Sometimes you simply want to delete photos from your MacBook to free up some storage space. But, you don’t want those Photos to be deleted from iCloud as you will need them later. You may wonder “is this possible?” the answer is Yes, this is possible and quite easy to do.
It is a common issue on Mac and iPhone devices, people try to delete photos on MacBook only and the system also deletes those photos from iCloud. Then they have to recover deleted photos to get them back. If you want to save yourself from this hassle then read this article carefully as I will give you some tricks.
Role of iCloud on Mac/iOS devices
iCloud is the official cloud storage service provided by Apple Inc. for all Apple device users. The developers have designed a system that synchronizes all data and media from Mac to the iCloud.
You need to sign in with your Apple ID and passcode/password to use iCloud storage service on Mac. The iCloud stores your data securely and allows you to access it from any Mac computer or iPhone/iOS device with same Apple ID.
Why Do Photos Get Deleted from iCloud When You Delete Them on Mac?
The photos get deleted from iCloud when you delete them on Mac because your Mac computer is synced with the iCloud. That’s why, whenever you delete a photo, video or other media from your Mac, it automatically gets deleted from the iCloud storage.
Do you remember? When you set up your MacBook for first time, you logged in with your Apple ID and password. From that moment to day, your Mac system is synced with iCloud to store all your photos, videos, files and everything in iCloud storage to make it secure and easily accessible from other devices as well.
How to Delete Photos from MacBook But Not iCloud
Now, I am going to explain how you can delete photos on your MacBook yet it won’t be deleted from the iCloud. It is recommended to take a backup of all your photos so that you won’t regret if you mistakenly delete any important photo when applying my suggested trick(s).
In order to delete photos from Mac but not from iCloud, you need to turn off iCloud Photos Sync option on your MacBook. Once you turn the sync off, you will be able to delete photos from MacBook only and keep it saved in the iCloud. So, without wasting more time, let’s begin the steps.
5 Simple Steps to Turn Off Photos Sync with iCloud on Mac:
01. On your Mac, open Apple menu on top left of the screen and click on System Preferences.
02. Select your Apple ID (not applicable for macOS Mojave or earlier).
03. Find out and select iCloud icon to open it.
04. Click on Options button for Photos.
05. Uncheck all three boxes to turn off iCloud Photos Sync on your MacBook.
06. You may be prompted to re-enter your password for verification, so enter password to verify.
07. Once this is done, you will be able to delete photos on Mac without deleting them from iCloud.
After completing above process, you can delete all photos or unwanted photos from your MacBook yet they won’t get deleted from iCloud. So, you can keep your memories permanently safe in iCloud as well as free up storage space of your MacBook.
Should You Turn On iCloud Photos Sync Again?
After deleting photos from your Mac/iPhone, you may want to turn on iCloud Photos syncing feature. So, the question is “Should you turn on iCloud Photos Sync again?” Well, it is all up to your personal choice or preferences.
Go to Apple Menu>System Preferences>iCloud>Tick Photos to turn on iCloud Photos Sync again on your Mac.
You disabled Photos Sync earlier so that you can delete photos from your Mac or iPhone still keep them stored in iCloud storage. Now, you want to re-enable Photos Sync with iCloud, this step may delete photos from iCloud that you deleted when iCloud sync was off.
So, you should take a backup of your photos to another cloud storage or a USB storage before turning on the iCloud Photos Sync again on your Mac or iPhone.
How to Delete Photos from iPhone But Not iCloud
The iPhone users also face the same problem, when they delete any photo from iPhone, it gets deleted from the iCloud. So, I have found some techniques to fix this issue between an iPhone and the iCloud storage. Let me discuss all the tricks one-by-one as follows.
1. Turn Off iCloud Photos on iPhone:
The first trick is very simple where you just have to toggle off iCloud photos on your iPhone. Here is what you need to do:
01. Open Settings on your iPhone.
02. Click on your name on the top.
03. Now, tap on iCloud to open iCloud settings.
04. Click on Photos, turn off iCloud Photos, and select whatever you want to do with your articles in iCloud Photos.
Now, you can delete one, multiple or all photos from your iPhone and they will still remain saved in the iCloud.
