How To Delete All Google Photos
Even if Google Photos has worked well for you, there may come a time when you’ll need to delete your photos and your account. This process is straightforward enough that we created a three-minute video on how to delete all your photos from Google Photos from your mobile device or from the desktop. In addition to the video, we’ve written an article for those who prefer written detailed instructions.
How to Delete All Google Photos
Google Photos was a nifty addition at its launch in 2015. Since its arrival, its capabilities have expanded significantly. Unlimited storage, cross-platform sync up, and easy to navigate layout are only a few things that nabbed our attention.
Apple even tossed in a photo recognition AI that can capture faces in the crowd and link them to other known persons without even having tagged them yourself.
Do you really want Google knowing all the details of your life by piecing them together one photo at a time? Even the most mundane landmark in a photo gives Google enough information to track your current location while your device’s location settings are off.
Some people consider it a bit intrusive to have their current location tracked while and want to delete their Google Photos while maintaining some privacy in the process.
How to Delete Google Photos While Maintaining your Privacy
Though some may find it an acceptable tradeoff for being able to use such a powerful tool, there are those who feel that Google may be crossing a line.
I’m here to help you get rid of the “evidence” and stick it to the man. Let’s wipe the slate clean and remove those photos asap.
Deleting Your Photos From Google Photos
Removing your photos from Google’s prying AI isn’t a difficult task but you may want to perform a few pre-steps to ensure everything goes smoothly the first time. You can begin by backing up everything you don’t want to permanently lose.
Save What Needs Saving
You can easily backup anything as Google allows you to grab large groups and even albums of photos at a time. All of which will be compressed down into a nice, tiny .zip file for easy storage. If you’re hoping to save all of your photos, you’ll need to find a backup service like Amazon Prime Photos. Save all photos to your device or an external hard drive and complete a backup with another service.
Remember that Google Photos is likely synced up to your mobile device, so any photos deleted in Google Photos will also be deleted from your device.
You should also turn off the “Back up and sync” feature in Google Photos on your mobile device. This will make it so that your photos taken with your mobile device will no longer sync back to Google Photos.
Delete Photos Using the Web Browser
Removing your photos from Google Photos is simple on a web browser if you know how to do it. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t give you the option to select all nor does CTRL + A (CMD + A) work.
- Log into Google Photos
- Tap ‘Albums’ located on the right-hand side
- Click on one of the albums
- Hover over the first picture until you see a white checkmark
- Click the checkmark so it turns blue
- Scroll all the way down (users have reported you can highlight 500 photos at one time)
- Hold the ‘Shift key’ and click on the last photo
- Head to the upper right-hand corner and click the trash can icon
- Confirm deletion
Once this is done, head to your ‘Recently Deleted’ folder and clear it out. If this isn’t done, your photos will still be available in Google Photos.
Deleting Photos on the App
Deleting photos from the mobile app takes a little more time. As mentioned previously, Google doesn’t offer a way to select all on photos. To remove images and videos, try this:
- Open the Google Photos App on your mobile device
- Tap ‘Photos’ in the lower left-hand corner if it’s not showing your pictures
- Long-press the first photo
- Individually tap each photo after that
- Once everything is selected tap the trash can icon located in the top right-hand corner
- Tap ‘Move to Trash’
You can do this by album or for your entire photo library roll.
Removing Photos From Mobile Device
For those who aren’t as disturbed by Google’s snooping, you may want to only remove all photos from your device and not Google Photos. This will allow you to free up room on your phone while still keeping all of your photos safe and sound, backed up to Google Photos. There are a few ways to go about this:
Option 1 – Launch Google Photos on your phone and select a photo for removal. Then tap the triple dots icon toward the top to open the menu. Then just choose ‘Delete from Device’, and that photo will be removed from your phone but not Google Photos.
Option 2 – Head to Settings in Google Photos and choose ‘Free up device storage’. This will let you know that the photos have been backed up to Google Photos and you can tap on Remove to rid your device of all the photos.
Option 3 – This is the typical removal option. Just open your Photos Gallery and move all photos to the trash bin. You can delete multiples in this way as well.
Are You Still Seeing Your Photos on Google?
If you’ve followed the steps we’ve mentioned you’ve successfully deleted your photos out of Google Photos. But, you may still see items populate meaning that Google has your content somewhere.
If this is happening to you, it may be pulling images from the device you’re on, or it could be pulling from a sister app like Google Drive. Open Google Drive and check for your images there.
Your backup settings on your phone may give you clues where your photos are stored. If they’re backing up to Drive, you’ll have to delete them there as well. As mentioned previously, you’ll also want to dump your ‘Recently Deleted’ folder in the app or web browser.