iCloud Photo Library: Do not delete photos from an iPhone to free up space

iCloud Photo Library & iPhone Storage Space

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Be careful when deleting photos or videos on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iCloud web app if you use iCloud Photo Library. Doing so may permanently remove the deleted photos from all devices.

Plus, it is not even necessary in most cases as both iOS and macOS can automatically manage storage space allocated to photos. Continue reading to learn how that works.

Until recently, the base models of Apple’s iOS devices only had 16GB of memory. At the same time, the iPhone became our go-to camera for taking photos and recording videos. As a result, many users ran out of available storage space and thus had to regularly delete or transfer photos and videos.

Then Apple introduced iCloud Photo Library, which keeps all of your photographic memories in sync across all your devices. That’s great because a photo or video you took on your iPhone would automatically appear on your iPad or Mac. Even edits and changes would synchronize seamlessly. Gone are the days of manual synchronization!

iCloud Photo Library works seamlessly with the Photos app to keep your photos and videos securely stored in iCloud and up to date on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, and iCloud.com.

iCloud Photo Library

To enable iCloud Photo Library, perform the following steps:

  • Mac with OS X 10.10.3 or later: Go to System Preferences > iCloud. Click Options next to Photos, then select iCloud Photo Library.
  • iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 8.3 or later: Go to Settings > iCloud > Photos, then turn on iCloud Photo Library.
  • Apple TV (4th generation) with tvOS 9.2 or later: Go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud > iCloud Photo Library.
  • Windows PC: Follow these steps.

Despite all the performance issues I had when iCloud Photo Library was first released, I have used since ever since. It meets my requirements, fits into my photo editing workflow, and I have enabled it on all of my devices.