If you’re ready to delete all the photos from your phone, you might be wondering how that is possible. Spending hours going through photos and deleting them one at a time is tiring and unnecessary.
Maybe you’ve already printed the photos you needed or added them to a photography site. You may be getting rid of your phone and want to delete the content before doing so. Or maybe you have photographic evidence of some bad choices that you need to destroy from the universe before anyone finds out. (We do not judge; we only provide information).
Deleting all your photos in bulk is actually quite a simple task to perform, and it’s only going to take a few steps to get it all done.
Step – one: consider backing up your photos
If you are really determined to delete all your photos, we will first explain how to backup your images. If you have a change of mind, your photos will still be there for you to retrieve later. Assuming you have already backed up everything or are not interested in your images, go to step two.
Backup your photos
Everyone loves free and easy to use, and Google Photos is exactly that. Google Photos is an Android app that makes it easy and fast to back up your photos over Wi-Fi as soon as you take them, or later, as the case may be.
You can back up your entire device or choose specific folders for your selections, and your photos will be immediately available on any device through which you can log into your Google / Gmail account. The app will guide you in backing up your photos, and the time it takes will depend on both your internet speed and the number of photos you’re backing up, so go ahead and plan to upload them overnight while your phone is plugged in. .
- Download the Google Photos App
- Login to your Google account
- Connect your phone and connect to wifi
- Tap on the three horizontal lines located on the upper right side of the app
- Select “Settings”
- Check the option “Backup and Synchronization”
- Make sure this is enabled
When the upload is complete, you will see a small cloud icon at the top of your page with a small check mark to inform you that your photos are safe in the cloud. If you want, log into your desktop or laptop and check photos.google.com to see if your photos have finished uploading. There will be a chronological scroll bar on the right side of the screen, which will help organize your photos for you.
A quick note: if all you want to do is free up space on your device, Google Photos has an option that will delete all photos and videos once they have been uploaded to the cloud . As you can see in the screenshot above, the option appears just below the Backup notification and allows you to click to make additional choices.
You will see a message telling you how much space you can free up and how many items to delete from your device. The message will confirm that “the items have been safely backed up to your Google account.” For some of you, this may be all you need. For everyone else, skip to step two, in which I have included two options.
Step – two: delete your photos
Option one: gallery apps
Alright, it’s time to make those photos disappear. If you followed the previous step to upload your images to Google Photos, we suggest you do not use the Google Photos app to delete the images from your phone. Doing so will also delete your cloud backups, and that’s not good if you want to keep a copy just in case.
Instead, be sure to use the standard gallery app on your phone, or if you use a phone that only comes with the Google Photos app, use a third-party gallery app like QuickPic Gallery to remove these files from your phone. If you use the Google Photos app, it will not only delete the photos saved on your phone, but it will also delete the copies of the photos that you uploaded to the cloud.
Select all and delete
Android phones may differ depending on the operating system and manufacturer. The instructions for removing your entire gallery should be relatively similar.
- Open the Gallery app
- Long press one of the available albums – a check mark should appear
- Tap the trash can icon
You will most likely see various sections in the album view in addition to your camera roll, including screenshots, downloads, and any other application that saves photos to your device. One of the easiest ways to delete files from your device is to delete each album individually.
Not all gallery apps have this capability, which means you may have to do some super investigative research before choosing the gallery app, or experience a bit of trial and error.
In most gallery apps, just press and hold an album to select it, which should allow you to select each album you want to delete. In the Samsung Gallery app, you can also select all albums. Once you’ve done this, click delete album and confirm. Your photos will be deleted from your device.
Option two: File manager apps
You may prefer not to download a gallery app for the sole purpose of erasing certain memories from your life. Understandable. If you don’t want to use a gallery app, you can use a file explorer to perform a task very similar to the gallery app method detailed above.
For this method, you can use the stock file manager or, if your phone doesn’t provide one, an external app manager (I heartily recommend Solid Explorer — The name doesn’t lie, it’s what it says it is!) . Again, it will navigate your file system until it finds the folders that contain the photos you want to delete.
This takes a bit more time than using gallery apps that show all your folders containing photos at once. You should make sure that you have arranged your photos in useful folders so that you can take them to the trash. Then you will need to go through the entire file system for the folders you need to delete.
Once you’ve gone through this admittedly long process, you will have no doubt that your phone is once again photo-free, although I still recommend trying the gallery option first, if only for ease of use.
While you may feel like this is a good fail-safe way to make sure you’ve removed every unnecessary photo by hand, this is a lengthy process.
Assuming you are trying to sell or trade in your phone, you can factory reset the device. This is also an option for those trying to free up space. Your contacts are likely to be saved to your Gmail account and the login should retrieve them. Any app you have had can easily be located in the Google Play Store and re-downloaded.
Start by deleting your Gmail account (for Google activation purposes).
- Go to settings’
- Scroll down to “Accounts”
- Tap on each Google account and delete it
Once the accounts are removed, go back to the main “Settings” page and scroll down to “Reset” (General Management on Galaxy Phones). A helpful hint to find things in your settings, tap on the search bar and type “Reset”, a list of options will appear.
- Tap “Factory data reset”
- Enter your credentials if asked (such as unlock code or fingerprint)
Whether you’re using an LG, Samsung, or even Google Pixel, these instructions for factory resetting your device should work.