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 start

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Photos and videos older than 30 days can be deleted, but 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 iPhone or iPad

Important: This feature deletes photos from your device.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Tap your account profile photo or initial and then # items to delete from this device .
  4. If you're ready to free up space, tap Delete # items.
  5. Open the iPhone or iPad Photos app (not the Google Photos app).
  6. Tap Recently deleted and delete those same photos and videos.
  7. To see your photos and videos, including ones that you've deleted from your iPhone or iPad, 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 and videos from your phone

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

  • See your photos and videos, including the ones that you've 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 that you've removed if:

  • You use the Apple Photos app.
  • 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 'Recently deleted' album to see if it's there.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Apple Photos app.
  2. Open the 'Recently deleted' album.
  3. Select the photo or photos that you want to recover.
  4. Tap Recover. The photo or photos will be back in your phone's gallery app.

If the item isn't in your 'Recently deleted' album, 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 bin, you can't restore it. You won't be able to restore a photo if:

  • You moved it to the bin more than 60 days ago.
  • You moved it to the bin, then emptied your bin.
  • You moved it to the bin more than 30 days ago and it wasn't backed up.
  • You permanently deleted it from your bin
  • 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 two years or you're over your storage limit, your content may be impacted. Learn more about your Google Storage.

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