Delete photos or recover deleted ones in Photos on Mac
When you delete photos and videos from your library, they’re placed in the Recently Deleted album, where they remain for the number of days shown, and then are permanently deleted. You can restore items before that period of time. If you have iCloud Photos turned on, you can restore photos and videos from iCloud for 30 days before they’re removed from iCloud, your Mac, and other devices that use iCloud. If you’re not using iCloud Photos, your deleted photos and videos are removed from your Mac only. You can also manually delete items from the Recently Deleted album to remove them immediately from your computer and iCloud.
Tip: If you’re deleting items to free up storage space, remember that you must also delete them from the Recently Deleted album to remove them from your computer.
Delete photos and videos
In the Photos app on your Mac, select the items you want to delete.
Do one of the following:
Delete selected photos and videos in Days view: Press Delete, then click Delete. The selected items are deleted from your library and placed in the Recently Deleted album.
Delete photos and videos from an album, but not from your library: Press Delete. The selected items are deleted from the album only and remain your library.
Delete photos and videos from a Smart Album (for example, Last Import, Favorites, or Videos): Press Command-Delete. The selected items are deleted from your library and placed in the Recently Deleted album.
Delete photos and videos and then permanently remove them from the Recently Deleted album: Press Command-Delete, then open the Recently Deleted album. Select the items you want to delete permanently, click Delete, then click OK.
Restore recently deleted items
You can view recently deleted items and restore them to your Photos library.
In the Photos app on your Mac, click Recently Deleted in the sidebar.
Select the items you want to restore.
If you use Time Machine to back up your computer, you may be able to recover items after they are deleted permanently from your Mac or iCloud. See Restore a Photos library from Time Machine.