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How to Remove Photos from iPhone without Deleting them from iCloud?

Looking to Remove Photos and Videos from iPhone But Keep them on iCloud Drive. Here is the Guide to Delete Photos from iPhone But Not iCloud.
Delete Photos from iPhone But Not iCloud

I have an iCloud subscription, and all my device photos and videos are backed up to iCloud. But soon, I also realized that the photos also take up space on my iPhone device, so I wanted to delete the photos from my iPhone and keep a copy of the photos and videos on the iCloud drive. I looked for a solution on the forums, and here in this guide, I will tell you how you can remove photos and videos from your iPhone device but keep them on your iCloud Drive.

Delete iPhone Copy and Keep iCloud Copy

Now there are a few points to know for deletion of photos from iPhone devices. If iCloud Photos is enabled and if you delete the photos from the Photos app, then they are deleted from iCloud storage and connected devices.

You should have seen two options on the iCloud Photos settings page; Optimize iPhone storage, and the second is Download and Keep Originals.


If Optimize iPhone Storage is selected and then iCloud Photos is disabled, you are automatically given the option to remove the photos from your iPhone.

Remove from iPhone

Click on Remove from iPhone to delete the photos from the device but keep a copy on the cloud.

Remove from iPhone

Also, there is a second possibility with the above option, compressed smaller size images may be available on your iPhone if;

  • Your device has enough storage space.
  • You should have not added any new media to the iCloud drive.
  • Only one device is connected to the iCloud account.

If the above conditions are present, optimized photos will be available on your iPhone, and the original copy is present on iCloud. You can manually delete the compressed media from your iPhone, as the iCloud copy is still available online.

Now, if you Turn Off iCloud Photos with Download and Keep Originals, then all the photos will remain on your iPhone and also be available on the cloud. In this case, you have to change the settings to optimize iPhone storage and wait for some time for the changes to take place, and then you can turn off the iCloud photos option and remove the photos from iPhone.

Steps to Turn Off iCloud Photos from iPhone

How to Disable iPhone Photo Backup to iCloud?

Here are simple steps to remove photos from your iPhone mobile but keep them stored on the iCloud drive.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Then tap on the Apple ID Profile at the top of the screen.
  3. Go to iCloud and tap on it.
    iCloud Option iPhone Settings
  4. Next, tap on Photos.
    Photos Option iPhone
  5. Under that, you will see the option iCloud Photos.
    Turn OFF iCloud Photos
  6. Tap on the switch to disable it.
    Turn OFF iCloud Photos
  7. That’s it the no new photos or videos will be uploaded to iCloud, and all the content already stored on the cloud will remain intact.

Use Alternative Cloud Storage Option

You can use alternative cloud storage options like Google Drive or Google Photos to back up the pictures and videos from your iPhone device. This way, you can upload the media to GDrive or G-Photos and delete the content from your iPhone device, thus freeing up the space on your mobile.

How to Backup iPhone Photos and Videos to Google Drive?

In a Nutshell

To remove images from your iPhone but keep them on iCloud, you need to first select optimize iPhone storage, this will keep a low-resolution image on your iPhone, and when you turn off the iCloud photos, the low-resolution images will be deleted from iPhone while the original high-quality images are still available on the iCloud drive.

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