Forum Question: How Do I Delete Photos From iPhone but Keep In iCloud If All My Devices Are Synced?

Gary, regardless of how much storage I might have, I’d like to delete photos from my iphone 6 yet retain them on both my desktop mac and on iCloud. Is this possible if all three are synced? I’d like to do this in bulk, not by tedious individual selection/deletion on iphone. Thank you.

Comments: 9 Responses to “How Do I Delete Photos From iPhone but Keep In iCloud If All My Devices Are Synced?”

    8/31/16 @ 1:36 pm

    No, that’s not how it works. If they are synced, then they are synced. That means everything is everywhere. You won’t have the full resolution versions on your iPhone, or even good resolution ones if they are old and you never view them.
    What is your need for this? If these are photos you don’t look at on your iPhone, and you have it set to “optimize space” then they really won’t take up much space on your iPhone at all.

    8/31/16 @ 6:07 pm

    Gary, I’m not so concerned about the space the photos take up on my iphone, but it is tedious to have hundreds of pictures on my iphone. I prefer to edit and then allocate them to an album on my desktop. After I’ve done that I’d prefer they were no longer on the phone.

    8/31/16 @ 6:46 pm

    If you really want that, then don’t use iCloud Photo Library. But if you use it, you’ll have ALL your photos with you all the time. Remember, it doesn’t really store them all on your phone — it downloads them as needed. Maybe try it that way for a while and try not to worry about storage. You may be surprised.

    Lucas H
    9/1/16 @ 9:17 am

    Gary, this question bears on a problem that every person who owns a 16GB iPhone has had. From time to time—not often, happy to say—I get the dreaded “sorry, but out of storage space” error. Of course, the problem happens at the worst time. It’s my own fault for buying a 16GB phone, and the problem goes away once my phone has synched with iCloud. I was hoping there was some way to get instant relief at that unhappy moment. Can I dump my camera roll without affecting my iCloud photo collection?

    9/2/16 @ 1:05 am

    I believe there is more to this. I have deleted photos from SE and kept on iCloud. It was in manage storage of iPhone since I too have 16 Meg storage and the photos are a storage hog.
    I did get a message related to “in 30 days you will lose the photos for good,” I assume on the phone. I’ll let you know.

    Marilyn Ribarich
    9/2/16 @ 9:43 pm

    They advise me I need more iCloud storage, what happens if Ignore. I don’t know how to get to my iCloud anyway, don’t think I’ll ever use it? Any suggestions?

    9/3/16 @ 10:02 pm

    Lucas H: If you are using iCloud Photo Library then you should have a “Camera Roll” any longer. Since all photos sync, there is no need for it. See

    9/3/16 @ 10:20 pm

    Brian: NO! The “30 days” means the photos are gone from all of your devices and iCloud. If you don’t want to lose those, you better move them from Deleted photos and put them back.

    9/3/16 @ 10:24 pm

    Marilyn: It depends on what you are currently using iCloud for. By your comment “I don’t know how to get to my iCloud anyway” I think you might need to learn the basics. Start with

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