How To Delete Photos From Library On Mac

How to Delete Photos from Mac. So let us look at the steps by which you can delete photos from Mac: Locate the Photos App. It may be located under Applications. After locating and launching the Photos App, proceed to click on Photos under Library that will display the photos saved under the iCloud Photo Library. Select the photos you want to.

  • To limit the Photos library, we’re going to create a sparse disk image, set it to mount at login, and move the Photos library file onto it. A disk image is like a virtual disk on your Mac.
  • You can continue to delete albums by following the same process. When you’re done, tap the “Done” button to go back to browsing your albums. Delete Photo Albums on Mac. The process of deleting a photo album from the Photos app on the Mac is even more simple than on iPhone and iPad. Open the “Photos” app on your Mac.
  • The in Applicationsis part of the system and cannot be deleted, only the Photos Library in Pictures. If you created the Photos Library from and iPhoto Library, your Photos Library and the iPhoto Library are sharing the photos by hard links. You will have to delete both of them to free storage. (Photos saves disk space by sharing.

With the upgrade to Photos, many Mac users have been left with a duplicate iPhoto library on their Macs. Here’s how to delete iPhoto library and clear out some clutter.

iPhoto used to be the standard photo editor and photo management system on Macs, at least for the average computer user. Like it or not, however, that all changed when Apple first introduced the software, nearly a year ago. If your Mac came from Apple with Photos already installed, you don’t need to worry about old iPhoto libraries.

A Mac that was upgraded to a new version of OS X that added the Photos app, however, can end up with what look like duplicates of their photo libraries. The first time you start up Photos after upgrading, your Mac will copy over your photo library into the new software (if you explicitly set up more than one old iPhoto library, you’ll have to copy them over yourself). It doesn’t go back and delete the old one, though.

Here’s where things get a little bit confusing: you don’t actually have two copies of your photos. Thanks to the way OS X (the software that powers your Mac, like Windows powers a PC) works, your pictures aren’t actually stored in those libraries. Instead, they’re stored somewhere else on your hard drive, and each library has what Apple calls a “hard link” to the pictures. As a result, each library can access the photos, but store separate information about them. You can delete either library safely; only if you were to delete both libraries would you lose access to your pictures.

While having a second copy of your photo library doesn’t take up that much extra space on your computer, it can still be confusing – first of all, each library reports that it’s a certain size, which can make it difficult to figure out how much room is left on your Mac. Additionally, if you need to back things up, it can be hard to figure out where your files are.

Still with us? Let’s recap:

  • if you upgrade your Mac from iPhoto to Photos, you’ll get a second photo library
  • if you had multiple iPhoto libraries (you would know if you did), you’ll need to copy them into Photos manually
  • the libraries each link to a single copy of your photos, rather than storing each photo twice
  • it can appear that your libraries are taking up more space than they are, thanks to the way hard links work
  • you can safely delete either photo library – only if you delete both of them will you lose access to your photos

How to delete iPhoto library on your Mac

Now that you understand why you might want to delete an old iPhoto library, and why you don’t necessarily have to, let’s talk about how to actually do it.

Before you do anything like this on your Mac – that is, delete something potentially important – you should back up your software with something like Time Machine.

Read: How to Backup Your Mac with Time Machine

That way, if you accidentally delete something important, or something else goes wrong, you can always roll things back to how they were when you started. This is really easy, and there’s nothing to be concerned about; it’s just good practice to back things up (and keep them backed up) before you muck about in your computer.

First, you’ll need to open a Finder window: you can do this by clicking on the Finder icon (it looks like a square face) on the dock, or by clicking on your Mac’s desktop background and hitting ⌘+N (Command + N) on your keyboard.

Next, look at the left-hand column in the new window. You’ll see a list of locations around your Mac; find the one that says Pictures and click on it. You’ll be taken to that directory, which contains libraries for Apple’s image-related apps (Photos, iPhoto, Photo Booth, etc).

In the list of files on the right, scroll down and look for your iPhoto library – it’ll be a little iPhoto icon, and the name will read, unsurprisingly, iPhoto Library. Don’t worry about accidentally deleting your Photo Booth or Photos libraries; you’ll be able to see which one is which.

To actually delete the library, you can do one of three things:

  1. Click on the iPhoto Library listing, and without letting go of your mouse or trackpad button, drag it until it’s over top the Trash icon on your dock. Once you’re on top of the Trash, let go.
  2. You can select (click on) the iPhoto Library, then right-click on your mouse or Trackpad (Apple will call this Secondary Click in your Mouse or Trackpad settings). A new menu will pop up; find the entry that says Move to Trash and click on it.
  3. Finally, you can also delete your iPhoto Library by clicking on it and hitting ⌘+Delete (Command + Delete) on your keyboard.

Read: How to uninstall apps on Mac OS X

Now that you’ve gotten rid of your iPhoto library, it makes sense to completely uninstall iPhoto – that way you won’t accidentally create a new iPhoto Library and have to repeat all these steps. It’s as simple as opening up your Applications folder, and deleting iPhoto (using one of the three steps we just discussed). For a more in-depth look at how to uninstall apps on your Mac, be sure to check out our guide above!

