How to Delete Photos From iPhone But Not iCloud?

Written By Navkiran Dhaliwal |

For most of the people using the iPhone, their pictures and videos from iPhone are synced to iCloud. This means that the limited amount of free iCloud storage that every user has is utilized fully. So, when your iPhone’s storage is full, in this case, you may want to delete pictures but not from the iCloud. You need a function to delete pictures from your iPhone but not iCloud.

To explore different methods for achieving the same, we have prepared a guide. Let’s explore how to delete photos from iPhone but not iCloud.

delete photos from iphone

Part 1: Deleting Photos from iPhone But Not iCloud: 4 Methods

In this section, we have discussed several useful methods for deleting photos from iPhone but not iCloud.

Method 1: Switch Off iCloud Photos

The obvious move, in this case, is to switch off iCloud photos. When you need to remove photos on iPhone but not iCloud, you should turn off syncing between iPhone and iCloud photos. This way data on your iCloud is on the cloud and data on your iPhone stays on the phone. If you delete pictures on your iPhone, it won’t impact data on your iCloud and vice versa.

switch off icloud photos

Here are the steps to turn off iCloud sync:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  • In Apple ID, go to iCloud.
  • This will show data synced between iOS devices.
  • Scroll to Photos and toggle the switch to turn off iCloud photo sync.

As soon as you achieve this, the data sync connection will be lost and now you can remove photos from your iPhone not iCloud.

Method 2: Use Another iCloud Account

The second method on the list for how to remove photos from iPhone not iCloud is to use a different iCloud account. This process is a bit long but useful. You need to sync photos to the iCloud account you are currently using. Once it is done, sign out of this account and sign in to a different iCloud account. This will keep data in the old account but you can still delete photos from your iPhone.

sign out of icloud account

  • From the Settings of your iPhone, go to Apple ID.
  • You will find an option to Sign Out.
  • Here, you can sign out of Apple ID but you need to switch off Find my Phone.
  • After this, go to Settings and enter your new Apple ID.

Finally, you can visit your Gallery and delete pictures you don’t need on your iPhone.

Method 3: Backup iPhone Photos to iCloud Alternatives

In the third method for how to delete pictures from iPhone not iCloud, we will talk about using alternative storage methods. This means except for iCloud, you can also store data in Dropbox, Google Drive, and other such cloud services.

backup photos to google

For example, here’s the process for saving pictures on Google Drive:

  • Download the Google Photo app on your iPhone.
  • Sign in to the app using your Google Account.
  • In this, you can go to your profile and Turn on Backup.
  • When you click on Backup and Sync Settings, you will be able to sync pictures to Google Drive.

Method 4: Backup iPhone Photos to Computer Instead

The last method for how to keep photos in iCloud but not on iPhone is to backup to the computer instead. This means that you take your pictures and put them on your computer. There’s no hassle of losing your pictures by mistake.

For this, you need to use a tool called MobileTrans. It is robust software that you can use on a PC to transfer any type of data between your iPhone and computer. This way your worries about permanently deleting pictures would resolve and your space on iCloud and Google Drive would be saved. It’s a win-win situation.

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Some steps to use MobileTrans to transfer data to a PC:

Step 1: Download MobileTrans

Firstly, download MobileTrans on your computer. And launch the software.

From the Backup & Restore, select Phone Backup & Restore. Since we are saving data to a computer, you should select the Backup module in this case.

backup iphone photos

Step 2: Connect Devices

Before moving forward, take your iPhone and connect it to the computer. You need to use the original cable for the purpose.

The iPhone will connect to your computer and you will see iPhone on one side, and the computer on another.

backup iphone photos with mobiletrans

In the middle, there’s a list of data that you can sync and transfer to the computer. Select relevant types.

Step 3: Transfer Data

Start data transfer and wait a few minutes. The software will automatically backup the data to the computer and inform you when it is completed.

During the entire data transfer, you need to keep your phone connected to the computer.

backup iphone photos with mobiletrans

That;s it! Your iPhone photos are backed up in the computer now. Then you can toggle off iCloud Photos according to Method 1 and then delete all photos from your iPhone.

Part 2: How to Get Back Photos Deleted from iPhone But Not iCloud?

Sometimes, by mistake, we may end up deleting pictures from our iPhone but not iCloud. In this case, you have an option to recover it.

MobileTrans has an iCloud to iPhone module that allows transfer iCloud pictures to your iPhone without impact the existing data.

restore icloud data

In the same tool, you need to visit the Phone Transfer module and select iCloud to iPhone. Follow the instructions to choose the photos you need to recover to your iPhone.

Part 3: FAQs

1. How can I delete pictures from my iPhone but not iCloud?

The easiest method to delete pictures from iPhone but not iCloud is to turn off sync between both. However, we can often forget if the pictures are synced or not, so it is best to backup data to a computer using MobileTrans.

2. Can I delete all photos on iPhone altogether?

While there’s no way to delete every photo on your iPhone, you can use multiple selections. So, click on Select in your Gallery and select every picture to put it in the trash. 

3. How to remove photos from iPhone permanently?

When you delete photos, it goes to the recently deleted folder. If you visit the folder from Gallery and delete pictures from it, these photos are permanently deleted.


How to delete photos from iPhone not iCloud?

We have briefly answered this question in the above discussion. You now have the option to use various methods to secure your photos and also save space on your iPhone. Try these methods and see what works for you. Be careful because you don’t want to lose your pictures from iPhone and iCloud both.

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Navkiran Dhaliwal

Navkiran Dhaliwal

staff Editor