How to Delete Photos in iPhoto Album and Library?

Shreyas Patil SEO
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to Delete Photos in iPhoto Album and Library?

iPhoto is a useful app that comes pre-installed on Mac computers, helping users organize and manage their photos. However, as your photo library grows over time, you may want to delete unwanted or duplicate photos to save space. Deleting photos from an iPhoto album or library is easy once you know how.

What You Need Before Deleting Photos

Before deleting photos in iPhoto, ensure:

  • You have the latest version of macOS and iPhoto installed. Older versions may behave differently.
  • Your iPhoto library is not locked or synced to iCloud or other services. This can prevent deletion.
  • You have made backups of photos you may want to keep. Deleted photos are hard to recover.

Deleting photos from an iPhoto Album

To delete photos from a specific album in iPhoto:

  • Open iPhoto and select the desired album.
  • Select the photos you want to delete. You can select multiple photos by holding Command while clicking.
  • Press the Delete key to move the photos to iPhoto's trash folder.
  • To permanently delete, go to iPhoto menu > Empty iPhoto Trash.

Deleting photos this way only removes them from that album. The photos will still exist in your iPhoto library unless you empty the trash.

How to Delete All Photos from iPhoto Library

To completely delete photos from your iPhoto library:

  • With iPhoto open, go to iPhoto > Preferences
  • Go to the Advanced tab and click "Show iPhoto Library"
  • A Finder window will open showing the iPhoto Library package. Do not move or change this folder.
  • Open the folder and go to the Originals folder inside.
  • Select all the photos/videos you want to permanently delete.
  • Drag them into the trash.
  • Empty the Trash to confirm deletion.

This will delete the original files from your iPhoto library and remove them from all albums.

Alternative Ways to Delete Photos

A few other ways to delete photos from iPhoto include:

1. Delete from the last import album

  • Go to the Last Import album which contains your most recent imports.
  • Select the photos to remove and hit Delete.

2. Delete from the Recently Deleted folder

  • Go to Recently Deleted under Library to permanently remove photos you recently sent to the iPhoto trash.

3. Delete from the PhotoStream album

  • Go to the PhotoStream album containing synced photos from other devices and delete them.

4. Use the iPhoto Trash Can

  • Drag photos directly to the iPhoto Trash can later permanently erase them.

How to recover deleted photos

If you accidentally deleted photos from iPhoto and want to try recovering them:

  • First, avoid importing new photos or making major edits - this overwrites data.
  • Use data recovery software to scan your iPhoto library package for deleted files.
  • Software like Stellar Photo Recovery can retrieve deleted photos.
  • Scan your Mac's trash folders using recovery tools to rescue recently trashed files.

But recover promptly, as overwritten data is difficult to get back.

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Tips for Managing iPhoto Library Size

To avoid running out of space from a bloated iPhoto library, try these tips:

  • Regularly delete unwanted, duplicate, or blurry photos.
  • Use iPhoto tools like Faces to find and delete poor shots of certain people.
  • Export edited photos out of the library to save space.
  • Store the original photo library on an external drive instead of the startup disk.
  • Optimize your library to rebuild thumbnails and databases, releasing space.
  • Split your library into multiple smaller libraries organized by year or event.

In conclusion

Knowing how to properly delete photos from albums or your entire iPhoto library can help you manage your growing photo collection and free up storage space on your Mac. Carefully review which photos to delete, empty the iPhoto trash to confirm removal, and act quickly if you need to recover accidentally deleted photos. With a little regular maintenance, your iPhoto library can remain organized and clutter-free for years to come.

FAQs About Deleting iPhoto Photos

Here are some common questions about removing photos from iPhoto:

How do I delete photos from iPhoto on my iPhone or iPad?

  • On iOS devices, open the Photos app and find the photos in the My Photo Stream album synced from iPhoto. Tap Select, choose photos, then hit the Delete icon.

Will deleting photos in iPhoto delete them from my hard drive?

  • If you just remove photos from an Album, they will stay in the iPhoto library and on your drive. But if you DELETE from the library, they are permanently erased from the hard drive after emptying trash.

What happens when I delete photos from iPhoto library?

  • When deleting photos from the iPhoto library itself, they are permanently removed from all albums, projects, books, prints, and other areas of iPhoto. The original files are moved to the trash.

Can I recover photos after emptying iPhoto trash?

  • It becomes very difficult to recover deleted iPhoto photos after you empty the iPhoto trash, but data recovery software offers the best chance if you act quickly. Avoid overwriting the data.

Is there a shortcut to delete photos in iPhoto?

  • Yes, after selecting one or more photos, press the Delete key to quickly move them to iPhoto's trash folder for deletion.

Will deleting duplicates free up space in iPhoto?

  • Yes, removing duplicate or similar images in iPhoto can significantly reduce the size of your library and free up valuable disk space since it deletes extra copies of files.

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