d like to permanently delete photos from iCloud to free up space or for security concerns, this guide gets you covered.

1# How to delete photos from iCloud permanently - iCloud website

You can delete your photos by going directly to your iCloud account. But please note that if your Apple device like iPhone is synced to the iCloud, the photo will be removed from all the locations.

Thus, if you’d like to delete photos from iCloud but not iPhone, disable iCloud Photos in advance. Here’s how to delete photos from iCloud permanently.

Preparation: Disable iCloud Photos
• Go to the Settings app > Tap [your name] > Choose iCloud > Photos > Toggle off the switch next to Sync This iPhone.

turn off sync this iphone

• When a window prompts, select Download Photos & Videos to keep a copy of your iCloud photos on your iPhone.

download photos and videos

Steps to permanently delete photos from iCloud
• Go to the iCloud website and sign in with your Apple ID > Click Photos from the homepage.

delete photos from icloud

• Use the Ctrl + Alt keyboard shortcut to select photos you’d like to delete from iCloud > Click the Trash icon at the top-right corner to delete photos from iCloud.

delete photos from icloud web

• To permanently delete photos, you need to go further to the Recently Deleted folder > Tap Select All > Delete.

delete from recently deleted

2# How to permanently delete photos from iCloud - iPhone/iPad Photos app

When you have synced devices, deleting a photo from your iPhone or iPad will also remove that same photo from your iCloud account. Here's a simple guide on how to delete photos from your device.

Step 1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone/iPad > Tap Select button to choose the photos you’d like to delete from iCloud.

Step 2. Tap the Trash icon >When a window prompts, tap Delete * Photos to confirm the deletion.

delete photos on iphone

After deleting from your iPhone/iPad, they will also be saved in iCloud Recently Deleted folder for up to 30 days.

Thus, you may need to access your iCloud account via a web browser > Go to Recently Deleted folder to permanently delete these photos.

delete from recently deleted

3# How to delete photos permanently from iCloud - iCloud Photos

If you want to delete all photos from iCloud library, you can do it by disabling and deleting iCloud Photos on your iPhone/iPad. Keep in mind that this action will also remove them from all your connected devices. You can rely on the “Download and Keep Originals” function in iCloud Photo to keep photos and videos on your synced devices.

Follow the steps below to learn how to permanently delete photos from iCloud.

Step 1. Go to your iPhone Settings > Tap [your name] > Choose iCloud

Step 2. Manage Account Storage (Manage Storage for iOS 15 or earlier) > Tap Photos > Tap Disable & Delete.

disable delete icloud photos

Note: If your iPhone won't let you delete photos during the operation, it may be because you haven't canceled iCloud syncing or your iPhone doesn't have enough storage space.

4# One-click delete photos from iCloud permanently - FoneTool

To permanently delete photos and make them unrecoverable, we recommend FoneTool, a powerful data management tool for iOS devices. You can utilize it to erase certain types of data, including photos, contacts, music, etc. on your iCloud and iCloud Drive.

Get this freeware to your computer, and follow the steps to know how to deeply and permanently delete photos.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Launch FoneTool on your computer > Click My iCloud and sign in with your iCloud account > Enter the verification code to confirm.

sign in icloud account

Step 2. Choose Manage iCloud > Click Photos > Simply check Select All option to choose all photos on iCloud > Tap the Delete icon at the top of the screen to confirm the deletion.

delete photos

💡 FoneTool is also a powerful data backup tool to assist you to backup photos to PC locally. If you're deleting all your iCloud photos because you're worried about the risk of a data breach, why not try this software?


That’s all for how to permanently delete photos from iCloud. Photos serve as wonderful mementos, enabling you to relive the most cherished moments in your life. However, not all photos stored in iCloud are a precious gem. Thus, it’s a wise choice to delete photos from iCloud. Hope you have found a satisfactory method in this guide as per your needs. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.

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