How To Delete Photos On Mac

There are a lot of things we use our MacBook to do, ranging from videos, games to different types of apps. Before we know it, all of these files we downloaded and installed onto our MacBook have taken up the hard drive storage.

Most times we only think it is videos or games that take up our hard drive store, but another culprit that we need to suspect is our photos. Many mac users always ask questions like “How do I free up 30 GB or more on my Mac? The answer they usually get is to uninstall unused apps. 

If you wish to have more free space, deleting unnecessary or duplicated photos from your mac is recommended.

When it comes to photos, sometimes they come from screenshots, downloads, synced iPhone capture and camera import. Photos from these various sources take up more space than you imagined, especially if you are using your iphone’s icloud account synced to your mac.

On some occasions, you may need to delete photos because you want to create a new picture collection or album. Whatever the reason is, this article will show you different ways you delete photos from your macbook. And by the end of reading this, every question you may have regarding deleting photos will be answered.

Why Can’t I Delete Photos From My Mac?

There could be several reasons why you are unable to delete photos from your Mac. Here are a few possibilities:

  1. The photos may be in use by another application. Close any open applications that may be using the photos, and then try deleting them again.
  2. The photos may be locked. To unlock a photo, select it and then choose “Get Info” from the “File” menu. In the Info window, deselect the “Locked” checkbox.
  3. You may not have permission to delete the photos. To check the permissions for a file or folder, select it and choose “Get Info” from the “File” menu. In the Info window, check the “Sharing & Permissions” section to see who has permission to access the file or folder.
  4. The photos may be stored on a device that is currently not connected to your Mac, such as an external hard drive. Connect the device and try deleting the photos again.
  5. There may be a problem with your Mac’s file system. Try running a disk repair utility, such as the “Disk Utility” app, to check for and fix any problems with the file system.
  6. If none of these suggestions help, it is possible that there is a deeper issue with your Mac that is preventing you from deleting the photos. In this case, you may need to seek further assistance from Apple or a qualified Mac technician.

If you are not able to delete photos from your mac, you should try any of these options.

  • Restart your computer
  • Update macOS
  • Reset the SMC
  • Reset NVRAM
  • Launch in Safe Mode

How To Delete Photos On Mac

The mac trash bin is where you can throw out the files and photos you no longer need. After thirty days of not getting it back, the photos will be permanently deleted. This is how you can move your photos to the mac trash bin.

To delete photos on a Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Select the photos that you want to delete by clicking on them . You can also select multiple photos by clicking and dragging a selection box around them.
  3. Once you have selected the photos that you want to delete, use two fingers to right-click on one of the selected photos and click “Delete Photos” from the context menu.
  4. A window will appear asking if you want to delete the selected photos. Click “Delete” to confirm.

Alternatively, you can click on the photo thumbnail and then select the delete option.

How To Delete All Photos On Your Mac At Once

Deleting all the photos on your mac is as easy as this: open the photo app, go to photos, use command+A to select every picture, then right click and select the delete option.

Note: make sure to backup important photos that you will need back in the future. 

How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud?

To delete photos from your Mac without deleting them from iCloud, you can follow these steps:

  • Open System Preferences and select the iCloud tab.
  • Next, you’ll see a checkmark next to Photos. tap on the checkmark to uncheck it.
  • Next, go back to the Photo app and select the photos you want to delete.
  • Tap the Delete button and you’ll be asked if you want to delete the photos from your Mac. Say yes. The photos remain in the cloud.

How to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on Mac?

There are a few methods you can try to recover permanently deleted photos on a Mac:

1. Check the Trash folder:

If you have accidentally deleted the photos, they may still be in the Trash folder. To access the Trash folder, click on the Trash icon in the Dock. If the deleted photos are in the Trash, you can right-click on the photo and select “Put Back” to restore it to its original location.

2. Use a recovery software:

There are several recovery software programs available that can scan your Mac’s hard drive and search for deleted files. Some popular options include Disk Drill and Data Rescue.

3. Restore from a backup:

If you have a backup of your Mac, you may be able to restore the deleted photos from the backup. To do this, you will need to use Time Machine (Mac’s built-in backup tool) or another backup software.


In conclusion, deleting photos on a Mac is a simple process that can be done in a few different ways. This article has shown you how to delete photos on Mac directly from the Photos app.


What is the fastest way to delete photos on my Mac?

The fastest way to delete photos on mac use command+A to select every picture, then right click and select the delete option.

Leave a Comment