How to Delete Photos from iPhone but Not iCloud [2023]

A simple answer to this question is “YES, you can.” When we save many images and videos to our iPhone devices, they will take a lot of storage. One thing you can do is delete the photos from your iPhone, which will make some room for other important data. Therefore, it is essential to know how to delete photos from iPhone but not iCloud, since this is the ideal choice to keep precious memories in cloud services while freeing up your iPhone at the same time. 

However, before people perform this action, a question may come to mind: “If I delete a photo from my iPhone, is it deleted from iCloud?” Generally, iCloud Photos and iPhones are synced by default. If you have enabled iCloud, the photo will also be deleted from iCloud when it is deleted from your iPhone. Don’t worry. We’ll present five practical ways, from keeping a backup of your iPhone photos via an iPhone data transfer tool to downloading iCloud photos to a PC, to instruct you on removing iPhone photos from the device only.

5 Ways to Delete Photos From iPhone Only

Before we jump straight into FIVE ways to delete photos from iPhone only, here’s a concise table related to the effectiveness of each method. It’ll make it easier to decide the best way to delete photos from your iPhone only according to your requirements.

Method Effectiveness
Backup Photos to Computer Indirect – Your pictures will remain secure on your personal computer, and you can delete your photos freely from your iPhone regardless of the photo-sharing feature.
Turn Off iCloud Photo Sharing Direct – Photos remain on iCloud only by cutting the syncing of iCloud and iPhone photos through Settings.
Sign into a Different iCloud Account Direct – Arguably, the best method if you want to sync with iCloud without photo sharing.
Use iCloud Alternatives Indirect – Upload your iPhone photos to other cloud services as a backup, and delete the synced photos from your iPhone without harming the photos in iCloud.
Download iCloud Pictures to PC Indirect – Save all photos from iCloud to your Windows/Mac. No worries about the photo deletion.

Here is a detailed step-by-step guide with five different methods to delete photos from your iPhone but not iCloud.

Back Up Your Photos to the Computer

If you want a quick method to remove photos from your iPhone without deleting them from iCloud, you can back up your photos to your personal computer to save space. It will end all the worries related to deleting your photos. 

For this purpose, plenty of options are available in the market, and the EaseUS MobiMover is one of them. This application includes a few intriguing features, such as data backup and transfer, especially from iPhone to computer. Here’s the step-by-step guide to backing up photos to a computer via EaseUS MobiMover.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to your computer (Mac or PC) via a USB cable and run EaseUS MobiMover. In the application, choose “Phone to PC” to back up your iPhone photos to the computer. After this, click the “Next” button to proceed further.

Step 2. Now, select the category/categories you’d like to back up. Apart from photos, EaseUS MobiMover lets you back up audio, videos, messages, etc.

Step 3. Finally, hit the “Transfer” button to start the backup process.

Turn Off iCloud Photo Sharing

The iCloud photo-sharing option sync photos with your iCloud. Due to this, deleting them from your iPhone also results in deleting them from iCloud. By turning off the iCloud photo-sharing option, you can keep the photos in iCloud even after deleting them from

the iPhone. Here’s the procedure to perform this activity.

Step 1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone and tap on your name (Apple ID), followed by a tap on “iCloud” and “Photos.”

Step 2. Here, simply toggle off “Sync this iPhone” by swiping the button to the left.


Step 3. Below this option, if “Optimize iPhone Storage” is enabled, you’ll be able to see”Download and Keep Original.” This option allows you to transfer a copy of the iCloud Photos folder onto your phone. Further, you can also either select “Remove from iPhone” or “Download Photos & Videos.” 

This feature seems beneficial, but there’s a drawback as well. Reconnecting your iPhone to iCloud will result in an update to match your phone and deletions. With these circumstances, it’s better to choose any third-party cloud server.

Sign Into a Different iCloud Account

If you want to keep your photos in iCloud after deleting them from the iPhone, you can also use the option of signing into a different iCloud account on the same iPhone. By doing this, your photos will remain secure in your previous iCloud account. Here’s how you can sign into a different iCloud account.

Step 1. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone and tap on your name (Apple ID).

Step 2. Now, tap on the “Sign Out” option at the bottom.

Step 3. Once you’re signed out, start the “Settings” app again and tap on the “Apple ID” option.

Step 4. Enter a different Apple ID to keep your photos saved on the previous iCloud ID.

Use iCloud Alternatives

Instead of iCloud, you can use other cloud storage options, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, to back up your photos. Besides this, a much better option for you could be Google Photos. Although it uses Google Drive space, the process is a bit different. Here, we’ll use Google Photos as an alternative to deleting photos from iPhone but not iCloud.

Step 1. Install and open the application on your iPhone. It may ask you for your photo gallery access. Allow access to proceed further.

Step 2. Add a Google account to Google Photos.

Step 3. In the application, you’ll be able to see all the photos available on your iPhone. Select the photos you want to back up and tap the “Backup” option.

Download iCloud Pictures to PC

One last option you may use is to download iCloud pictures to your PC. For this purpose, you don’t have to install any software on your devices, but this is an indirect way to delete photos from iPhone while keeping them in iCloud.

Step 1. Go to the iCloud website and sign in with your Apple ID, the same one as you use on your iPhone.

Step 2. Choose “Photos” from the main interface and you can see all the iCloud pictures.

Step 3. Select the wanted one you want to download to your computer and click the “Download” icon.

Then, even when you delete items from either iPhone or iCloud, you still keep a backup on your computer.


In terms of the camera, the iPhone has always been magnificent. That’s why iPhone’s photos and videos take a lot of storage. One way to keep enough space on your iPhone is to delete photos from your iPhone but keep them in iCloud. This article has provided a

detailed guide on “How to delete photos from iPhone but not iCloud” with the help of five different practical methods. Now, it’s up to you to choose the best according to your requirements. 

How to Delete Photos From iPhone but Not iCloud FAQs

Here are some answers to the questions you’d probably have on your mind.

1. Does deleting iPhone photos delete them from iCloud?

Yes, it does if iCloud Photo Sharing is “turned on” on the iPhone. If it’s turned off, deleting photos from your iPhone will not result in deletion from iCloud.

2. How do I move photos from iPhone to iCloud only?

“Turn On” iCloud Photo Sharing on your iPhone to move photos from iPhone to iCloud only. This action syncs your iPhone photos with iCloud, and all your photos move to iCloud instantly.

3. What happens if I turn off iCloud photos?

Your photos on your iPhone will no longer be synced with iCloud. In this scenario, any action taken on your iPhone photos will not affect your photos stored on iCloud.

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