Google Photos is an excellent cloud service with fair prices and tons of free storage. It is feature rich and available on any platform and operating system. However, you cannot save all your photos in their original quality without reaching a capacity limit.
Eventually, you have to pay if you want to continue adding photos to the Google Photos folder. That is if you don't want to compromise the image quality. But if you want to free up space and add new photos, you can always delete some or all of them.
Here's how you can do it on any device you own. This tutorial will also teach you how to restore deleted photos and what you can do to avoid losing deleted photos forever.
How to Transfer iCloud Photos to Google Photos
How to delete all Google photos from a Windows PC, MacBook or Chromebook
The process of deleting Google Photos from a computer is the same regardless of whether you are using a PC, Mac, or Chromebook. You can do this on your browser, so the steps are the same for any operating system.
- Log into the Google Photos website with your Google account credentials.
- Select the photos you want to delete.
- If you click the Verify button above the photos, all the photos in the folder are selected.
- Click the trash can (Trash) icon to delete.
- Confirm by clicking Move to Trash.
Please note that if you do this and have your devices synced, the process deletes photos from other devices as well, not just your cloud storage. To avoid this, here's what you can do.
- Open the Google Photos app on your iPhone or Android device.
- Go to Settings, then to Google, then to Backup.
- Disable the Backup and Sync option.
This setting will un-sync your devices and ensure that you free up cloud storage space without deleting anything on your phone or tablet. It also works in reverse.
If you want to delete individual photos, open the photo you want to delete and click the trash can icon in the top right corner. This action sends the images to the Trash folder.
To avoid potential problems, we recommend that you use Google Chrome as your browser of choice when browsing Google Photos and making changes.
Note for Chromebook users: From 2022, Google Photos and Google Drive no longer sync. It means you can't access Google Photos from the Google Drive link on your Chromebook. Therefore, you have to use your browser and go to photos.google.com to delete your photos.
How to download Google Photos photo albums
How to delete all Google photos from an Android device
Selecting all photos to delete takes some time on mobile devices, especially when you have a large library. Here is the method you can use.
- Launch the Google Photos app on your smartphone.
- Tap the menu icon (three dots at the top right).
- Click Select Photos.
- Touch and hold the first photo.
- Tap the photos you want to delete.
When done, tap the blue trash can icon in the top right corner of the display.
- Tap Move to Trash to confirm deletion.
- For permanent deletion, return to the Menu.
- Tap the Trash folder.
- Select the Empty Trash option and confirm.
How to delete photos from iPhone but not Google Photos
How to delete all Google photos from iPhone
Many iPhone users also use Google Photos and the reason is simple. Compared to iCloud, Google Photos offers more free storage capacity. At the same time, the upgrade is also cheaper with Google's storage.
If you want to free up space in Google Photos and you are using an iPhone, the following steps apply.
- Launch the app from your iPhone.
- Tap the Free Up Space button located in the Trash folder.
- This will delete all your photos
Alternatively, manually select all the photos in your folder. Then tap the trash can icon to delete the photos. While this frees up space, keep in mind that you can still restore your photos from the Trash folder.
IPhone users may face some challenges. For example, deleting photos from the Google Photos app may also delete them from iCloud storage. However, you should get a notification asking if you agree with the action.
Here are some additional answers to common Google Photos questions that PC and mobile users have.
How to restore Google Photos?
If you are a PC user, you should be familiar with the Recycle Bin. When you delete something, it doesn't automatically disappear. Many files and photos end up in the recycle bin. This system is advantageous as it allows you to free up storage space but also to recover your files later.
You can go to the trash folder and restore all or some of your photos. But be warned, as the grace period of 60 days is not at the folder level but per image based on the individual deletion date and time.
Tap an image you want to recover, then tap the Recover button. Alternatively, tap the Delete button if you want to skip the counter and immediately destroy the photo forever.
Are my Google Photos permanently deleted after deletion?
Deleted Google photos end up in the trash. However, you cannot leave them there indefinitely. There is a predefined grace period before you lose your photos forever.
Google Photos keeps deleted photos in the trash for 60 days. After 60 days, they disappear. Of course, each image has a 60-day recovery period since you added it to the trash folder. It's best to check out the new indicator system to see how much time you have left to retrieve each image.
At the end of those 60 days, you will no longer be able to recover those photos. This is especially true when you sync all your devices. If you don't sync your devices, deleting something on Google Photos won't cause you to lose the photo from the device you used to take the photos.
Unless you really mind losing image quality, your Google Photos storage space is likely to run out. Sooner or later, you may face the fact that a storage upgrade is needed. But not everyone will want to spend on it, despite Google offering some reasonable prices.
The good news is that you can always delete some of your older photos or bad shots. If the critical time comes, you can delete all your photos with just a few clicks. And even delete them permanently at your convenience.
Now that you know how to free up Google Photos storage, do you think the process could be simplified? Let us know if you think Google Photos is beneficial or if you prefer other cloud storage options. Also, please let us know if you experience any unexpected issues with syncing your device and disappearing photos.
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