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Delete photos & videos

Backed up photos and videos you delete will stay in your trash for 60 days before they are
permanently deleted forever. Photos and videos that were permanently deleted can’t be restored. Learn how to turn on backup.

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:

  • Android devices, iPhones, and iPads with Google Photos installed and backup turned on.
  • Google Photos albums.
  • Shared albums and conversations you added them to.
  • Some Google Photos highlight videos. Learn more about deleted photos in highlight videos.
  • Local storage when files are downloaded to iPhones and iPads, and some devices on Android 11 or later.

Items you delete aren't automatically removed from:

  • Blogger
  • Drive
  • Gmail
  • YouTube

Before you get started

Download and install the Google Photos app.

Delete photos & videos

Important: Deleting photos and videos from the Google Photos app deletes the same items from your device. If these items are backed up, the same content will be deleted on all devices with backup turned on. Learn how to remove backed up photos & videos from Google Photos but not your device.

  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 that you want to move to the trash. You can select multiple photos and videos.
  4. At the top, tap Delete Delete.

Tip: Some photos save space when deleted. If you delete a photo that saves storage space in your Google Account, you may get an estimate of the recovered storage.

Learn what happens to photos & videos 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 delete a photo or video from your Android 11 and up device without it being backed up, it will stay in your trash for 30 days.

Tip: Deleted photos and videos might stay on a removable memory card. To delete them permanently, use your device’s gallery app.

Empty your trash

Important: If you get a prompt to "Delete permanently" when you move photos and videos to trash, your trash is full. You can choose to delete these photos and videos permanently, but if you would like the ability to restore these photos and videos, you must first empty your trash. When you empty your trash, you permanently delete any photos and videos in your trash, and they can’t be restored.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Library and then Trash and then More More and then Empty Trash and then Delete permanently.

Delete photos & videos permanently

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the bottom, tap Library and then Trash and then Select.
  4. Choose the photo or video that you want to delete permanently.
  5. At the top, click Select Select.
  6. Tap Delete and then Delete permanently.

Remove an item from your device

  1. On your Android device, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Select the photo or video that you want to delete from your Android device.
  4. At the top, 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 bottom, tap Library and then Photos on device.
  4. Open your SD card folder.
  5. Select the photo or video you want to delete from your SD card.
  6. Tap Delete Delete and then Move to trash.
  7. Tap Allow and then Allow.

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

  1. On your Android device, in the Google Photos app, turn off backup.
    • Turn off backup on all devices where you want the photo or video to stay.
  2. On your computer or in your mobile browser, go to photos.google.com/login.
  3. Delete your selected backed up photos and videos.
  4. On your Android device, wait a few minutes and make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
  5. Close and reopen the Google Photos app.
    • Deleted photos may still be in your Photos view. These photos are only local copies. To check the backup status of the photo, tap the photo and then More More. Scroll down to "Details."

To ensure that your photo or video isn't backed up to Google Photos again and your local copy isn't deleted, leave backup off.

Tips:

  • If you leave backup off, you lose the benefits of backup. Learn about the benefits of backup.
  • If you want your photos and videos to save automatically to your Google Account again, you can turn on backup.
  • If you turn on backup , sometimes:
    • The deleted photo or video may be backed up again once backup is re-enabled.
    • The device copy of the deleted photo or video may be deleted once backup is re-enabled.

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