My Digital Photo Cleanup course launched, and I’ve loved watching people start working through it. So, I thought sharing a tip with you this week would be fun. I’m going to teach you the easiest way to filter, mass-select, and delete photos on your iPhone.
How to Mass Select and Delete Photos on your iPhone
Grab your iPhone, and let’s walk through these steps together:
Unlock your iPhone, then locate the photos app and tap it to open.
You want to click on the Magnifying Glass icon in the bottom right corner. If it’s not there, you need to tap the “back” arrow in the top left corner until it appears.
Once you tap the Magnifying Glass, you should see a search bar. Using this, you can search through your photos by specific dates, months, date ranges, years, keywords (like beach, dog, baby, flowers, sky!), or even by faces.
To start, let’s take a look at the photos you took last year. So, type in 2022.
Below the search bar, you should now see a number (this tells you how many photos you took in 2022) and to the right of the number, it should say “See All”. Tap “See All”.
Oooh, now we’re talking. Here are all your photos from 2022. But we can optimize this view even more to speed up this process.
In the top right corner, you should see three little dots (…). Tap that.
This menu contains various options that can help you optimize your view so that cleaning up your photos is easier than ever:
Zoom In/Zoom Out: Tap these to change the size of your photo thumbnails (I prefer to have 5 columns of photos so I can review more at a time).
Aspect Grid Ratio: Tap this to display this entire image instead of the square thumbnail. (I keep mine square, but it can depend on the type of content you’re reviewing).
Filter: Tap this to sort your photos by Favorites, Edited, Photos, or Videos. (I select “Photos” so that it removes the videos — I’ll deal with those later).
Now your view is optimized, and you’re ready to go into Selection Mode. To do this, tap Select in the top right corner (if it’s not there, you need to tap “zoom in” until it reappears).
In Selection Mode, you can tap on any photos you want to delete, and it will put a blue check in the lower left corner of the thumbnail to show that it is selected.
BUT you can also gently drag your finger across your images and up or down to select a group of photos at once. Give it a try!
You can also pick your finger up, then put it back down and begin dragging again to add to the selection.
You can tap photos a second time to deselect them (this will remove the blue check).
There should be a number in the bottom center of the screen. This tells you how many photos you currently have selected.
When you’re ready to delete a selection of photos, tap the Trash Can icon in the bottom right corner and confirm the deletion.
I recommend deleting groups of 50-100 photos at a time.
See, wasn’t that so much easier than going through years of photos one at a time?! This method can help you remove digital clutter from your camera roll quickly and efficiently.
How to Clear Your Recently Deleted Photos on iPhone
However, don’t forget that the photos are not deleted from your device OR your cloud storage quite yet! By default, your phone stores them in an “Recently Deleted” album for 30 days. After 30 days, they will be automatically removed. You can visit this album to restore your images or manually delete them to free up storage space ASAP. To do that:
Unlock your iPhone and open your Photos App.
You want to click on the Albums icon in the bottom right corner. If it’s not there, click the Back arrow in the top left until it appears.
Tap “albums” twice.
You should now be able to see all the albums on your device. Scroll down until you see a section called Utilities.
Under Utilities, you should see an album titled Recently Deleted. Open it using FaceID or pincode.
Here you can delete all, delete individual photos, or restore them to your Recents Album if you don’t want them deleted.
If this was helpful, consider hopping into my online course, Digital Photo Cleanup. The course will teach you how to:
⭐ Assess your photo collection to determine how much digital clutter exists and how much can be removed.
⭐ Understand cloud storage, how it works, and the associated long-term costs.
⭐ Learn shortcuts and tips for navigating your photos like a pro so you can remove clutter quickly and easily.
⭐How to overcome two common pitfalls: digital clutter and analysis paralysis
⭐ Explore options for downloading your images, consolidating digital files, and sharing your photos.
⭐ Establish short, 5-minute photo cleanup sessions that will keep your photos organized and clutter-free moving forward.
The course is hosted entirely online and is self-paced, so you can work through the six short video lessons when it works for you. Learn more here!
If you’d like to see these steps in video format, you can check out this quick Reel I shared on Instagram. Happy Organizing!