How to Delete Photos from MacBook? - A Detailed Guide

How to Delete Photos from MacBook? – A Detailed Guide

Imagine this – you’re going through your old MacBook and stumble upon a pile of unwanted images taking up a significant amount of your precious storage space. Whether it’s the blurred photo from last Christmas party, screenshots for work purposes, or the accidental capture of your foot, there’s no denying that these photos are lying around unnecessarily. This article will enlighten you on how to delete photos from MacBook effectively and free up some much-needed space.

If you are wondering how to delete photos from your MacBook, it’s quite straightforward. Pop into your Photos app or the file location where those pesky images reside. From there, select and hit delete! But remember, when cleaning out photos in haste, double-check as you wouldn’t want to lose any important memories or work-related stuff amongst them.

How to Delete Photos from MacBook?

Deleting photos from your MacBook can help free up storage space and keep your digital life organized. Whether you’re looking to remove individual pictures, or entire albums, or purge everything, macOS provides different ways to declutter your Photos app effectively. Below is a simplified guide on how to achieve this:

How to Delete Photos from MacBook?

Method 1: Deleting Individual Photos

  • Open the Photos app.
  • Select the photo(s) you wish to delete.
  • Press the “Delete” key or right-click and choose “Delete [number] Photos.”
  • Confirm deletion.

Method 2: Deleting Albums

  • Navigate to the Albums tab within the Photos app.
  • Right-click on the album you want to remove.
  • Select “Delete Album” and confirm.

Method 3: Unsyncing iCloud (For Deleting Locally But Not From iCloud)

  • Go to System Preferences > Apple ID/iCloud.
  • Click on “Options” next to Photos.
  • Uncheck “iCloud Photo Library” or similar options depending on your macOS version.

Method 4: Deleting The Entire Photo Library

Close the Photos app and navigate through Finder > Go > Home > Pictures folder.

  1. Locate the “Photos Library. photoslibrary” file, then right-click and select “Move to Trash.”
  2. Empty Trash Folder

Extra Tips for Quick Deletion Using Shortcuts

For advanced users looking for swift action:

  • Use Command + Delete for moving selected photos or albums directly into Trash.
  • Employ Option + Command + Delete for bypassing Trash and deleting instantly (use with caution).

Following these methods will aid in efficiently managing and decluttering your photo storage on your MacBook, ensuring only desired images remain in your collection.

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How to Delete Entire Photo Library on MacBook?

Deleting your entire photo library on a MacBook can help free up significant amounts of disk space and is a straightforward process, especially useful if you’re looking to start fresh or manage your digital clutter. Before proceeding, ensure you have backed up any photos you wish to keep, as this process will permanently remove your images. Here’s how to do it:

  • Backup Important Photos: Before starting the deletion process, make sure you back up any photos or videos you want to keep either on an external hard drive or cloud storage service.
  • Close the Photos App: Make sure the Photos app is fully closed on your MacBook. You can do so by right-clicking the Photos icon in the dock and selecting Quit.
  • Open Finder: Click on the Finder icon in your dock to open a new Finder window.
  • Go to Pictures Folder: In the Finder sidebar, click on “Pictures.” If you don’t see it immediately, click “Go” at the top menu bar and select “Home,” then find and open the Pictures folder from there.
  • Locate Your Photo Library: In most cases, it will be named something like “Photos Library. photoslibrary”. This file represents your entire photo library.
  • Move Photo Library to Trash: Drag your photo library file to the Trash. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl+click) on it and choose “Move to Trash” from the context menu.
  • Empty Trash: Right-click (or Ctrl+click) on the Trash bin in your dock and select “Empty Trash.” Confirm any prompts that ask if you are sure about deleting its contents permanently.

Remember that once these steps are completed and trash is emptied, recovering deleted photos without a backup may not be possible. Proceed with caution and make certain all desired media are securely backed up before deletion.

How to Recover Deleted Pictures on a MacBook?

Accidentally deleting photos on your MacBook can be distressing, especially if they hold sentimental value. Thankfully, the Mac comes equipped with several features that facilitate the recovery of deleted images. Whether you’ve just mistakenly trashed them or have seen them disappear following an update or system issue, here’s a straightforward guide to help you retrieve those precious memories.

  • Check the Trash Can:
    • Click on the Trash icon in your Dock.
    • Browse through to find any deleted pictures.
    • Right-click (or Control+click) on the photo you want to recover and select “Put Back” to restore it to its original location.
  • Use Time Machine:
    • Connect your backup drive that contains your Time Machine backups.
    • Open Time Machine by clicking on its icon in the menu bar and choosing Enter Time Machine.
    • Navigate through backups using arrows or the timeline at the edge of the screen to find your deleted pictures.
    • Select desired images and press “Restore” to recover them back into their initial place.
  • Check Your Photo App’s Recently Deleted Album:
    • Open Photos App.
    • Go to the Albums tab and find the “Recently Deleted” folder; click on it.
    • Select any photos you wish to restore.
    • Hit the “Recover” button (usually found at the top right corner) which will move selected pictures back into your Library.

Employing these methods increases your chances of recovering lost or deleted photos. It’s always a good practice, however, to regularly backup important files either using Time Machine, iCloud Photos, or other external storage solutions to minimize data loss.

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Can I restore a photo once I have deleted it from my MacBook?

Yes, the deleted photos go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder, and you can restore from there within 30 days of deletion.

What happens when I delete photos from my Mac’s storage?

When you delete a photo, it moves to the ‘Recently Deleted’ album and stays there for 30 days before getting erased permanently.

Is there a threat to my online presence without deleting personal photos from my MacBook?

It depends on the security measures taken, but generally, unused media could increase vulnerability if your system gets compromised.

If I delete a photo from the ‘Photos’ App on MacBook, does it delete everywhere?

If your photos are synced through iCloud then yes, deleting a photo will remove it across all your devices.

Will clearing out photos enhance my MacBook’s performance?

It doesn’t directly improve performance but managing storage wisely leads to less clutter and a smoother user experience.

Also Read: Block Someone on MacBook: Quick & Easy Steps


In conclusion, knowing how to delete photos from your MacBook effectively can greatly help in managing your device’s storage and maintaining its health. Furthermore, being familiar with the features of the ‘Photos’ app can be beneficial not only for deletion but also for restoration of pictures when needed.

Moreover, it’s essential to understand how to avoid accidental deletions to save yourself from unnecessary hassles in the future. Finally, always remember that it’s your responsibility as a user to ensure your online presence is secured by deleting any personal photos wisely.

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