[8 Ways] Fix iPhone Recently Deleted Photos Won’t Delete

If you have trouble with iPhone Recently Deleted photos won’t delete, you can head to this guide where you will get detailed solutions to solve the issue Recently Deleted album not deleting.


By Demi / Updated on June 8, 2023

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Can't delete photos on Photos and Recently Deleted

I intended to free up my storage on my iPhone 11 Pro Max, so I tried to delete the photos. But when I see the photo numbers, it won’t decrease and the photos that I’ve deleted are still there. Plus I can’t clear up my Recently Deleted photos. What should I do?

- Question from Apple Community

You may want to clear up some less important photos to free up storage space when iPhone storage is full. However, you may find the photos which supposed to be deleted still exist even if you have removed them from Photos. If you’re in the same situation, this guide will be worth reading. Please try to fix the issue iPhone Recently Deleted photos won’t delete with the solutions below.

Photos Icon

Reasons to photos in the Recently Deleted album not deleting

Photos that don’t delete from Recently Deleted on iPhone may have something to do with syncing settings on your iOS devices.

On the one hand, if you have synced photos to other iDevices, the photos usually cannot be deleted. In other words, the photos are not really wiped because the photos are deleted from this iPhone but still exist on other devices.

On the other hand, if you enabled iTunes or iCloud Sync, photos cannot be deleted, either.

Top 8 fixes to iPhone Recently Deleted photos won’t delete

Cannot delete photos in Recently Deleted album? The solutions below can help you out. You can try them one after another until your problem can be fixed.

Solution 1. Restart iPhone

Restarting iPhone is one of the simplest ways to fix common iPhone issues. Chances are that the iPhone gets stuck so that the photos which should have been deleted are still on your iPhone. You can refresh the Photos app or restart iPhone to have a try.

Solution 2. Turn off iCloud Photos syncing

You may need to turn off Photos syncing in Settings to stop deleted photos from going back to your iPhone again.

On your iPhone, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Tap Photos > Switch off the icon beside iCloud Photos.

iCloud Photos

Solution 3. Clear up Recently Deleted folder

Just to avoid deleting photos by mistake, you can restore deleted photos from the Recently Deleted folder. Therefore, when you delete pictures in Photos, they will be relocated to the folder Recently Deleted and kept for up to 30 days before being completely deleted from your iPhone.

You can clear up the folder Recently Deleted to remove photos from your iPhone. How to delete Recently Deleted photos on iPhone: Go to Photos app > Click Albums at the bottom > Locate and click Recently Deleted to delete these photos again.

Hidden Photos iPhone

Solution 4. Check the third-party apps

Some apps like Instagram will upload photos to the Photos app automatically and recurrently. Therefore, you may find the photos you have deleted appear later. In that condition, you can uninstall and install the apps again to fix the issue iPhone Recently Deleted photos won’t delete.

Solution 5. Delete photos from iTunes

If you have synced photos using iTunes, you can go to iTunes to delete photos. You can follow the steps below to make it. Please make sure you have updated iTunes to the latest version on your computer.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer > Open iTune > Click on your iPhone in the upper-left corner.

Step 2. Go to Photos tab > Choose Selected folders to deselect the albums or individual photos you want to remove. Optionally, you can also deselect Sync Photos > Remove Photos to delete all synced photos.

Sync Photos Using iTunes

Solution 6. Check third-party cloud services

If you backup iPhone photos in any third-party cloud services, like Google Photos, the photos may remain in the cloud services even if you delete them from iPhone Photos app. When you refresh the Photos app, the deleted photos will reappear. To avoid iPhone Recently Deleted not deleting due to any third-party cloud services, you can try to remove photos from them or uninstall them from your iPhone. If you seek another way to backup iPhone photos, it is suggested to try the tool mentioned in the Bonus part.

Solution 7. Update to the latest iOS

If you don’t keep the iOS updated, some apps may be forced to stop working, like iPhone Recently Deleted photos won’t delete. Just in case, please check for iOS update on your iPhone by going to Settings > General > Software Update to check whether there is a new version of iOS available.

iOS Software Update

Solution 8. Turn off Low Power Mode

An enabled Low Battery Mode may interrupt the photos deleting process. It is suggested to turn off the Low Power Mode when you remove photos from iPhone.You can go to Settings > Battery to turn it off.

Bonus: Always keep your photos safe with FoneTool

Backing up iPhone photos to cloud service can be convenient but also brings some troubles like photos cannot delete from iPhone. Besides, to avoid deleting important photos by mistake, you may need to backup them first.

It’s highly recommended to try the professional backup tool - FoneTool to keep your photos and other iPhone data safe.

✓ Preview and selective process. You’re free to browse photos on your iPhone and backup the wanted ones via FoneTool.
✓ Fast backup speed. With a stable USB connection between your iPhone and computer, it just takes about 3 seconds to backup 100 photos.
✓ Simple design and operation. With a clear interface, you can finish the backup task within a few clicks.
✓ Powerful backup functions. Besides photos, you’re allowed to backup music, videos, messages, and contacts selectively via FoneTool.
✓ Wide compatibility. FoneTool supports all iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod. It can also work well with iOS like iOS 15/16.

Free download FoneTool to your computer, and backup iPhone to PC with no effort or error.

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That’s all for iPhone Recently Deleted photos won’t delete. Hopefully, you can fix the issue with one of the solutions above. Besides, please be noted that you have the latest backup file before deleting anything from your iPhone. If this guide is helpful for you, please share it with others.

Demi · Editor
Demi is an editor of FoneTool group as well as a good advisor in the area of iOS-related issues. She does well in finding solutions to people's problems. She enjoys traveling, gardening, and watching movies. She spends most of her free time with her pet and family.