Wednesday, September 25, 2013 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Quickly Emptying the iPhone Camera Roll

Geoffrey Goetz:

And you may have discovered that you can only select your photos one at a time — there is no “select all” option to be found. While this is a good way to selectively trim the size of your Camera Roll, there is now another way to delete all your photos.

Again access the Usage option under the General section of the Settings app and tap on Photos & Camera. This time swipe your finger across the Camera Roll item in the list to reveal a Delete button. By clicking on thus button you will remove all photos from your iPhone’s Camera Roll.

I tried this with iOS 7, but the Delete button didn’t appear when I swiped. I’ve also heard that in the Photos app you can two-finger swipe to batch select photos; that doesn’t work for me either. So, as far as I can see, the only way to delete photos from the iPhone’s camera roll (without using a Mac or PC) is to tap them individually.

iPhoto on the Mac makes it easy to delete photos that have already been imported. Aperture does not, so I end up having to use Image Capture if I don’t want my phone to fill up. Of course, neither of these methods works if you use Wi-Fi syncing or otherwise don’t connect the iPhone directly to the Mac.

The other photo management problem I have is that Photo Stream always stores the 1,000 latest photos on the phone. That’s nearly 1 GB gone that I will never use, since my processed photos are all on Flickr. The only way around this seems to be turning off Photo Stream. You can’t turn off downloads without also turning off uploads. So then my new photos wouldn’t be backed up, and I would have to USB connect whenever I wanted to import them.

You can, however, manually delete photos from Photo Stream after they’ve been imported. This frees up space on the iPhone as well as the Mac’s SSD.

6 Comments

At least, regarding sync, I have settled on Dropbox, which really makes it easy to manage. It does not solve the issue of deleting all the pics at once in your camera roll, but at least you can fire up Dropbox, make sure it's done, then delete all in your camera roll, and be done. The pictures end up in your Mac, where you can add them to iPhoto or Aperture.

Aperture gives me the option to delete imported photos from my iPhone:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kbgi3ojzbob6tes/remove-photos-from-iphone-in-aperture.png

@Adrian That button in Aperture doesn’t do anything on my Mac. Secondly, I think both iPhoto and Aperture only show that button if you import the camera roll via USB. They don’t detect that the photos have already been imported if you used Photo Stream.

I just tried the button and it didn't give me any feedback at all, but all my photos and videos in the camera roll on my iPhone was erased.

As for Photo Stream I tried it briefly when it was first launched but found to many downsides so I stopped and haven't used it since.

[…] with the last 1,000 taking up space on each of my iOS devices. But the alternative is to use a much less efficient workflow. I’d prefer it the photos were automatically transferred directly to my Mac, either over […]

[…] bad there’s no equivalent for clearing out all your photos. You still have to empty the camera roll from the Image Capture application on the […]

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