Deleting photos from Mac is easy, but there are some confusions. For example, does deleting photos in Photos or iPhoto removes the photos from hard drive space on Mac? Is there a convenient way to delete photos to release disk space on Mac?
This post will explain everything you want to know about deleting photos on Mac and introduce a convenient way to clean up Mac hard drive to release sapce - FonePaw MacMaster (opens new window), which can delete photos cache, duplicate photos, photos or videos of large size and more to free up Mac space.
Apple discontinued iPhoto for Mac OS X since 2014. Most users have migrated from iPhoto to Photos app. After importing your photos into the Photos app, don't forget to delete the old iPhoto library to regain your storage space.
Deleting photos from Photos on Mac is similar to deleting them from iPhoto. Since there are more users using Photos app on macOS, here is how to delete photos from Photos on Mac.
Delete photo(s) on Mac
Step 1 Open Photos.
Step 2 Select the photo(s) you want to delete. To delete multiple photos, press Shift and select the photos.
Step 3 To delete the selected pictures/videos, press the Delete button on the keyboard or right click Select XX Photos.
Step 4 Click Delete to confirm the deletion.
Note: Select photos and press Command + Delete. This will enable macOS to directly delete the photos without asking for your confirmation.
Another point to note is that deleting photos or videos from Albums doesn't necessarily mean that the photos are deleted from Photos library or the Mac hard drive. When you select a image in a album and press Delete button, the photo is merely removed from the album but still remain in the Photos library. To delete a photo from both the album and the Photos library, use Command + Delete or the Delete option in the right-click menu.
Permanently delete photos on Mac
Photos for macOS has Recently Deleted library to save the deleted photos for 30 days before the photos are permanently deleted. This is thoughtful and allows you to undelete the deleted photos if you are regret. But if you need to regain the free disk space from the deleted photos right away, you don't want to wait 30 days. Here is how to permanently delete photos on Photos from Mac.
Step 1 On Photos, go to Recently Deleted.
Step 2 Tick the photos you want to delete for good.
Step 3 Click Delete XX Items.
Delete Photos library on Mac
When MacBook Air/Pro is having low disk space, some users choose to delete the Photos library to reclaim disk space. If the photos are important to you, make sure you have uploaded the photos to iCloud Photos Library or saved them in a external hard drive before cleaning up the entire library. To delete Photos library on Mac:
Step 1 Go to Finder.
Step 2 Open your system disk > Users > Pictures.
Step 3 Drag the Photos Library you want to delete to the Trash.
Step 4 Empty the Trash.
Some users reported after deleting the Photos library, there is no significant change in the storage when checking About this Mac. If this happen to you, too, don't worry. It takes time for the macOS to delete the entire Photos library. Give it some time and check the storage later. You'll see the free space is regained.
Deleting pictures from Photos only remove the pictures in the Masters folder of Photos Library. There are more pictures in the disk drive that are not imported into Photos. To delete photos from Mac, you can go through all the folders that have images and videos and delete those that you don't need. Or you can use FonePaw MacMaster (opens new window), which can detect duplicate images and large photos/videos on Mac to free up your disk space. If you need more free space, MacMaster can also clean system junks such as cache, logs, mail attchments, app data, etc. to give you more free space.
Remove duplicate photos on Mac
Step 1 Run MacMaster.
Step 2 Select Similar Image Finder.
Step 3 Select a location to search for duplicate photos. To delete duplicate photos in the whole hard drive, select your system drive.
Step 4 Click Scan. After scanning, select all the duplicated photos you want to delete and click Clean.
Step 5 The photos will be deleted from the disk.
Delete photos/videos of large size
One of the most effective way to free up space on Mac is to delete photos or videos that are large in size. MacMaster can help you with that.
Step 1 Click Large & Old Files.
Step 2 Click Scan.
Step 3 All the large files on your Mac, including photos and videos will be found.
Step 4 Select those you don't need and click Clean to remove them.
Clean photo cache of Photos/iPhoto Library
Photos or iPhoto library create caches over time. You can delete the photo cache with MacMaster.
Step 1 Open MacMaster.
Step 2 Click Photo Cache > Scan.
Step 3 Select all items and click Clean.
That's how to delete photos on Mac. If you have any question, let us know in the comments.