How Do I Delete All Photos From My iPhone? Here’s The Fix!

Your iPhone memory is filled up with photos, and it’s time to delete the old to make room for the new. You open the Photos app and look for a Select All button, but it isn’t there. Do you really have to tap on every single photo to delete them? Fortunately, the answer is no.

delete photos camera rollIn this article, I’ll show you two ways to delete all the photos from your iPhone at once. First, I’ll show you how to delete your photos using a program that’s already on your Mac, and then I’ll tell you about some free apps that allow you to delete all the photos from your iPhone without plugging it into a computer.

What To Know Before You Delete Your Photos

When you take a photo on your iPhone, it ends up in Camera Roll in the Photos app. Even if you’re storing your photos in iCloud Storage or Photo Stream, photos stay in your Camera Roll until you delete them. The Photos app on Mac does have an option to remove photos from your iPhone after you import them, but that option goes away if you didn’t remove them the first time, so that’s a no-go.

Before you delete your photos, make sure you’ve backed up the photos you care about. When I worked at Apple, I had the unfortunate duty of letting people know there was no way for us to recover photos from their damaged iPhones, and a lot of the time they’d break down in tears. It was very sad. I understand why Apple doesn’t make it easy to delete photos from iPhones.

Remember, it’s not a backup if your photos are only stored in one location, so make sure you’re backing up your computer too!

Method 1: Using Your Mac

The tried-and-true method of deleting all photos from your iPhone is to use a program called Image Capture on your Mac.

How To Open Image Capture On Your Mac

1. Click the magnifying glass spotlight magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner of the screen to open Spotlight. It’s on the right-hand side of the clock.

2. Type “Image Capture” and double-click on the Image Capture app to open it.

open image capture using spotlight

How To Delete All Photos From Your iPhone Using Image Capture

1. Click on your iPhone under “Devices” on the left.

2. Click on any picture on the right side of the window so it is highlighted in blue.

highlight image in image capture

3. Press command + A to select all of your photos. Alternatively, click the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose “Select All”.

select all in image capture

4. Click the prohibitory sign icon image capture delete icon at the bottom of the window, just to the left of “Import To:”.

5. Click Delete.

delete dialog in image capture

Method 2: Using Free Apps On Your iPhone

Over the last two years, a number of free apps have surfaced that allow you to delete the photos on your iPhone without using a computer. I’ve selected three highly-rated, popular apps that make it easy to delete photos from your iPhone.

At the time of this writing, ALPACA is the highest-rated popular app for deleting photos from your iPhone. The reason popularity matters is that any app can get a 5 star rating – if 2 people review it.

ALPACA groups similar photos together to make it easy to quickly pick and choose which photos you’d like to keep. It does more than just delete your photos – it makes the process efficient. I’ve only heard good things about it, and its nearly-perfect 5 star rating makes it my #1 recommendation.

Other highly-rated apps to check out are Photo Cleaner, a no-frills app that does the job, and Flic, an app that lets you swipe left or right to quickly sort through photos in Camera Roll.

Time To Take New Photos

You’ve deleted all the photos from your iPhone and made room for new ones – without pulling your hair out using the Photos app. If you used one of the apps I recommended to delete your photos, let me know which one and how it worked for you in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading, and remember to pay it forward,
David P.

About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.

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Anonymous

Image capture does not see the photos on my iphone se. How do I delete them?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Thanks! Problem fixed..

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Image capture worked great, thanks!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Thanks alot… nice move to use image capture. I love these workarounds.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Janet, did you use: Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings? If so will it wipe everything off the phone?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Debbie Foye Albert no it just resets the network settings like wifi connections

Payette Forward
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Payette Forward

Hey, it sounds like you might have a software problem that requires a DFU restore to solve. Check out our article about how to DFU restore your iPhone I think it will help. https://www.payetteforward.com/how-to-put-iphone-dfu-mode/

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Thanks! Image Capture worked fofr me. Waiting for the 8, and will get the biggest drive (who thought 64 GB wouldn’t be enough). Best $1200 I ever spent was 2 TB drive on new MacBook Pro.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

this is exactly my problem and i have tried so many options but no luck.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

hi did you find the solution

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Did you try turning on “Ask to Join Neworks” on the WiFi settings page?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

With 7plus you can just turn off icloud photo sharing on your phone and it will ask if you want to delete all your photos. Easy.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Photo Cleaner definitely best of this lot!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

There is no prohibitory sign icon to the left of the import button .

Anonymous
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Anonymous

did u by any chance find out how to fix it???

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Did you figure out a way how to fix it? I have the same problem 🙁

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Jane Kimberly Chua Hey! Apparently the only fix I found is to stand next to the router (literally a foot or two away) so I can use the internet. But it works properly in some places like airports and coffeeshops though…

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Paolo Ongluico Thanks for the response! Sadly, my ipad won’t connect even if I’m near the router. It just shows “incorrect password” for password protected connections and “unable to join the network” for unprotected connections. (Good wifi signal and all)
I can connect in public wifi areas too, the ones that require sign in first and limit the duration of use.

I’ve also had it checked in Apple Service Centers and they found everything to be in good condition, the only fix the could offer was to exchange it for ~400USD, which is a really steep price :/

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Paolo Ongluico I’ve set my phone’s hotspot to use the 5GHz band and it connected! Maybe it’s just a software update?

But I remember setting my router to use 5GHz bands and it didn’t work there.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Jane Kimberly Chua hey! How do you do that?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Paolo Ongluico I have the same problem! As long as I sit on top the wifi box I’m good! Did you ever find a fix for it?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Guilherme Forton Viotti I have done that twice already and still nothing. Omygoood, can anyone help me? 🙁

Luci Fairbrother
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Luci Fairbrother

The prohibitory sign doesn’t show anymore!