iCloud is one of the most important services that Apple has been offering for quite some time now. Since the inception of cloud storage, iCloud has become one of the most important applications in the space, alongside counterparts like Google Photos and Microsoft OneDrive Photos. There is a bit of confusion surrounding Apple’s cloud ecosystem since they made a large switch a few years ago (from My Photo Stream to iCloud Photos), but the overall experience remains the same: iCloud lets you store and access your photos from multiple devices or through a website.

It is sometimes important to delete photos on iCloud, whether it’s for privacy or just to clear up space. Today, we are going to be taking a look at a simple method for deleting these photos from cloud storage, plus a few tips. Let’s get started.

4 Steps to Permanently Delete Photos from iCloud

Step 1: Go to iCloud.com

One of the easiest ways to directly interact with your iCloud storage is through the official website. You can access the official website through your phone or desktop by tapping this link. Once you are on the website, simply log in using your credentials.

Sign in to iCloud logo
Deleting your photos from iCloud is a very simple thing to do with these steps!

Step 2: Open the Photos App

Once you are logged in to your iCloud, you should see an option to access the Photos portion of your saved files. Since we are on the iCloud website, we have access to ALL of your cloud files, not just your photos. Within iCloud Drive is a separate folder/app that contains all of your photos. This is the thing we are looking for.

Step 3: Select the Photos to Delete

Once you have located where your photos are kept, you can go ahead and select the photos you want to delete. This can be done by tapping a single photo and pressing the delete key.

If you want to select multiple photos to delete, you can tap “Select” if using an iOS device, or simply Command + Click (macOS) or Control + Click (Windows) if using a desktop. Additionally, you can select all photos by pressing Command + A (macOS) or Control + A (Windows).

Step 4: Tap Delete

Once you have selected the photos you want to delete, you can simply press the delete key or tap delete on your screen. This will move all the selected photos into your deleted folder across any device that has the photo and is connected to iCloud.

Step 5 (Optional): Clear Your Recently Deleted Photos

If you want to go a step further, you can clear out your deleted photos. Apple stores deleted photos for 30 days in a folder titled “Recently Deleted,” allowing you to restore them if necessary. If you want to ensure that the photos are unavailable, you can select this folder from your options and repeat Steps 3 and 4.

iCloud and Your Photos App

Although you can use the iCloud website to manually select photos to delete, there is another option that works if you have your phone’s photos backed up to iCloud. If this is the case, any photos deleted on your phone using Apple’s Photos app will automatically be deleted from the iCloud and sent to the recently deleted folder.

For anyone that already has their Photos and iCloud synced with one another, this process already happens all the time whenever you delete photos.

How to Delete Photos from iCloud for Good FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Does deleting photos from my phone also delete them from iCloud?

Yes, deleting photos from your phone also deletes them from iCloud, provided your photos are set to back up to iCloud already (which most people already have).

When I delete a photo is it gone forever?

After deleting a photo or video, Apple sends it to the Recently Deleted folder for 30 days, after which it will be permanently deleted.

Can I use iCloud on Windows?

Yes, you can access your iCloud storage through the website or by downloading the Windows iCloud app.

How long does it take to delete photos from iCloud?

Apple holds photos for 30 days in the Recently Deleted folder before permanently deleting them.

Can you clear your Recently Deleted folder?

Yes, you can manually clear your Recently Deleted folder, speeding up the standard 30-day process.

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