Delete & restore your photos & videos

If you have back up and sync on, photos and videos you delete will stay in your trash for 60 days before they are deleted forever. Learn how to turn on back up & sync.

Tip: To move all your photos to a different account, share your photo library with that account.

Before you delete photos & videos

Learn where photos and videos do and don’t get removed

Items you delete from Google Photos are also removed from:

Items you delete are not automatically removed from:

  • Blogger
  • YouTube
  • Gmail
  • Google+

Before you get started

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Delete photos & videos

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Tap and hold a photo or video you want to move to the trash. You can select multiple items.
  4. At the top right, tap Trash Trash and then Move to trash

Notes:

  • If you delete a photo or video that’s backed up in Google Photos, it will stay in your trash for 60 days.
  • If you delete an item from your Android device without it being backed up, it will stay in your trash for 60 days.
  • If you see a photo or video in Google Photos that you think you deleted, it might be on a removable memory card. To delete it, use your device’s gallery app.

Empty your trash

If you see a request to "Delete permanently" when you try to move an item to trash, your trash is full. Your trash can hold 1.5GB.

Important: If you empty your trash, you permanently delete any items in your trash.

To empty it:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Tap Menu Menu and then Trash and then More More and then Empty trash and then Delete.

Remove an item from your device

To permanently delete an item from your device:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Select the items you want to delete from your Android phone or tablet.
  4. In the top right, tap More More and then Delete from device.

Learn how to free up space on your device.

Give permissions to delete photos from your SD card

Step 1: Check if you have Android 7.0 and up

These steps will only work if you have Android 7.0 and up. Learn how to check your Android version.

Step 2: Delete a photo or video

When you try to delete a photo or video, you can let Google Photos read your SD card.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the top left, tap Menu Menu and then Device folders
  4. Open your SD card folder.
  5. Select the item you want to delete from your SD card.
  6. Tap Trash Trash and then Move to trash.
  7. Tap Allow and then Allow.

To change your permissions back, open your device’s settings. Tap Apps and then Photos and then Storage.

Restore photos & videos

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

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the top left, tap Menu Menu and then Trash Trash.
  3. Touch and hold the photo or video you want to restore.
  4. At the bottom, tap Restore. The photo or video will be back:
    • In your phone’s gallery app
    • In your Google Photos library
    • In any albums it was in

If the item is not in your trash, it may be permanently deleted.

Don't see the photo or video?

If a deleted photo or video isn't in 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 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.

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