Can You Delete Photos from iPhone but Not iCloud?

Erase Photos from iPhone but Not iCloud
Erase Photos from iPhone but Not iCloud

As the core service of Apple, iCloud works seamlessly with iOS and macOS devices by automatically syncing your data online. While iCloud makes it easier for you to access clouds through devices, save your local storage, and share photos between iCloud accounts, it also makes it harder for you to clearly manage your photos and videos. This is because anything you delete on your iPhone will also be deleted from iCloud as long as the iCloud Photos sync function is turned on.

If you want to free up your iPhone storage by deleting some photos but still keeping them in iCloud as backups, is there any way to delete photos from iPhone but not from iCloud? Actually, Apple does not support deleting photos from iPhone but not iCloud. However, you will find some manual solutions in this article.

How to Delete Photos from iPhone but Not iCloud: 3 Simple Solutions

Below are three easy methods that we have tested to be effective. You can choose one and follow the step-by-step guide to learn about deleting photos on iPhone but not iCloud.

Way 1. Remove Photos from iPhone but Not iCloud by Turning off iCloud Photos

Step 1. Open the Settings of your iPhone and open your Apple ID.

Step 2. Open your iCloud and choose Photos.

Step 3. Turn off “Sync this iPhone” in iCloud Photos. Then you can delete photos from your iPhone.

Turn off iCloud Photos Sync
Turn off iCloud Photos Sync

Tip: If the Optimize iPhone Storage option is enabled, you will be asked to transfer a copy of the iCloud Photos folder to your iPhone or not. You can choose Remove from iPhone or Download Photos & Video, and the iCloud originals will remain intact.

Way 2. Delete Photos on iPhone but Not iCloud by Switching iCloud Accounts

Step 1. Open the Settings of your iPhone and open your Apple ID.

Step 2. Move to the bottom of the page and tap “Sign Out”. Then use your Apple ID to sign out of this iCloud account.

Sign out of iCloud Account
Sign out of iCloud Account

Step 3. Open Settings and choose Apple ID to log in with another iCloud account. When you delete photos from your iPhone, the modification won’t be synced to your old iCloud account.

Way 3. Delete Pictures from iPhone but Not iCloud by Using iCloud Alternatives

If you want to keep photos in iCloud but delete them on your iPhone, you can use iCloud Photos alternatives to keep syncing your iPhone photos online while affecting nothing in your iCloud Photos.

Step 1. Download and install the Google Photos app from App Store.

Step 2. Open the app and create a Google account to log in.

Step 3. Tap the account icon in the upper-right corner and choose “Turn on backup”.

Step 4. Choose the settings you need and tap “Confirm”.

Turn on Backup of Google Photos
Turn on Backup of Google Photos

Backup iCloud Photos to Another Cloud before Deleting

If you want to delete photos from your iPhone but are afraid that those photos might be accidentally deleted from iCloud, you could back up your iCloud Photos to another cloud storage that is not synced with your iPhone before deleting. By doing so, your photos can be safely saved online even if you delete them from your iPhone.

But how to transfer photos and videos from iCloud to another cloud storage service without time-consumingly downloading and uploading? Well, you can use a professional cloud migration service, MultCloud, to quickly transfer large files from one cloud to another with a single click.

MultCloud offers a secure web interface and well-designed mobile apps for cloud file management and cloud-to-cloud transfer. It now supports more than 30 popular clouds and on-premise services.

  • Cloud Transfer: Fastly transfer data between clouds with one click.
  • Team Transfer: Bulk migration between business cloud accounts.
  • Cloud Backup: Backup from cloud to cloud and directly restore.
  • Cloud Sync: One-way/two-way/real-time and 7 other sync modes.

Backup Photos from iCloud to Google Photos via Cloud Transfer

For backing up iCloud Photos to another cloud, Google Photos is a good destination since it offers 15 GB of free storage and is similar to iCloud Photos but doesn’t have a deep connection with your iPhone. Therefore, here we take moving from iCloud Photos to Google Photos as an example. You could also take the steps below to transfer your iCloud Photos to other clouds.

Step 1. Sign up for MultCloud and log in.

Step 2. Click “Add Cloud” and choose the iCloud Photos icon, then log in with your Apple ID and go through the two-factor authentication to add it to MultCloud. After that, add your Google Photos account in the same way.

Add iCloud Photos and Google Photos to MultCloud
Add iCloud Photos and Google Photos to MultCloud

Step 3. Move to the Cloud Transfer page, select iCloud photos and videos as the source, and select an album in Google Photos as the destination. Then click “Transfer Now” and MultCloud will move the selected data from iCloud to Google Photos as soon as possible.

Transfer from iCloud Photos to Google Photos in MultCloud
Transfer from iCloud Photos to Google Photos in MultCloud

In the End

You can choose the best way you like in this article to delete photos from iPhone but not iCloud. But you may still need to be careful if you don’t want to mistakenly lose your photos from both your iPhone and iCloud. Besides, if one of your cloud storage services is nearly full, you can use MultCloud mentioned in the article to seamlessly transfer Google Photos to another account or transfer between other accounts without downloading and uploading.

FAQs about Delete Photos from iPhone but Not from iCloud

Will deleting photos from my iPhone delete them from iCloud as well?

No, deleting photos from your iPhone using the methods mentioned in this guide will only remove them from your device and not from iCloud.

What happens if I disable iCloud Photo Library on my iPhone?

Disabling iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone prevents your device from syncing photos with iCloud. However, it also means that new photos taken on your iPhone won't be uploaded to iCloud until you re-enable the feature.

How can I access my iCloud photos on different devices?

You can access your iCloud photos on different devices by signing in to your iCloud account and enabling iCloud Photo Library on each device. This ensures that your photos are synchronized across all your Apple devices.

What are the benefits of using MultCloud for managing photos?

MultCloud simplifies photo management by providing a unified interface for multiple cloud storage services. It allows you to transfer and sync photos between different platforms, schedule backups, and enhance the security of your data.

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