Free up space on your device

You can use Google Photos to save space on your device when you delete photos that are safely backed up. Before you use this feature, you must ensure that you've already backed up your photos properly. Learn how to back up photos.

Before you get started

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Photos and videos that are fewer than 30 days old may be retained on your device. They’ll still be backed up in your Google Photos library.

Important: Before you delete your photos, make sure that they're backed up. Learn how to back up photos.

Free up space on your Android device

Important: This feature deletes photos from your device.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Tap your account profile photo or initial and then Free up space.
  4. You'll see how much space will be freed up. To delete all the items from your phone, tap Free up.
  5. To see your photos and videos, go to photos.google.com or open the Google Photos app Photos.

For backed-up photos and videos, use Photos’ storage management tool to surface items that you might want to delete, like blurry photos, screenshots, and large videos. Learn how to manage your storage.

What happens when you remove photos & videos from your phone

If you remove copies of photos and videos on your Android device, they're now deleted but, you still can:

  • See your photos and videos, including the ones you just removed, in the Google Photos app and photos.google.com.
  • Edit, share, delete, and manage anything in your Google Photos library.

You won't be able to see photos and videos you removed if:

  • You use your mobile device's built-in gallery.
  • You're offline.
  • You're not signed in to the Google Photos app Photos.

Recover deleted photos

Important: These steps may vary depending on your device. For more help, contact your device manufacturer.

If you deleted an item and want it back, check your trash to check if it’s there.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the photo gallery app.
  2. At the bottom, tap the Menu Menu.
  3. Tap Trash.
  4. Select the photo or photos that you want to recover.

  5. At the bottom, tap Restore. The photo or photos will be back in your phone’s gallery app.

If the item isn't in your trash, it may be permanently deleted.

Can’t find the photo or video?

If a deleted photo or video isn't in your Google Photos or Gallery trash, you can’t restore it. You won't be able to restore a photo if:

  • You moved it to trash more than 60 days ago.
  • You moved it to trash, then emptied your trash.
  • You moved it to trash more than 30 days ago on an Android 11 and up device, and it wasn’t backed up.
  • You permanently deleted it from your trash.
  • You permanently deleted it from your device’s Gallery app, without backing it up first.

To find and recover photos easily, turn on back up & sync. Learn how to back up photos.

Important: If your Google Photos account is inactive for 2 years or you're over your storage limit, your content may be impacted. Learn more about your Google Storage.

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