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How Do I Remove Photo From iPhone and NOT the Cloud?

All my research on the web tells me I cannot remove photos from the iPhone without them being removed from my iCloud – I don’t believe it!

I am trying to free up space on my phone for all my music (no I don’t want to use a cloud service to retrieve them) – I use it like a massive iPod). I have the latest software on all my devices.

I have all my photos already compressed but I need ALL the space for more music.

If there is no other way can I wipe my phone and set it up as new without risking all my photos in the cloud.

If you have a great idea please could you explain, it’s a question lots off people seem to have.


Comments: 3 Responses to “How Do I Remove Photo From iPhone and NOT the Cloud?”

    6 years ago

    Are you using iCloud Photo Library? I'll assume so, since it wouldn't make sense to talk about removing photos from iCloud otherwise.

    What you need to do is to go into the Settings app. Then look for Photos. Then look for the option "Optimize iPhone Storage" and turn that on. This means that your iPhone will only keep full-size photos for recent ones and ones you have accessed recently. It manages that automatically. This will free up space for other things like music.

    Note that all of your photos will always appear to be on your iPhone. That's the whole point of the cloud. You have everything everywhere. It is metaphorically ONE space that is shared by all of your devices. But this "Optimize iPhone Storage" will offload many photos and only keep small thumbnails of them, and then download the full image if you ever need to view it.

    This won't happen instantly, so you may only get back a little space at first, and then notice much more space later. It also happens on an as-needed basis, so don't expect your iPhone to suddenly have lots of free space as free space isn't useful. Instead, as you add more music, iOS should slowly offload photos to make room.

    There is no way to manually select a photo an say that you want it to not be cached on your iPhone. It is done automatically, presumably to avoid what would be a complex and confusing set of controls and options.

    Of course one thing to think about is that you are saying that you want to store all of your music on your iPhone and not use a cloud service for that, but have all of your photos in a cloud service. Not sure why. Seems like using the cloud is ideal for someone that wants all of their music available at all times. That's pretty much what the cloud is designed for. What's your opposition to that?

    6 years ago

    Thanks Gary, for the prompt info and help. Yes I am using iCloud. I have Phone optimisation turned on. phone doesn't have enough space for app upgrades
    I dont use a cloud service for music as I am rarely in a space with either good wifi or a strong signal to use data. I like my music on demand but I guess I am a dying breed. Assuming I am not missing something here!
    I notice I have 20GB of podcasts so that will be next to go until I get an iPhone with more storage.

    Thanks again


    6 years ago

    bob: Yes, look at all of your Apps in Settings, General, iPhone Storage and see what is using the most. And make sure you have Offload Unused Apps enabled too. Also, give time for Photos to offload some images as you add music.
    One thing you may not realize with Apple Music is that you can select albums and playlists and download them for offline play. So if you know you will away from WiFi then you can load up some albums. Also, of course, recently listened-to music will be there. Music really doesn't use that much bandwidth, compared to videos and social media, so downloading an album even over spotty signals isn't that hard.

    I loved having all MY music with my in the pre-cloud days. But now I love have ALL music with me (or at least the vast majority of it) using Apple Music/Spotify/Etc.

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