Problems deleting pictures in Photos app


Q: I am having problems removing photos from my iPhone 5 running iOS 7. When I open my photos, the option at the bottom says Photos or Albums. When I select the option Photos, it comes up with collections and years and when I select photos it only gives me the option of “Add To” or AirDrop—the trashcan icon is not able to be selected. Is it possible to still delete these photos? I need to delete some so I have more memory on the phone and these photos are all saved on my PC. Would love to hear if you can help. Thanks.

Problems deleting pictures in Photos app

– Linda

A: This will normally be what you see if you select one or more photos that have been synced onto your iPhone from your computer via iTunes, rather than saved to the Camera Roll or Photo Stream.

The delete button is greyed out in this case as you cannot delete these photos directly from the Photos app—they must be removed via iTunes instead. You can do this by connecting your device to your computer and selecting it from the “Devices” list in iTunes and then going to the Photos section.


Problems deleting pictures in Photos app

From here you can de-select any photos that you no longer want on your device and click ‘Apply’ and they will be removed during the subsequent sync. Alternatively, if you no longer want to sync any photos to your device, you can simply uncheck the Sync Photos From option at the top, and iTunes will remove all of the synced photos. Note that this will not remove any photos in your camera roll or Photo Stream.

Note that in some cases photos the delete button may also be greyed out when selecting photos that are stored in your Photo Stream from other devices, such as an iPad, iPod touch, or another iPhone. In this case, you can remove these photos by going to Albums instead and selecting them directly from within the “My Photo Stream” system album.




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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.