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How to delete and recover photos from your iPhone

The best camera you have is the one you carry with you all the time, but the iPhone qualifies in more ways than one. Not only do you always have it in your pocket but over the last few years, all iPhones have been built with superlative cameras. As iPhone cameras gain more features with higher image quality, file sizes also increase to the point that storing an abundance of photos and videos on your phone is the fastest way to eat through precious storage space. Prolific shooters need to know how to delete photos from the iPhone, and save and back up the ones they want to keep and share. You can’t be too careful: While you’re backing up photos and perhaps trashing some image clunkers, an erroneous tap can accidentally delete a one-of-a-kind gem or a series of images that you would rather have saved. If that happens, don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to safely delete and recover deleted iPhone photos. We walk you through it.

Delete photos on your iPhone using a Mac

Image Capture is a low-profile app that comes with your Mac and performs all kinds of convenient tasks, including downloading your photos off your iPhone or iPad.

You can plug in your iPhone to your Mac, to view, download or delete your photos using Image Capture. Here’s how to do it.

  • Launch Image Capture from your Mac’s Applications folder.
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB.
  • Select your device from the list.
  • View the photos in thumbnail or list format.
  • Decide which ones you want to save to your hard drive. Drag the slider to change the thumbnail size for optimal viewing.
  • Click the Import To pop-up menu, then choose where to save the images or which app to use to open them.
  • To import only some of the images, select them, then click Import. To import all the images, click Import All.
  • You can automatically transfer images from your phone to your computer whenever they’re connected by clicking the Show/Hide button in the lower-left corner of the window or by clicking the Connecting this camera opens pop-up menu and choosing AutoImporter.

Delete photos directly from your iPhone

It’s easy to delete one or more photos from your iPhone. Just review all the photos on your Camera Roll and individually or collectively select single or multiple photos by tapping or tapping and dragging your finger across the screen.

Delete one or multiple photos from the Photos pane

  • Launch the Photos app and select Photos in the lower-left corner.
  • Tap All Photos. Alternately you can tap Years, Months, or Days to isolate a subset of photos on your Camera Roll.
  • Tap Select at the top right and tap or tap and swipe to select individual or groups of pictures.
  • Add, subtract, or cancel removing photos by tapping the +/- icon at the upper right.
  • Tap the Trash icon in the lower-right corner to remove the images.
  • To delete a single photo, you can also use 3D Touch on an iPhone 6s or later. Tap and hold on a photo to preview it, then tap Delete at the bottom of the menu.

Even if you mistakenly delete an image you want to keep, there is plenty of time to change your mind. When you delete a photo from the Camera Roll it is moved to a Deleted album, like a trash can, except it gets emptied only after 30 days. That means you can remove photos from the Photos app and still have access to them for a 30-day countdown, which is recorded directly on the photo’s thumbnail.

Delete photos from the Recently Deleted album

This delete method is helpful if you’re running low on storage space and you’ve already backed up your photos. When you get rid of deleted photos from the Recently Deleted Photos album, it’s forever.

  • Go to Recently Deleted in your Photos app.
  • Tap Select in the upper-right corner.
  • Select Delete All in the lower-left corner, or tap the images you want to get rid of and then tap Delete.
  • A warning will appear that specifies that this action cannot be undone, and when you’re ready, select Delete Photos.

Recover deleted photos

If you deleted the wrong photo or group of photos by accident, or you’ve changed your mind about a photo you deleted and want to recover it, it’s easy to get it back. Below are three options for recovering deleted photos on your iPhone.

Recover photos from Recently Deleted album

If you haven’t deleted your photos from the Recently Deleted folder, then iOS will keep these photos for 30 days. Here’s how to restore them.

  • Go to the Photos app.
  • Go to the Recently Deleted folder.
  • Tap Select in the upper-right corner.
  • Tap Recover, or select individual photos you want to recover and select Recover.
  • If you have the iCloud Photo Library enabled, you can use it to navigate to your iCloud account and follow the same steps.

Use your Mac to restore from a backup (iOS 13 and macOS Catalina)

If you habitually perform iPhone backups on your computer, your photos should already be backed up, which means you can restore lost images. Because you are restoring your entire iPhone from a backup, the photos that re-appear on your iPhone are the same ones that were on your iPhone on the day that you backed up. So first make sure to back up your new photos somewhere else first, if you want to save them, before restoring from a previous backup.

