Delete or restore your photos & videos

If you have turned on Back up and Sync, 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 and 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
  • Local storage when the files are downloaded on to iOS and Android 11 and up devices

Before you get started

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Delete photos & videos

You can delete up to 1,500 items from your Google Photos library or your SD card at a time.

Important: If you back up photos and videos to Google Photos on a mobile device, when you delete them from the Google Photos app, they’re also deleted from your device. Learn how to remove backed up photos and videos from Google Photos but not your device.

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Touch and hold a photo or video you want to move to the trash. You can select multiple items.
  4. At the top, tap Delete Delete.

Learn what happens to photos you've deleted

  • 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 permanently delete an item from your iPhone or iPad without it being backed up in Google Photos, it will be deleted forever. Learn how to turn on back up and sync.
  • 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.

Permanently delete photos & videos

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

Learn how to free up space on your device.

Remove backed up photos & videos from Google Photos but not your device

  1. On your mobile device, turn off backup and sync in the Google Photos app.
  2. On your computer or in the Chrome browser on your mobile device, go to photos.google.com and remove your selected backed up photos and videos from Google Photos.
    • If you turn backup and sync on again, all photos and videos on your device will be backed up and synced again to Google Photos.

Restore photos & videos

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

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. At the bottom, tap Library and then Trash Delete.
  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 Account
  • 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 moved it to trash more than 30 days ago, 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 and sync.

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 this.

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