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Apple’s iCloud Photo Library allows you to store the images you keep in the Photos app on its servers and view them on any device linked to your iCloud account. This has two main advantages. The first is that it saves space on your Mac — instead of having full resolution versions of every photo stored on your startup drive, you have lower-resolution previews. The high resolution originals are stored in iCloud and only downloaded when you need them — for example, when you want to edit them.


The second advantage is that there’s no need to sync your photos with your other devices. When they’re stored in iCloud, they automatically become available on Mac, iPhones, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch, as long as those devices are signed into your AppleID and have iCloud Photos switched on.

There are several reasons, however, that you might want to delete photos from iCloud.

  1. High resolution photos take up a lot of space and if you use iCloud Photo Library it won’t be long before you hit the maximum storage for a free account. You will then either have to delete photos or pay for an upgrade.
  2. You may have photos that you no longer want anyone to see.
  3. Some photos may be duplicates, or almost duplicates, of others.

Whatever your reason for deleting photos from iCloud, here’s how to do it.

How to optimize the Photo Library

If the reason you want to delete photos from iCloud library is that they are taking up too much space on your Mac, you should try using CleanMyMac X to optimize your photo library first.

CleanMyMac has a Photo Junk removal tool that removes files that your Mac doesn’t need. These include cache files for the Faces features, general cache files, and copies of files stored in iCloud. In macOS 10.12 and earlier, it can also remove RAW versions of photos.

To use it, first download CleanMyMac for free here and install it. Then do the following:

  1. Launch CleanMyMac from your Mac’s Applications folder.
  2. Choose Photo Junk.
  3. Press Scan.
  4. When the scan is finished, click Review Details to see what CleanMyMac has found.
  5. Click Clean.

How to delete photos from iCloud Photo Library

Just follow the steps:

  1. Launch Photos on your Mac.
  2. Click Photos under Library in the left-hand sidebar.
  3. Select the photo you want to delete.
  4. If you want to delete more than one photo, hold down the Command key and select the others.
  5. When you’ve selected all the photos you want to delete, press the delete key on the keyboard.
  6. Select “Delete” in the window that opens.

The photos you selected won’t be deleted immediately. Instead, they’re moved to an album called “Recently Deleted”. They will remain there for 30 days and then they’ll be deleted permanently. In the meantime, I you want to recover them, click on the Recently Deleted, then right-click or Control-click on the photo you want to recover and choose Recover.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to wait 30 days, go to the Recently Deleted album, select the photos, right-click and choose Delete x items, where “x” is the number of photos you’ve selected.

How to delete photos from iCloud in a web browser

You can manage your iCloud library from any web browser by logging into

  1. Navigate to and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Click on the Photos app.
  3. Choose a photo you want to delete and click on it.
  4. To select more, hold down the Command key and click on them.
  5. Click in the trash can in the toolbar at the top of the photos window.

As with the other methods of deleting photos, the images you selected will now be put in the Recently Deleted album on all your devices. They will stay there for 30 days before being removed permanently. To get rid of them immediately, click on the Recently Deleted album, select the photos and choose “Delete x items”, where “x” is the number of images you selected.

How to manage iCloud storage

If you want to delete all you your photos from iCloud, you can do it from System Preferences on your Mac. However, you should be aware that doing so will mean — if you’ve been using iCloud Photo Library on your other devices — the photos won’t be available to view or edit on your iPhone, iPad or other Apple device.

Following this method will also show you how to delete apps from iCloud and how to delete data from iCloud.

  1. Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.
  2. Click on the iCloud pane.
  3. Uncheck the box next to Photos.
  4. You’ll be prompted to download your photos from iCloud. Press Download — otherwise you’ll lose all your photos permanently in 30 days.
  5. When your photos have downloaded, press the Manage button at the bottom right of the iCloud pane.
  6. Click on Photo Library, then choose Disable and Delete.

Once you’ve clicked Disable and Delete, your photos will be deleted from iCloud after 30 days, unless you click Undo.

This method can also be used to delete app data, documents, and backups from iCloud. When you press the Manage button in Step 5, above, instead of clicking Photos click on an app to delete its data, Documents to delete files from iCloud, or Backups to delete iOS backups. Doing so, will delete all app data, documents, or back ups.

How to delete other things from iCloud

Documents and app data for iOS apps is stored in iCloud Drive and can be viewed on your Mac by clicking iCloud Drive in the Finder (if you can’t see it, go to System Preferences>iCloud and check the box next to iCloud Drive).

Delete Iphoto On Mac

To delete app data from iCloud:

  1. Click Options next to iCloud Drive in the iCloud pane of System Preferences.
  2. Uncheck the box next to the apps whose data you want to delete.

When you next use those apps in iOS, any files you created or data for, say, saved games, will no longer be available to the app.

To delete documents and files from iCloud:

  1. Click on the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window.
  2. Click on iCloud Drive in the Finder sidebar.
  3. Navigate to the files you want to delete.
  4. Drag the files to the Trash, then empty the Trash.

How To Delete Pictures From Photo Library On Mac

Deleting photos from iCloud is very straightforward, whether you do it on Photos in a Mac, an iOS device, or from However, hitting “delete” doesn’t remove them straight away. Photos allows you 30 days to change your mind, while giving you the option of removing them immediately and permanently. If you want to save space on your Mac as well as iCloud, you should run CleanMyMac’s Photo Junk tool. If you have several hundred photos or more, it could claim back tens of gigabytes of disk space.

How To Delete Photos From My Photo Library On Mac

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