Skip to content

How to delete photos from my iPhone but not iCloud?

  • by
  • 3 min read

For users of iPhones, the task of managing their continually growing photo collections poses a significant challenge. Although the iCloud service provides a convenient avenue to synchronise and store photos across various devices, there are times when individuals want to free up the storage space on their iPhones without risking the loss of cherished memories stored in the cloud.

This article discusses various ways to delete photos from your iPhone without affecting the photos on iCloud.

Also read: How to transfer photos and videos from iPhone to Windows PC?

Disable iCloud sync

The simplest method to delete photos on your iPhone without deleting them from your iCloud is to disable iCloud photo sharing; here are the steps to do that:

  • Go to the Settings app and tap on your Your Name.
  • Tap on iCloud.
  • Tap on Photos.
  • Turn the toggle off beside Sync this iPhone.
  • Tap on the Remove from phone option.

One downside to this approach is that if you reconnect your photos to iCloud, it will synchronise with your phone, including any deletions you made.

Also read: How to delete multiple photos on iPhone?

Use another cloud service

Not every cloud storage service operates the same way as iCloud. When you back up your iPhone photos using services like Google Photos or Google Drive, the photos synced to the cloud won’t be erased, even if you delete them from your iOS device. So, if you aim to remove photos from your iPhone without affecting your cloud storage, consider using alternatives like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Google Photos.

Use another iCloud account

  • Go to the Settings app and tap on your Your Name.
  • Scroll down to the bottom, tap the Sign Out button and authenticate that you want to sign out.
  • It will ask which data you want to keep on your phone.
  • Now, you can sign in to another iCloud account.
  • Go to Settings app and tap on Sign in to your iPhone.
  • Enter your Apple ID.
  • Choose whether to merge the iPhone to your iCloud.

Go to your Photos app and delete the photos you want to delete.

Also read: Why can’t I download apps on my iPhone?

Download your Photos on Mac

An alternative method to retain copies of the photos you plan to delete involves downloading them from iCloud to your computer. By doing this, even if you remove these photos from your iPhone and iCloud, you’ll still have a backup stored on your computer.

Check out our article to learn how to download your photos on a Mac

Also read: How to find hidden photos on iPhone? 

Akash Singh

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: