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How to Delete Photos from Google Photos (Practical Tips)

author Carrie Murray
date Friday, November 24, 2017

This post has been updated in February 2018


Some people are asking the easy and straightforward way to delete photos from Google Photos app. This post will show you all the proven solutions for different situations when trying to delete the Google photos. Please continue to read.

Google Photos can automatically back up and sync all your photos to different devices. But the concept of syncing is rather bewildering. Therefore, users get all these questions about deleting photos from Google photos:

If you have any of these questions, click the question to jump to the corresponding answer.

How to Delete All Photos from Google Photos?

Since removing photos from Google Photos will also remove your device copies, to avoid data loss, you want to make sure you have backed up all your photos to your computer before deleting images in Google Photos.

And transferring hundreds or thousands of photos from phone to PC is a huge waste of time, therefore I suggest FonePaw Android Data Backup & Restore (opens new window)to back up all your photos to PC in a small-size file. It takes only a few minutes to finish the photos backup.

Once you are ready, you can now begin to delete all photos from Google Photos at once.

Step 1 Toggle off "back up and sync" on Google Photos app.

Step 2 Since there is no select all/delete all option on Google Photos app, open, select the first image of your Google backup. Hold the Shift key and scroll down to select the last photos.

Step 3 Now you have selected all photos in Google Photos. Click Delete icon at the top to delete all photos at once.

Deleted All Photos from Google Photos

How to Delete Photos from Device Only?

When you delete a photo from Google Photos, the local copy of the photo on your Android/iPhone will be deleted as well. So to delete photos from Google Photos, make sure you have backed up all your phone pictures to a PC or external drive.

However, if you have backed up the photos to Google Photos and would like to delete the device copies to release space on your phone, there are 3 ways to do so.

Delete Photos from Device

Step 1 Run Google Photos app on your Android or iPhone Choose a photo(s) and tap three dots icon on the top.

Step 2 Choose Delete from device. This will remove the image from your device but the image will still remain in Google Photos.

Google Photos Delete Device Copy

Delete All Device Copy at Once

Step 1 On Google Photos app, navigate to Settings. Choose Free up device storage.

Step 2 Google Photos will find out the photos that have been backed up to Google. Tap Remove to delete all device copy of the backed up photos.

Google Photos Free up Device Storage

Delete Photos from Gallery/Photos

After you have backed up photos to Google Photos, you can delete the local copies of the photos from Gallery (Photos app for iPhone) to free up phone storage. You can still access the photos on Google Photos.

How to Delete Duplicate Photos in Google Photos?

Google Photos doesn't have a feature to remove duplicate photos, but it has built-in duplicate detection. If you have enabled back up & sync to automatically upload photos, Google Photos can automatically recognize the same images and avoid uploading duplicate photos. So why do we still get duplicate photos on Google Photos?

  • You have uploaded the photos to Google Photos manually;
  • You have backed up the same photos to Google Drive.

To avoid duplicate photos in Google Photos:

  • You should be careful not to manually upload the same photo twice.
  • Stop backing up photos to Google Drive and keep your photos on Google Photos only.
  • Or you can turn off Google Drive onSettings so that Google Drive photos won't show in your Google Photos.

Any other questions about deleting photos on Google Photos? Leave your question below.