How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud

How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud

Ever wondered how to delete photos on Mac without deleting from iCloud? Well, let’s go!

Everybody has experienced this at least once: 

You are surfing the internet, and you see a file you would love to download, but your computer refuses to let you download it, and it keeps reminding you that you are running out of storage, so you decide to delete some old photos and videos to free up some space. 

Now your photos are well-protected by Apple’s iCloud, but you must be careful not to remove them from both iCloud and your Mac.

The shortcut to remove photos from a Mac computer but not from iCloud is:

Open System Preferences. Disable iCloud sync for photos by clicking on Apple ID, iCloud, and then clicking uncheck photos. 

With the photos no longer connected to iCloud, they can be deleted from the computer but not from iCloud.

Keep on reading to find out how to delete photos from Mac without deleting them from iCloud as well as how to recover deleted photos.

How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud

How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud

Step 1: Open System Preferences and Select iCloud

On your Mac, first, open System Preferences. An Apple icon labelled “Apple ID” will be in the top right corner. You should see a section for iCloud when you click on that. To access the iCloud settings, click it.

Step 2: Uncheck the Photographs Box

A list of the apps that iCloud is synced to will be displayed. Remove the checkmark next to the Photos app. This will stop iPhotos from syncing. 

If you want to delete the photos on your Mac permanently, you will get a prompt. 

Click “Yes” to confirm that you want to remove all your photos from your Mac.

Step 3: Remove Unwanted Images

The photos you remove from your Mac won’t be removed from iCloud after you turn off photo sync. You can now remove any photos you don’t want to have on your Mac if you haven’t already deleted them.

Note: Check out the Apple Support page for more details on iCloud storage.

Additional Options for Storage Space Optimization

How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud

Apple provides a few storage space optimization options. All data is saved to the cloud using the “Store in iCloud” option, with only necessary file downloads. With AppleTV, “Optimizing Storage” functions in the same way.

Apple also offers a “Reduce Clutter” option that makes it simple to remove unnecessary files. Having storage saved on an external drive is always a good idea in addition to all of the failsafe Apple has in place.

Keep in the iCloud

All of your unopened files, photos, and messages will be kept on iCloud until needed when you enable “Store in iCloud.” It’s simple to download files from iCloud and use them; they won’t take up any space on your Mac, though.

Click on the Apple icon to the left of the top menu bar to enable “Store in iCloud.” Next, select “About this Mac.” A tiny window will appear as a result. Toggle to “Storage.” This will display how much storage your Mac is currently using.

There is a button that says “Manage” to the right. Press this button. “Store in iCloud” will be the first choice. Toggle this. Your unopened or recently used files, photos, and messages will be saved to iCloud once you’ve finished these steps.

Improve Storage

Optimizing Storage with your AppleTV and recent email attachments accomplishes the same task as storing in iCloud.

Select “About this Mac” and then “Optimize Storage” to enable it. Click “Storage” and then “Manage” once there. From there, choose “Optimize Storage” from the menu.

All of your previously viewed TV shows and movies will be saved to iCloud after you’ve finished this, freeing up more space on your Mac.

It will remove shows from your device and store ones you’ve already watched or downloaded in the cloud. Any media you want to access will be available on demand, but it won’t take up any room on your Mac.

Eliminate Clutter

You can use “Reduce Clutter” to search through your files, photos, or messages to find any that you may no longer require and then choose to delete them.

You can free up more space on your Mac by removing unnecessary files.

Navigate to the storage section of “About this Mac” and select “Manage” to “Reduce Clutter.” When you get there, “Reduce Clutter” will be at the bottom of the page.

A list of apps, documents, and other items occupying a lot of space will appear by pressing this button. To save space, you can decide what to keep and delete.

Outside Storage

All of the important photos should be saved on an external hard drive, whether you have them saved on iCloud, your Mac, or both.

If your device breaks or you lose access to your Apple account, this will safeguard your photos.

You won’t have any trouble using a thumb drive to back up your photos if you don’t have a lot of images to store.

You should consider purchasing an external hard drive with a large storage capacity if you need a lot of room for your photos.

How to Turn On iCloud Photos Sync Again

You must return to the iCloud section of System Preferences to enable sync for Photos.

Rechecking the box next to the icon for the Photos app should enable sync once more. You might need to use your Apple ID to sign in for this.

Photos previously deleted from iPhotos may occasionally be deleted from iCloud when sync is restored. You should confirm that you haven’t lost any photos due to this. Photos that have been lost can be easily recovered.

How to Retrieve Deleted Pictures on iPhone

How to Delete Photos on Mac without Deleting from iCloud

For thirty days, Apple iCloud keeps deleted photos in the trash folder. Your photos will be permanently deleted if you wait more than 30 days, and there is very little chance that you will ever get them back.

If you still have thirty days left, you can retrieve your deleted photos by visiting the photos section of your iCloud account.

Open the “Recently Deleted” album in the sidebar after entering photos. Find and choose the photos you want to keep.

Click “Recover” after selecting all of the images you desire. This ought to bring them back to your iCloud photos.


Every iOs user will have experienced space issues at one point or another, and it can get tricky when all your devices are synced together.

We hope this article on how to delete photos on Mac without deleting them from iCloud has been helpful.

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