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer, and choose your iPhone.
  • In the Summary tab, choose Restore from this Backup and choose the backup you want if there’s more than one.

Back up using a third-party app

Using a third-party app multiplies the protection for your photos. You can never have too many backups of something as irreplaceable as your photos, as backup systems can fail at any time. You never want to be in a position where there are no further options for recovering lost pictures. Always have both a hard drive backup and an online backup — or more than one.

If you have a Google account and Gmail, backup is free and unlimited as long as your images are 16GB or under — which most smartphone images are. For iPhone, using iCloud is always an option, as is using Apple’s Airdrop to download photos to your computer. You can also store photos in Dropbox, though the capacity for free storage is limited, as it is in iCloud.

Google Photos

Google Photos is one of the best ways to automatically back up your entire Camera Roll while removing the clutter of old snaps on your iPhone. Also, download Google’s Backup & Sync app for your Mac or Windows computer and program the app to automatically sync images from your computer to the online Photos app. Once launched, the app lives in the top menu bar on your desktop and you control it via Preferences. From your phone, tap to launch Google Photos then swipe down. The app immediately begins to back up the photos in your Camera Roll and notifies you when it is complete. It then offers the option of removing the photos from your phone. You can do that, or you can first back up the photos to your hard drive by importing them into Apple Photos on your Mac. Choose the High Quality setting, which will compress photos larger than 16 MP and videos with a resolution higher than 1080p. These files do not count against Google Drive’s data cap, which means you get unlimited photo storage for free.


Dropbox offers a handy way to back up your photos, and a way to recover photos you accidentally deleted from your Camera Roll. With the Camera Uploads feature, your phone or tablet will automatically add camera roll photos to Dropbox and photos are copied from cameras, memory cards, or mobile devices whenever you connect them to your computer. Dropbox starts with 2GB of free storage, and when you need more, paid plans offer more space for your photos, videos, and other files. Individual plans are 2TB and 3TB, costing $10 and $17 per month including 30-day and 180-day backup and recovery respectively.


With iCloud Photos, you can make more space available on your device and have access to your entire collection, everywhere you go. With the Optimize Storage feature enabled, smaller, space-saving photos and videos can stay on your device while all original, full-resolution photos get stored in iCloud. As long as you have enough space in iCloud, you can store as many photos and videos as you want. Apple gives you 5GB for free, and you can purchase more space if needed. Here’s how to get started.

  • Tap Settings > Your Apple ID > iCloud > Photos.
  • Switch on iCloud Photos.
  • Select Optimize iPhone Storage to make more space on your device.


AirDrop, part of the Mac OS and iOS, is one of the most convenient and immediate ways to download photos from your iPhone to your hard drive. First, make sure you’re in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range, and turn off your personal hotspot if it is on. Then, open the Photos app, tap the Share button, swipe left or right to select one or multiple photos, and tap the AirDrop user that you want to share with or use AirDrop between your own Apple devices. Storing to your hard drive or a connected drive is completely free.


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5 most effective ways to recover deleted text messages on iPhone for free

