How to Delete Photos in Photos/iPhoto from Mac

author Anders Smith
date Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Deleting photos from Mac is easy, but there can also be some confusion. For example, will deleting photos in Photos or iPhoto remove the photos from hard drive space? Is there a more convenient way to delete photos and release disk space on Mac?

This post will explain everything you want to know about deleting photos on Mac and introduce a utility tool - Macube Cleaner to help you find and remove duplicate photos, large-size videos, and photo caches more easily.

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How to Delete Photos from Photos/iPhoto on Mac

Apple discontinued iPhoto for Mac OS X since 2014. Most users have migrated from iPhoto to Photos app. After importing your photos into the Photos app, don't forget to delete the old iPhoto library to regain your storage space.

Deleting photos from Photos on Mac is similar to deleting them from iPhoto. Since there are more users using Photos app on macOS, here is how to delete photos from Photos on Mac.

tips Note:
  • Keep in mind that if you have enabled iCloud photos, all your pictures will be automatically synced across devices with the same account. Hence, when you delete photos on your Mac, they will also be deleted from your iPhone or iPad.

How to Simply Delete Photo(s) on Mac

Step 1 Open Photos app.

Step 2 Select the photo(s) you want to delete. To delete multiple photos, press Shift and select the photos.

Step 3 To delete the selected pictures/videos, press the Delete button on the keyboard or right click Select XX Photos.

Step 4 Click Delete to confirm the deletion.

Delete Photos on Mac

tips Note:
  • Select photos and press Command + Delete. This will enable macOS to directly delete the photos without asking for your confirmation.

Another point to note is that deleting photos or videos from Albums doesn't necessarily mean that the photos are deleted from Photos library or the Mac hard drive.

When you select an image in an album and press Delete button, the photo is merely removed from the album but still remain in the Photos library. To delete a photo from both the album and the Photos library, use Command + Delete or the Delete option in the right-click menu.

How to Permanently Delete Photos on Mac

Photos for macOS has a Recently Deleted folder to save the deleted photos for 30 days before the photos are permanently deleted. This is thoughtful and allows you to undelete the deleted photos if you are regret.

But if you need to regain the free disk space from the deleted photos right away, you don't want to wait 30 days. Here is how to permanently delete photos on Photos from Mac.

Step 1 On Photos app, go to Recently Deleted folder.

Step 2 Tick the photos you want to delete for good.

Step 3 Click Delete XX Items.

Permanently Delete Photos on Mac

How to Delete All Photos on Mac

When MacBook Air/Pro is having low disk space, some users choose to delete the Photos library to reclaim disk space. If the photos are important to you, make sure you have uploaded the photos to iCloud Photos Library or saved them in an external hard drive before cleaning up the entire library. To delete Photos library on Mac:

Step 1 Launch Photos app and choose Photos at the left pane.

Step 2 Press Command + A to select all the photos.

Step 3 Click Delete to confirm photos removal.

Step 4 Head to Recently Deleted folder and choose Delete All to completely erase photos.

Step 5 Click OK to do the final confirmation.

Or you can directly delete all the photos by using Finder:

Step 1 Go to Finder.

Step 2 Open your system disk > Users > Pictures.

Step 3 Drag the Photos Library you want to delete to the Trash.

Step 4 Empty the Trash.

Photos Library on Mac

Some users reported after deleting the Photos library, there is no significant change in the storage when checking About this Mac. If this happens to you, too, don't worry. It takes time for the macOS to delete the entire Photos library. Give it some time and check the storage later. You'll see the free space is regained.

How to Delete Duplicate, Large Photos and Photo Caches

Deleting pictures from Photos only remove the pictures in the master’s folder of Photos Library. There are more pictures in the disk drive that are not imported into Photos.

To delete photos from Mac, you can go through all the folders that have images and videos and delete those that you don't need. Or you can use Macube Cleaner, which can smartly detect duplicate images and large photos/videos on Mac to free up your disk space. If you need more free space, Macube Cleaner can also clean system junks such as cache, logs, mail attchments, app data, etc. to give you more free space.

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How to Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac

Step 1 Run Macube Cleaner.

Step 2 Select Similar Image Finder.

Step 3 Select a location to search for duplicate photos. To delete duplicate photos in the whole hard drive, select your system drive.

Find Similar Image

Step 4 Click Scan. After scanning, select all the duplicated photos you want to delete and click Clean.

Step 5 The photos will be deleted from the disk.

Similar Image Finder Preview

How to Remove Photos/Videos of Large Size

One of the most effective way to free up space on Mac is to delete photos or videos that are large in size. Macube Cleaner can help you with that.

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Step 1 Click Large & Old Files.

Step 2 Click Scan.

Step 3 All the large files on your Mac, including photos and videos will be found.

Step 4 Select those you don't need and click Clean to remove them.

Remove Large Old Files

How to Clear Photo Cache of Photos/iPhoto Library

Photos or iPhoto library create caches over time. You can delete the photo cache with Macube Cleaner.

Step 1 Open Macube Cleaner.

Step 2 Click Photo Cache > Scan.

Step 3 Select all items and click Clean.

Clear Photo Junks

That's how to delete photos on Mac. You can see how to normally delete photos and reclaim the storage. If you want to delete duplicate photos, large-size videos, and the photo caches more efficiently, Macube Cleaner will be a helpful utility. If you have any question, let us know in the comments.

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