10 Best Fixes For iPhone Won’t Delete Photos

You know the drill – you’re attempting to free up some storage on your iPhone by deleting some old or unnecessary photos, but your phone seems to have developed a mind of its own. No matter how many times you hit that trash icon, the photos stick around like a digital version of cling film. As a Windows user who’s dipped my toes into the Apple ecosystem, I too have faced this vexing issue. But don’t worry – I’ve rolled up my sleeves and discovered three solutions that worked for me. Let’s dive in!

1. Restart Your iPhone

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective. It’s just like rebooting a Windows PC when it starts behaving erratically – and yes, it often works with iPhones too.

To restart your iPhone, press and hold the side button and either volume button until the slider appears. Then, drag the slider to turn off your phone. After your iPhone turns off, press and hold the side button again until you see the Apple logo.

Restart Your iPhone

After your phone restarts, try deleting the photos again. It’s surprising how often this little reset can work miracles.


2. Check ‘Recently Deleted’ Album

If the restart didn’t do the trick, let’s move on to something slightly more involved. In the Photos app, there’s an album called ‘Recently Deleted.’ When you delete a photo, it doesn’t disappear immediately. Instead, it’s moved to this album where it stays for 30 days before being permanently deleted.

To manually clear this album, open the Photos app, go to the ‘Albums’ tab, and scroll down to ‘Recently Deleted.’. Open it, hit ‘Select,’ and then ‘Delete All.’ Make sure you really want all these photos gone because there’s no going back after this.

Check out this guide on Apple’s website for a more detailed step-by-step process: [Apple Support Link].

Check 'Recently Deleted' Album

3. Reset All Settings

If you’re still stuck with those stubborn photos, it might be time for the big guns. Resetting all settings on your iPhone can often clear up this issue. This won’t delete any of your data, but it will reset system settings like Wi-Fi passwords and Apple Pay cards, so proceed with caution.

To reset all settings, go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘General,’ then ‘Reset,’ and select ‘Reset All Settings.

Reset All Settings

Once your phone restarts, you’ll need to re-enter your settings, but with any luck, those photos will now be history.

For more on what this reset entails, have a look at this comprehensive guide: [Link to Relevant Article]

In my journey through the tech labyrinth, I’ve found that these fixes generally solve the ‘iPhone won’t delete photos’ conundrum. However, if your iPhone continues to resist, it might be worth reaching out to Apple Support. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved, right?

Remember, technology is there to serve us, not the other way around. So, keep exploring, keep learning, and never hesitate to troubleshoot – you’re in the driver’s seat. Happy deleting!

4. Sign Out and Back into Your iCloud Account

Sometimes, the issue might be with your iCloud account, especially if you’re using iCloud Photos. Signing out and then back into your iCloud account can help.

To do this, go to ‘Settings’ and tap on your name at the top. Then, scroll down and tap ‘Sign Out’ . Be aware that this will temporarily remove your iCloud data from your iPhone, but don’t worry – it’ll come back once you sign back in.

After you’ve signed out, restart your phone (just for good measure), then head back to ‘Settings’ to sign back into your iCloud account. Try deleting your photos again to see if this resolved the issue.

Sign Out and Back into Your iCloud Account

5. Disable and Re-enable iCloud Photos

Sometimes, simply toggling iCloud Photos off and on can shake things loose.

To do this, go to ‘Settings,’ tap your name, then ‘iCloud,’ then ‘Photos.’ Here, you’ll find the toggle for iCloud Photos. Turn it off, wait for a few minutes, then turn it back on. Check if you can delete the photos now.

Keep in mind that when you disable iCloud Photos, photos stored in iCloud but not on your device will be removed. But they’ll return when you re-enable iCloud Photos.

Disable and Re-enable iCloud Photos

6. Check If Your iPhone Storage is Full

If your iPhone storage is chock-a-block full, this can sometimes prevent photos from being deleted. To check your storage, go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘General,’ then ‘iPhone Storage.

If you’re running low on space, consider offloading some apps, deleting large files, or moving some photos and videos to iCloud or another cloud storage service.

Check If Your iPhone Storage is Full

7. Update Your iOS

We often underestimate the power of an update. Running an outdated iOS can sometimes cause various issues, including problems with deleting photos.

To update your iOS, go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘General,’ and tap ‘Software Update.’ If an update is available, you’ll see an option to download and install it.

Before updating, make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi and has enough battery, or is connected to a power source.

These additional fixes are a bit more involved than the first set, but they can often crack the case when the simpler solutions fall short. Remember, every problem has a solution – sometimes, it just takes a bit of persistence to find it!

Update Your iOS

8. Analyzing the Photo Sync Settings:

In some cases, your iPhone might not be deleting photos due to synchronization settings.

If you have enabled Photo Stream or iCloud Photo Sharing, photos from these albums cannot be deleted directly from your iPhone.

Instead, you’ll need to turn off these features or delete photos directly from the iCloud.

To check these settings, you can go to Settings > [Your name] > iCloud > Photos, and there you can manage these options.

9. Using Third-Party Apps to Delete Photos

Sometimes, the native photo management tools in iOS may not be sufficient, especially if you need to delete a large number of photos at once.

This is where third-party apps can come in handy. Applications like Photo Manager Pro, Slidebox, and Gemini Photos can provide additional features and functionalities to help manage your iPhone photos.

These apps offer options such as deleting duplicates, organizing photos in a more convenient manner, and even bulk deleting. Before using a third-party app, make sure to check its reviews, privacy policy, and data handling practices to ensure it’s trustworthy and will not misuse your data.

10. Manage iPhone Photos Through iTunes

Another way to manage your photos is through iTunes on your computer. Connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes.

In iTunes, click the device button in the upper-left corner. Click “Photos” from the left sidebar. Here you can choose the folders and applications from which you want to sync photos. You can also choose to sync all photos or selected albums.

If you uncheck certain albums and then sync, the photos from these albums will be removed from your iPhone.

Note: As of macOS Catalina, the iTunes app was split into separate Music, Podcasts, and TV apps. The device management functionality was moved to the Finder. So, if you’re using a recent version of macOS, you would use the Finder instead of iTunes to manage your photos.

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Benjamin Johnson

Hey there, I'm Ben, the tech-savvy Founder and CEO of WinFixo.com. I've dedicated my life to helping fellow Windows users optimize their PCs for peak performance. Join me on this journey as we unlock the full potential of your Windows devices together!

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