Delete photos from iCloud using Photos on Mac
If you need more iCloud storage space, you can upgrade your iCloud storage plan. See Upgrade to iCloud+. If you don’t want to upgrade your plan, you can delete some photos from iCloud to free up storage space. Here’s a simple way to make copies and then delete photos from iCloud using Photos on your Mac.
Make copies of the photos you want to delete
To make copies of the photos stored in iCloud, first download the originals to your Mac and then export them for safekeeping.
In the Photos app on your Mac, choose Photos > Settings, click iCloud, then select “Download Originals to this Mac.”
You may have to wait while the original photos are downloaded from iCloud to your System Photo Library. (If this option was previously selected, your originals are already stored in the library.) At the bottom of the Photos window, a message reports the progress of updating your library.
When the update is complete, select the photos you want to export.
Choose File > Export > Export [number] Photos, then choose the export settings you want and click Export.
Choose a location in the Finder or on an external disk to store your files, then click Export.
Delete the original photos from your System Photo Library
When you delete files from your System Photo Library, they’re also deleted from iCloud.
Select the files you want to delete and press the Delete key, then click Delete.
The deleted photos now appear in the Recently Deleted album in the sidebar. You must delete them from the Recently Deleted album to free up iCloud storage space.
Note: The Recently Deleted album only appears in the sidebar after you delete photos. If you delete or recover the photos from the Recently Deleted album and it becomes empty, it disappears from the sidebar.
Click the Recently Deleted album in the sidebar, then select the photos to be deleted.
If the Recently Deleted album is locked, use Touch ID or enter your password to unlock it.
Click the Delete [n] Photos button in the toolbar, then click Delete.
After deleting the photos from your System Photo Library, more iCloud storage space becomes available. The photos are no longer available on your other devices that use iCloud.