5 Fixes to iPhone Won’t Let Me Delete Photos

Why iPhone let me delete photos? This guide will tell you the possible reasons and the solutions.

Lena by Lena Updated July 6, 2023
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Problem: iPhone won’t let me delete photos


iPhone won’t let me delete photos

Hi, so my iphone wont let me delete any photos (i delete them and they come right back and i need to delete them because my storage is full. what can I do to get my photos on my iphone to permanently delete?

- Question from Reddit


iPhone storage full won’t let me delete photos

My iphone storage is full (63,9 of 64 GB) but i have deleted almost all my apps, but when it comes to pictures I can't delete any of them. I am trying but none of the photos turn up in "recently deleted". I need help! What should I do, I cant delete any pictures but they are taking up much storage.

- Question from Apple Community

Delete photos on iPhone

There are many discussions around iPhone won’t let me delete photos issue. In the following guide, we aim to shed light on the reasons behind this problem. Moreover, we will present practical solutions to help you successfully delete unwanted photos from your iPhone.

Why won’t my iPhone let me delete photos?

When searching for a solution to the “iPhone won’t let me delete photos” problem, it is essential to understand the reasons. In fact, there isn't just one singular cause, but rather a combination of factors that contribute to this issue. Here are the primary reasons to consider:

❌ Insufficient iPhone Storage: If your iPhone's storage is full, you may encounter a dilemma where the device urges you to free up space, yet it is unable to delete anything due to the lack of available storage. In such cases, you can attempt to delete some of your iPhone photos from a computer using a third-party tool.

❌ iCloud Photo Syncing: Enabling the "iCloud Photos" feature results in your iPhone photos being stored not only on the device but also within the iCloud service. Therefore, to regain the ability to delete photos, you must first disable this feature.

❌ iTunes Library Photo Syncing: If your photos are synced with iTunes, the solution lies in unsyncing the photos. You should connect your iPhone with iTunes > uncheck the photos and click the sync button to delete these photos

With this understanding, you should now find it easier to address the problem and find an appropriate solution.

How to fix iPhone won’t let me delete photos

Now that we have identified the primary reasons that caused the “iPhone won’t let me delete photos” problem, let's delve into the potential solutions to overcome this issue.

Tip 1. Free up storage space

iPhone storage full won’t let me delete photos? To solve this problem, you should consider deleting unnecessary files to free up some space. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to check your iPhone's storage:

1. Open Settings app > Scroll down and tap "General" > Look for and select "iPhone Storage".

2. On the next screen, you will see an overview of your iPhone's storage condition, including how much space is used and how much is available.

3. The device will also provide recommendations on how to free up space. It may suggest deleting specific apps, offloading unused apps, reviewing large files, or managing your photo library.

Free up space

Tip 2. Turn off iCloud photos sync

When iCloud photos sync is enabled, your iPhone will download and sync photos from all devices connected to your iCloud account. If you wish to delete photos that are synced from iCloud, you can follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Tap your name at the top of the Settings menu.

3. In the next screen, locate and select "iCloud".

4. Look for the "iCloud Photos" option and ensure that the toggle next to it is switched off.

Trun off iCloud Photos

Tip 3. Sync your iPhone with iTunes

iPhone won’t let me delete photos issue can be fixed with iTunes sync. If your photos are synced with iTunes, you should unsync them to regain control over deletion.

1. Connect your iPhone to your computer, launch iTunes, select your device.

2. Navigate to the "Photos" tab, and uncheck the "Sync Photos" option.

3. Apply the changes, and you should be able to delete photos on your iPhone.

Unsync photos

Tip 4. Force restart your iPhone

When you find iPhone won’t let me delete photos, a simple restart of your device may help resolve the problem. The steps to restart your iPhone can vary depending on the model you have.

● Force restart iPhone 8 and later with Face ID:

Quickly press and release the Volume Up button > Quickly press and release the Volume Down button > Press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Apple logo.

● Force restart iPhone 7/7 Plus:

Press and hold the Top button and Volume Down button together > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

● Force restart iPhone 6s, SE and earlier with Home button:

Hold down the Home button and the Top (or Side) button at the same time > Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

Force restart iPhone

Tip 5. Update iOS

An outdated iOS version may cause the “iPhone won’t let me delete photos” problem. It's advisable to update your iPhone to the latest iOS version.

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Scroll down and tap on "General".

3. Look for and select "Software Update".

4. Your device will check for available updates. If an update is found, tap on "Download and Install". The download and installation process may take some time, depending on the size of the update.

Update iOS

Updating your iPhone to the latest iOS version can help fix bugs and improve overall system performance, potentially resolving issues related to deleting photos. It's recommended to keep your device updated to ensure optimal functionality.

How to quickly delete all photos on iPhone

If you have tried the previous methods mentioned and are still unable to delete photos from your iPhone or iPad, you can consider using a third-party tool called FoneTool. Its Privacy Erasure can help you quickly delete photos and other sensitive information.

FoneTool offers a simple and straightforward process to permanently remove unwanted photos from your device. By utilizing this tool, you can ensure that the deleted photos are unrecoverable, maintaining your privacy and freeing up valuable storage space.

Here are the general steps to use FoneTool:

1. Download, install and run FoneTool > Plug in your iPhone.

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2. Choose Toolbox > Data Eraser > Select Erase private data.

Erase private data

3. Select Photos > You can enable Deep Erase Technology and click Start Erase to safely remove the selected files.

Start erase photos

💡 In case you will need the deleted photos in the future, you can first go to Phone Backup > Selective Backup to backup your important photos.

Backup photos with FoneTool

Final words

Hope one of the methods in this guide can help you fix iPhone won’t let me delete photos problem. It's crucial to note that each solution is applicable to specific scenarios, so it's important to select the appropriate one based on your actual situation.

🔸 If your iPhone's storage is full, you can try to delete some apps or other files to free up space. Or you can rely on FoneTool to delete all photos.

🔸 If the photos are synced from iCloud, you can turn off the iCloud Photos feature, which will prevent the syncing of photos between devices.

🔸 If the photos are synced from iTunes, you can resolve the issue by unchecking the unwanted photos in iTunes and syncing your device again.

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