How to Delete Your Google Photos

how to delete your google photos

Facebook, Instagram, and Google Photos are all wonderful platforms for storing and sharing your photos.

But if you are concerned that having your photos online will affect your internet privacy, this guide will show you how to delete your Google Photos.

To get started, select the option you would like to follow.


Jump to…

Google Photos and your privacy
Delete photos from your device (with Google Photos back-up)
Delete photos from your device and Google accounts
Restore deleted Google Photos
Do more to protect your Internet Privacy


Google Photos and your privacy

Google Photos is a free photo and video storage service that provides unlimited space and automatic file backup.

While the service and app offer an easy way to store your favorite memories online, you shouldn’t jump in before reading Google’s Terms of Service.

For example, by using Google Photos, you are granting them “a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

While Google maintains they will secure your permission before using your content for commercial/promotional services, you should know they’ll use what you store online to learn about your preferences and show you targeted ads. Learn how to opt out of seeing personalized ads here.

Is Google Photos safe to use?

In a word, yes. Google Photos is a secure service for storing your images and videos. However, the questions you have to consider are:

  • How much do you trust Google with your personal data?
  • Are you willing to give up some internet privacy for added media storage convenience?

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Delete photos from your device (with Google Photos back-up)

This option allows you to delete photos from your device while keeping a cloud copies in your Google Photos library.

Step 1: Open your Google Photos app.

open the google photos app

Step 2: Tap on Menu  > Settings > Back up & sync.

locate the back up & sync function

Step 3: Toggle the switch for Back up & sync ON.

toggle back up & sync on

Step 4: Return to the main app screen. If your photos have not been backed up, wait for your files to be backed up. An item that has been backed up will not display the item is not synced icon icon.

Step 5: Tap on Menu (≡) > Settings > Free up device storage and follow the instructions.

tap on free up device storage

Step 6: To access the cloud copies of your photos, go to the Photos section of the app. Enjoy!

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Delete photos from your device and Google accounts

This option will delete photos from your Google Photo account and any device that syncs to your Google Photos library. If you only want to delete photos from your device but maintain a copy online, follow the instructions for deleting photos on your device only.

Step 1: Open your Google Photos app.

open the google photos app

Step 2: Tap on Menu  > Settings > Back up & sync.

locate the back up & sync function

Step 3: Toggle the switch for Back up & sync ON.

toggle back up & sync on

Step 4: Tap and hold a photo you want to delete. Repeat this for every photo you want to delete.

tap and hold the photos to delete

Step 5: Tap on the Bin icon (tap the bin icon) to delete the file(s).

tap the bin to delete the photos

Made a mistake? If you deleted your photos by mistake, you can recover them within 60 days (but no longer). Find out how in the next section.

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Restore deleted Google Photos

Accidentally deleted some photos and need to get them back? Not to worry!

The good news is that your deleted photos can be recovered within 60 days. Here’s how:

Step 1: Open your Google Photos app.

open the google photos app

Step 2: Tap on Menu (≡) > Trash (tap the bin icon). You will see all your deleted photos here.

all deleted google photos

Step 3: Tap and hold the photos you want to restore. Then tap the Restore (undo iconbutton.

restore your deleted google photos

Note: If it’s been more than 60 days since you deleted your photos, there is nothing you can do to restore it. Sorry!

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Do more to protect your Internet privacy

Wondering what else you can do to enhance your internet privacy? Here are some steps you can take.

  1. Use ExpressVPN. While “pausing” Google Web & App History prevents Google from collecting data about you, it doesn’t prevent your ISP from tracking what you’re doing online and potentially sharing it with corporations and governments. To hide your online activity from your ISP, use a VPN like ExpressVPN.
  2. Use Tor Browser. Tor hides your location and online activities from anybody doing network surveillance or traffic analysis, so your Internet activity is difficult to trace back to you. It’s one of your best bets for maintaining anonymity online. To maximize the effectiveness of Tor, be sure to read these tips: Want Tor to really work?

Safe browsing, everyone!

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Want more help with de-cluttering your online life? Check out our guides on:

> Deleting Chrome extensions

> Deleting Dropbox

> Deleting your Facebook account

> Deleting Facebook Messenger

> Deleting Find My iPhone, Find My iPad, and Find my Mac

Deleting your Gmail account

> Deleting your Google history

> Deleting your hard drive browsing history

> Deleting your Instagram account

> Deleting your Internet Explorer history

> Deleting your Pokémon Go account

> Deleting Safari

Deleting your Snapchat account

> Deleting your Tinder account

> Deleting your Twitter account

> Deleting WhatsApp Messenger

> Deleting your Yahoo Mail account