Photo Management

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I have 29,000 photos and videos organised in albums in iCloud. Unfortunately, they are also sitting in my iPhone 13 taking up 60Gb of the 120Gb capacity of the phone.

I can access the photos from my iPad mini where they take up very little space! I want to remove the photos from my iPhone but am petrified I will lose them off my other devices!

If I delete them from the iPhone, will syncing the phone again sync an empty iPhone library on the iPhone and delete the iCloud photo library? Is there a simple way of deleting the photos from my iPhone but still be able to access them from my iPhone when I want?
 

IWT


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I want to remove the photos from my iPhone but am petrified I will lose them off my other devices!
This can be done. See below.

Is there a simple way of deleting the photos from my iPhone but still be able to access them from my iPhone when I want?
No.

Yes, you can delete all pictures/videos from your iPhone without touching them on other devices. BUT you cannot achieve two conflicting notions: to remove all pictures/videos from the iPhone, still keep them in iCloud but still view them on the iPhone. When the iPhone syncs pics/vids to iCloud and your other devices, it keeps all devices showing all pics/vids. If you remove them from the iPhone by isolating it from syncing with iCloud. That’s it. To see them, you’d have to sync with iCloud again, in which case you’d get all 29K pics/vids back again.

This is how you can delete all pics/vids from the iPhone whilst keeping them on other devices.

But you have to make critical alterations to your settings to achieve this.

On your iPhone, open Settings, Tap on your Apple ID, then Tap on iCloud, then Tap on Photos.

Turn OFF iCloud Photos

Turn ON My Photo Stream if you want any pictures taken on your iPhone to be visible on your iPad or Mac - assuming that My Photo Stream is turned ON in those devices.

Now go back to Settings > Photos

Again, Turn OFF iCloud Photos

Turn ON My Photo Stream if you want to (see above)

What all this achieves is that the pictures/videos on your iPhone are now isolated from iCloud.

You can still manually backup your iPhone’s data to iCloud - Settings > iCloud > iCloud Backup (Turn On or Off depending on your needs. This will backup all your data plus any pics/vids on the iPhone at that time but will NOT sync them with anything).

When you have completed the above changes, let me give you a tip on the easiest way to delete all your pics/vids. Trying to do it manually will bring about a nervous breakdown!

I am assuming, because you don’t say, that you have a Mac computer. Attach your iPhone to the Mac via USB cable. Open "Image Capture" (Applications > Image Capture app). A window will open. On the left under DEVICES, click on your iPhone. It will be shown with the name you gave it.

On the Right will be all your pics/vids. Click on one of them to highlight it. Then use Command + A to select them all. Now Right Click on one of them. You will be offered a choice;

"Import all x number" or "Delete all x number". Choose Delete.

This will delete them all; but be prepared, this will take 60-90 minutes because you have 29K pics/vids!

When done, all of them will gone, but only from the iPhone.

Any further questions before you begin - just ask.

Ian
 
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Hi Ian. My Photostream is missing on my iPhone? Where do I find it?
 

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Thanks Ian. We always seem to forget about using Image Capture, good reminder what this versitile app can do.
 

IWT


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Hi Ian. My Photostream is missing on my iPhone? Where do I find it?
It should be where I posted; but maybe you don't have it. As far as your project is concerned, it isn't that important. It doesn't appear on the more recent Macs but should be on your iPhone and iPad as I described.

iPhone > Settings > Photos (underneath Siri & Search, then iCloud Photos OFF, then My Photo Stream)

And in iPhone > Settings > iCloud > Photos (iCloud Photos OFF & underneath My Photo Stream)

But don't worry, it does not affect what you want to do.

Ian
 
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Hi Ian. All done. The library on the iPhone is now empty.

Interestingly my MacBook Pro would not recognise my phone when I connected it via USB. The MacBook has no USB port so the phone had to be connected via an adapter. Maybe that was the reason for non-recognition?

Is it now possible to access the photos that are on the iCloud without downloading them once again to my phone?
 

IWT


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Hi Simol. well done and thank you for your feedback.
no USB port so the phone had to be connected via an adapter. Maybe that was the reason for non-recognition
That seems right. Connectors seem to be changing every other day - exaggeration of course, but it's a complex area for sure.

As I explained before, you cannot see your pictures on the iPhone via iCloud otherwise you get all 29K of them. So do make sure that you keep the settings I mentioned.

However, there is a way via your Mac. If it's running an older Operating System (OS), you will achieve this via iTunes. If the OS is recent, then via Finder.

What you do is connect your iPhone to the Mac with whatever connector/adaptor works. Assuming a recent OS - your iPhone will appear in Finder in the Sidebar on the left under "Locations".

Click on it. Wait for it to load and then you will see a list of options along the top over to the right.

S1.jpg

This is where you can backup the iPhone to the Mac manually and/or Sync specific Music, Movies, TV Shows etc between Mac and iPhone WITHOUT involving iCloud. It's just Mac to iPhone.

Click on Photos.

Turn ON "Sync Photos to your Device From". This will allow you to choose from where on the Mac you want to see your photographs. Clicking on the little triangles offers "Photos App Library", "Pictures Folder" or "Choose Folder".

Normally you would choose Photos library and from there, choose which photographs you want to sync with your iPhone. Make sure that you Click the box "Sync Selected Albums" rather than "All photos & Albums" - unless you want to see the entire library of 29K.

Under "Options", you can choose "Include Videos" if you want to Sync specific videos as well as selected photographs.

Once finished your selections, Click on Sync/Apply, at the bottom of the window, far right.

That's it.

Ian
 

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