2. Change iCloud Account on iPhone
You can fix the problem by changing your iCloud account on your iPhone. The problem is when you delete photos from iPhone, they get deleted from iCloud. So, if you sign out of that iCloud account and sign in with another iCloud account then the problem is resolved.
The Apple Inc. allows users to create up to 3 iCloud account on one iPhone or iOS device. So, you can create and use multiple iCloud accounts on your iPhone to have separate storage of your personal life and professional work.
On your iPhone, you should try to use another iCloud account. Then you should delete photos from your iPhone and this time, they won’t deleted from relevant iCloud account as you have changed the iCloud account on your iPhone.
Here I provide the steps to sign out of iCloud on iPhone and sign into another iCloud account.
01. On your iPhone, go to Settings app and tap on your name.
02. Scroll down to find Sign Out and click on it.
03. Choose the copy you want to keep, tap Sign Out and click Sign Out again to confirm.
04. In Settings, tap Sign in to your iPhone to proceed.
05. Enter your phone passcode and tap Next.
06. Enter your Apple ID and passcode/password, then tap on Next button.
07. Enter the Apple ID verification code if necessary. Then enter your lock screen passcode.
08. Choose whether to sync your iPhone data with iCloud or not.
So, after you change the iCloud account on your iPhone, you can delete photos from the device and it won’t affect the iCloud.
3. Switch to Other Cloud Storage Options
The iCloud option is in-built in your iPhone but that doesn’t mean that you can switch to other cloud storage options. The other cloud storage providers like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, IDrive, Zoolz and pCloud that offer similar facilities like iCloud.
Switching to other cloud storage is a good idea as they provide secure backup and encrypted transfer of files anytime, anywhere. Moreover, you can delete photos from your iPhone yet it won’t be deleted from cloud storage. For example: If your photos are backed up to Google Drive and you delete them from iPhone, it won’t affect the photos in drive.
So, you can check different cloud storage options and their charges & facilities to pick one that suits you the most. It can make your photos management very easy on your iPhone.
How to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac and iPhone
Sometimes, you check the photos, videos and other media on your MacBook. It is possible that you want to delete several photos and accidentally delete more/all photos. So, you want to recover deleted photos as you did it by mistake.
Apple MacBook and iPhone come with the functionality where the recently deleted photos will be in the trash section for 30 days. It allows you to recover deleted photos within 30 days after deletion. Thereafter the photos will be permanently deleted from the device.
In order to recover deleted photos from MacBook, you need to follow the steps given below:
01. Open Photos on your Mac, go to the Recently Deleted album in the sidebar and open it.
02. Find the pictures you do like to keep and select them.
03. Once you have selected all of the photos you want, click Recover.
04. This should restore them and you can see/access them in Photos.
Frequently Asked Questions
The iCloud sync facility is very useful for Mac and iOS device users but it’s also irritating at the same time. Its complicated functions may confuse you at some points.
Here I provide all important questions about how to delete photos on Mac and not from iCloud at the same time. Kindly read all FAQs carefully to clear your confusion and use the iCloud function for fulfilling your needs.
Q.1 How do you delete photos from MacBook only?
You must turn of iCloud Photos Sync on MacBook to be able to delete photos from MacBook only (and not iCloud).
Q.2 Will deleting photos on MacBook delete them from iCloud?
Yes, deleting photos on MacBook delete them from iCloud as they are in a continuous syncing process. If you want to delete on MacBook but not iCloud then turn off the sync photos feature from iCloud in System Preferences.
Q.3 Do photos stay on iCloud if deleted from iPhone?
No, photos don’t stay on iCloud if deleted from iPhone. If you want to keep photos on iCloud even after deleted from iPhone then turn off iCloud photos sync or change iCloud account on your iPhone.
In this article, I have explained the best solution that will help you to understand how to delete photos from Mac but not iCloud. I have also explained the same process for iPhone and also mentioned how to recover photos if you accidentally deleted them.
I hope, you found this article helpful, do share this with your friends to help them keep their photos saved on iCloud even after deleted from Mac/iPhone. For more queries, ask me in the comment section, I will be happy to answer them.