can I delete photos from iphone and keep on icloud

Can I Delete Photos from iPhone and Keep on iCloud?

With the increasing popularity of cloud storage, many iPhone users wonder if they can delete photos from their device while still keeping them safely stored on iCloud. This article will explore the capabilities of iCloud and provide valuable insights into managing your photos effectively. We will discuss the benefits and limitations of iCloud, the steps to delete photos from your iPhone while keeping them on iCloud, and address common concerns and questions users may have.

Understanding iCloud and its Benefits

iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage service that allows users to store and sync their data across multiple devices. It offers various benefits, including:

  • Convenience: iCloud provides a seamless way to access your photos, videos, documents, and other files from any Apple device.
  • Automatic Backup: When enabled, iCloud automatically backs up your iPhone’s data, including photos, ensuring that you have a copy in case of device loss or damage.
  • Storage Space: iCloud offers 5GB of free storage, with options to upgrade to higher storage plans if needed.
  • Sharing and Collaboration: iCloud allows you to easily share photos and files with others, making it a convenient tool for collaboration.

While iCloud provides numerous advantages, it’s important to understand its limitations when it comes to managing your photos.

The Limitations of iCloud for Photo Storage

Although iCloud is a reliable cloud storage solution, it has certain limitations that users should be aware of:

  • Storage Space: The free 5GB storage provided by iCloud may not be sufficient for users with large photo libraries. Additional storage plans come at a cost.
  • Internet Connection: Accessing photos stored on iCloud requires an internet connection. If you’re in an area with poor or no connectivity, you may not be able to view or download your photos.
  • Device Compatibility: iCloud is primarily designed for Apple devices. While there are ways to access iCloud on non-Apple devices, the experience may not be as seamless.
  • Deleted Photos: By default, when you delete a photo from your iPhone, it also gets deleted from iCloud. This behavior can be changed with the right settings, which we will discuss in the next section.

Steps to Delete Photos from iPhone and Keep on iCloud

If you want to delete photos from your iPhone while keeping them stored on iCloud, follow these steps:

  1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on your name at the top of the screen to access your Apple ID settings.
  3. Select “iCloud” from the list of options.
  4. Scroll down and tap on “Photos.”
  5. Toggle off the “iCloud Photos” option. This will disable the synchronization of photos between your iPhone and iCloud.
  6. A pop-up message will appear asking if you want to remove photos from your iPhone or download them. Choose “Remove from iPhone.”
  7. Confirm your selection by tapping on “Remove from iPhone” again.

By following these steps, you can delete photos from your iPhone without affecting the copies stored on iCloud. However, it’s important to note that any changes made to your iCloud Photo Library will be reflected across all devices connected to your iCloud account.

Common Concerns and FAQs

Here are some common concerns and frequently asked questions regarding deleting photos from iPhone and keeping them on iCloud:

1. Will deleting photos from my iPhone save storage space?

Yes, deleting photos from your iPhone will free up storage space on your device. However, it’s important to note that the photos will still occupy storage space on iCloud unless you delete them from there as well.

2. Can I recover deleted photos from iCloud?

Yes, if you have enabled the “Recently Deleted” feature in your Photos app, deleted photos will be moved to the “Recently Deleted” album where they are stored for 30 days. During this period, you can recover deleted photos from iCloud. After 30 days, they will be permanently deleted.

3. How can I manage my iCloud storage?

To manage your iCloud storage, go to the “Settings” app on your iPhone, tap on your name, select “iCloud,” and then tap on “Manage Storage.” From there, you can see how much storage is being used and manage your storage by deleting unnecessary files or upgrading to a higher storage plan.

4. Can I access my iCloud photos on non-Apple devices?

Yes, you can access your iCloud photos on non-Apple devices by visiting and signing in with your Apple ID. However, the experience may not be as seamless as on Apple devices.

5. How secure is iCloud for storing my photos?

iCloud uses encryption to protect your data, including photos, during transmission and storage. Apple has implemented strong security measures to safeguard user information, but it’s always recommended to use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for added security.


In conclusion, it is possible to delete photos from your iPhone while keeping them stored on iCloud. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can manage your photo library effectively and free up storage space on your device without losing your precious memories. However, it’s important to be aware of the limitations of iCloud and regularly manage your iCloud storage to ensure you have enough space for your photos and other files. By understanding how iCloud works and utilizing its features, you can make the most of this cloud storage solution and enjoy the convenience it offers.


I am a technology writer specialize in mobile tech and gadgets. I have been covering the mobile industry for over 5 years and have watched the rapid evolution of smartphones and apps. My specialty is smartphone reviews and comparisons. I thoroughly tests each device's hardware, software, camera, battery life, and other key features. I provide in-depth, unbiased reviews to help readers determine which mobile gadgets best fit their needs and budgets.

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