[Answered] What Happens if I Delete iCloud Photo Library?

You may want to disable iCloud Photos but have no idea “what happens if I delete iCloud Photo Library”. This guide will give you an answer and a better way to backup iPhone photos before and after deleting iCloud Photo Library.


By Demi / Updated on May 31, 2024

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What will happen if I delete iCloud Photo Library

What will happen if I delete photos from iCloud Photo Library? Will they be deleted from the Photos app on iPhone?

- Question from Apple Community

Within iCloud, you’re given an optional backup feature, which is iCloud Photos. Once iCloud Photos is enabled, your photos and videos will be safely saved online in the cloud and synced with other iDevices with the same iCloud account.

iCloud Logo

You may ask, “What happens if I delete iCloud Photo Library?” And what can you do if you want to turn off iCloud Photo without deleting everything? Keep reading, and you’ll find the answer in this guide.

What happens if I delete iCloud Photo Library?

Why do you want to turn off iCloud Photos Library? You may get annoyed because you constantly receive the message iCloud Storage is Full. Therefore, you have no choice but to turn off iCloud Photo Library. However, do you have a clear idea of the consequence after turning off iCloud Photos Library? The followings are answers.

What will happen if you disable iCloud Photo Library?

To sum up, turning off iCloud Photos doesn’t delete any existing photos from iCloud. While the photos may be deleted from your iPhone/iPad depending on the following two settings that are related to iCloud Photos.

iCloud Photos

Setting 1. If you chose Optimize iPhone Storage
When you select this option, photos on your iPhone are offered a smaller version. And when you intend to turn off iCloud Photos, you will receive a pop-up, asking, “Do you want to download a copy of your iCloud Photos to this iPhone?”.

Remove From iPhone

• Remove from iPhone: Tap on Remove from iPhone, and the photos will be deleted from the single device only. You can still access these photos on iCloud.

• Download Photos & Videos: Choose the Download Photos & Videos option will download all photos from your iCloud to your iPhone as soon as you disable iCloud Photos Library.

Setting 2. If you choose Download and Keep Originals
If you selected the Download and Keep Originals option before, then the photos are both kept on your iPhone and iCloud in their original high-resolution, which means if you disable and delete iCloud Photo Library, it will not delete your photos. What’s more, any new photos taken from your iPhone will not reflect on iCloud.

How to disable iCloud Photo Library on iPhone

Make sure you have known the outcome of deleting iCloud Photo Library. If you still want to delete it, then on your iPhone, go to the Settings on your iPhone > Tap [your name] > iCloud > Choose Photos > Turn off iCloud Photos. According to your choice, choose the options that can meet your needs.

Bonus: Backup iPhone photos to PC without iCloud

Indeed, it is effective to backup iPhone to iCloud automatically. However, you cannot backup iPhone photos without the Internet or enough storage space in iCloud. Besides, iCloud backups may be at risk of data leakage.

It is more suggested you try FoneTool, the professional backup tool for iOS devices, to backup selective iPhone photos to PC locally.

Pros of FoneTool, compared with iCloud:
• Selective backup files. During the backup task, you can preview all photos on your iPhone and select the files you want to backup.
• No storage limitation. It allows you to backup iPhone to NAS, local folders on computer, and external hard drives directly with no effort.
• Simple backup and restore process. Its user-friendly design enables you to quickly handle and utilize the tool. You can finish backing up or restoring in a few clicks.

Click the icon below to download the software to your computer. Let’s backup iPhone photos to PC with FoneTool in three steps.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

How to backup iPhone photos to PC selectively

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer > Open FoneTool, and click Phone Backup > Go to Selective Backup and click Get Started.

Custom Backup

Step 2. Check the Photos icon or any other icons to preview your iPhone files > Select the photos and videos you’d like to backup > Click OK to continue.

Select Files

Step 3. Change the storage path if you need > Click Start Backup and wait for the task to complete.

Click Backup

When it is finished, you can go to Backup History to browse, restore, and delete the backup files.

Restore To Device

Other functions of FoneTool

• Manage iCloud data
FoneTool empowers you to seamlessly handle your photos, contacts, notes, and videos within your iCloud account, along with managing files stored in your iCloud Drive. This versatile tool allows you to effortlessly upload files to iCloud for backup, download iCloud files to your PC for local access, and delete unnecessary iCloud files to reclaim valuable storage space. Simplify your iCloud management with FoneTool.

sign in icloud account

• Photo Deduplication
The Photo Deduplication function helps you automatically filter and delete duplicate photos on iPhone, iCloud, and computer, freeing up some storage space on iPhone to some degree. 

Click Photos Deduplication

• Transfer to functions
Just like iCloud, the transfer to functions in FoneTool enables you to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone without backup no matter they are setup or not. You can also transfer data from iPhone to computer and vice versa. Hoping you can discover more functions in FoneTool by yourself.

Transfer To Computer


Hopefully, you have known better the answer to this question "What happen if I delete iCloud Photo Library". Does iCloud not suit your taste? Switch to download FoneTool and let it help you backup your iPhone photos, and make use of its functions to better manage your iPhone data. If this guide helps you, please share this guide 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.