Although text messages are important pieces of information, that’s not to say that you have to always keep them around. After all, they sometimes take up more space than your iPhone can ever contain. That is why there is a need to delete them every once in a while.However, the problem comes when the deleted text message was actually an important one, one that you will need in the future.This article will show you how you can recover deleted text messages on iPhone so you won’t have to regret your decision. Let’s start with my top recommendation.Recover Deleted Text Messages on iPhone with SoftwareThere are many ways to recover files, but when it comes to deleted text messages, there are only a few options. However, as always, one of those options involves using third-party software, and that’s exactly why I recommend FoneDog iOS Data Recovery.As the name implies, this software has the capability of recovering files from an iOS device, so that includes the latest versions of iPhones. These files can range from videos with large sizes to small bits of text messages.As such, there’s no better tool that can recover deleted text messages on iPhone than FoneDog Data Recovery. Now if you are ready, follow these steps carefully:Step 1: Connect Your iPhone to ComputerConnect your iPhone into the computer with a cable. Make sure iOS Data Recovery by FoneDog is already open. By doing so, you will get three options. You will be using the easiest and perhaps the most doable option, which is Recover from iOS Device. Click on Start Scan once you select this option.Step 2: Look for Your FilesOnce the Start Scan is clicked, it will obviously scan for your files from the iPhone device. You will then get a list of items, which are the files that can be recovered. On the left side are the file types. Simply select text messages and you’ll see the text messages in the right panel.Step 3: Recover Your Text MessagesAfter the files are displayed in the right panel, click on their corresponding boxes to select a file. Once you are done with selections, click on the Recover button and a popup window will appear. Now just navigate to the folder where you want to save the recovered text messages, and click on Recover.The best thing about this is that you don’t need technical know-how to pull this off. It is a simple, easy, and quick way to recover deleted text messages on iPhone.The catch is that you will have to install an unfamiliar tool. If that does not appeal to you, then you should look for a method elsewhere.Restore from iCloud Backup (Requires Factory Reset)By now, you should be familiar with what iCloud is. You will need to know more about it since your next option is to restore from an iCloud backup.iCloud is a place where files can be stored digitally. By storing files here, users will be able to access them as long as they have the login credentials for the appropriate Apple account. This of course allows users to backup text messages.In order to recover deleted text messages on iPhone from an iCloud backup, you will need to have an iCloud backup prepared first.Go to the Settings.Tap on your Apple ID with your picture on it.Now head to iCloud > iCloud Backup. Make sure the slider for this option is green or in other words, enabled.Now once this is turned on, the backups will be automatically created, so there’s no need to worry about that.Now what you need to do next is to reset your phone into factory settings and all will follow. Here’s how you can do that:Head to Settings.Go to General > Reset.Now select Erase All Content and Settings.A message will appear asking if you want to Restore from iCloud Backup. Simply follow the onscreen instructions.Once this is done, you should be able to recover deleted text messages on iPhone and access them once again.The downside of this is that you will have to reset your phone, so some data may be lost. If you don’t want that to happen, then perhaps the next solution would be more suitable.Retrieve Text Messages from iCloud.comAs I have said before, iCloud is a place where files can be stored digitally. Those files will then be accessible as long as you have access to the account that was used.Now if an iCloud backup didn’t do it for you, perhaps the iCloud website, where the files are directly stored, can be of help to recover deleted text messages on iPhone.Remember, however, that SMS may not be supported by the backup. Either way, here are the steps that you will need to take:On your browser, go to iCloud.com and login with the Apple ID and password that you use. It doesn’t matter whether you use a mobile device or a desktop.From the webpage, select Text Messages.Now select the messages that you would like to recover.Next, on your iPhone, go to Settings > Apple ID > iCloud.Now turn off the option for Text Messages.A popup message will appear. Simply select Keep On My iPhone.Turn the Text Messages option on again.Once a new screen appears, select Merge.Now the text messages that were once on the iCloud will be “merged” into your iPhone. Unfortunately, many users report that Text Messages is not available on the iCloud.com website.If that’s the case, then it is most likely that it is not yet backed up, and trying to recover deleted text messages on iPhone using this method would be impossible. In that case, I have another method to ease your frustration.Restore from iTunes BackupBefore, you have tried to restore from an iCloud backup. In this section, you will be learning how to restore from a backup as well, but this time it would be from iTunes.It’s a bit different since you will need a computer to achieve this, unlike when you restored from an iCloud backup that only involves your iPhone.Either way, to recover deleted text messages on iPhone, you will have to disable a function first, and here’s what you need to do:On your iPhone, open the Settings app.Head to Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone.Now make sure the slider for that option is turned off.Enter your Apple ID or password if needed.Since Find My iPhone might interfere with the process, this will make the process go smoothly. Anyway, once that’s done, you need to follow these steps:Connect your iPhone into the computer with a cable.Open iTunes.Go to Summary.Under the Automatically Back Up section, click on Restore from Backup…That’s pretty much how to recover deleted text messages on iPhone. However, there are cases where the backup that was restored doesn’t have the text messages that users need. In that case, you have to use the last resort.Get Transcript from Phone ProviderAlthough it is not as effective as the previous four methods, you still have the option to ask the transcript of your text messages from your phone provider.You see, users can request a printed transcript of their text messages from their phone providers, as long as a viable reason is given. As such, it is a legitimate way to recover deleted text messages on iPhone.Unfortunately, you may find it difficult to become entitled to it. Although the least you can do is to login to your account in the phone provider’s website and ask for help. Either way, there’s nothing for you to lose.ConclusionThere are lots of ways to recover files, but there are only a few when it comes to recovering text messages. That is why it is very valuable what you have learned here in this article about recovering text messages.Now that you know how to recover deleted text messages on iPhone, I shouldn’t be a problem to you if you ever lose your files again. Nevertheless, you should try being more careful so you won’t delete your files ever again.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.