How to Delete Photos From iPhone but Not iCloud 

I assume you are here on this blog because you want to find out how to delete photos from your iPhone but not iCloud. Whatever keyword that brought you here, just have it in mind that you have arrived at the right place.

All you need to do is to read carefully through this article to the end.  But before we go deep into the topic, let’s first discuss the term iCloud to know what it is.  

iCloud is the default backup for photos and videos on any iPhone, but its downside is that if you either accidentally or intentionally delete any photo or video on the iPhone, will be removed from iCloud as well. 

Let’s now dive into the topic for today.  

How to Delete Photos From iPhone but Not iCloud 

Do you want to know how you can create space on your iPhone by deleting irrelevant old photos while keeping them on iCloud read carefully while I work you through? 

Below are some useful methods to consider clearing up space by deleting photos on your iPhone, but not iCloud

  • Switch Off iCloud Syncing 

First of all, to switch off iCloud, we must first understand how iCloud Photos syncing works. 

iCloud Photos syncing is a default you will find on every iPhone. And as long as there is space on your iCloud account, it will automatically sync with Photos on the iPhone. 

In short, any photo on the iPhone or iCloud is the same and not a copy. 

Hence, if any photo is deleted from iPhone, it will automatically be deleted from iCloud if the sync is enabled. 

However, here below are some steps to follow to switch off iCloud syncing.

  • Go to Settings on your iPhone and tap on the Apple ID with your name.
  • Next, select iCloud Photos on the Apple ID.  
  • Tap on Photos.
  • Next, use switch off iCloud Photos to disable syncing.

With the relationship between iPhone and the iCloud disabled, you can safely delete photos from your iPhone and they will still be left in your iCloud. 

Backup Your Photos With iCloud Alternatives 

Using another cloud storage as a photo backup is a straightforward solution and is reliable to use. 

You can decide to choose between any of these such as Google Photos, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or any other. 

But among all, Google Photos seems to be the ideal photo storage solution to create a backup of your photos that doesn’t depend on iCloud.

  • First of all, download,  launch and open the Google Photos app on your phone.  
  • Next, you should sign in to Google Photos with your required Google account. 
  • Next, you should select your Google profile photo located in the top-right of your screen. 
  • Next, you should select ‘Turn on backup’.
  • Go to the user menu and “Turn on Backup” button in Google Photos 
  • Next, you should select the Backup & sync settings to store all photos in their original resolutions or reduced quality.
  • Click on Confirm for backup 
  • Next, you should select confirm to begin the backup process.

And you should also know that this process can take time for everything to be completed. 

  • Next,  you should select and delete any photo you want from the iPhone’s Photos app when the process is complete. 

This method allows you to still see all your backed-up photos and videos in the Google Photos app even if you delete them from your iPhone.

Use an Alternate iCloud Account 

Using another alternate iCloud account other than your usual one can be stressful, but still, it is another useful method to make use of.  

In the sense that it is very much possible to preserve your photos in iCloud while you delete them from your iPhone. 

Mind you,  your other iCloud account will have your photos synced before you log out, while you can use the new iCloud account to sync everything from here on. 

However, this is how to go about this method of using another iCloud account. 

  • Go to Settings.
  • Next, select your name with the Apple ID.
  • Next,  Select Sign Out located at the bottom of your phone screen. 
  • Next, Enter your Apple ID password to turn off and unlink your phone from the usual iCloud account.
  • Next, Log in to a new account by selecting Settings and enter your Apple ID afresh. 
  • Next,  You can now delete photos from the iPhone. 

This way the backup copies will be saved on the other iCloud account. 

This method is very valuable and easy as it helps you to keep every photo you want to delete from your iPhone,  but not from iCloud accessible from all other Apple devices. 

How Do I Permanently Delete Photos From An iPhone?

First things first, Remove the items from your Photos app on your device.  And if you want to get rid of them once and for all, then you will need to clear them from the Recently Deleted folder. 

Unless your iPhone will help you do the job by deleting them automatically after 30 days of being downloaded. 

Can I Delete Photos From My iPhone If They Are On iCloud?

Yes, you can delete photos on your iPhone if they are stored on iCloud. First, open the Photos app and select the photo you want to delete. Tap the delete button and it will be deleted immediately from your photo app and iCloud.


I hope you found this article helpful. You can try any of the above-given methods in this article to delete photos only on your iPhone while they stay saved in the Apple’s ecosystem.  

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