Photos for Mac: Delete photos and videos

Delete photos and videos

You can delete selected photos and videos from your library.

When you delete items, 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 Photo Library turned on, you can restore photos and videos from iCloud for 30 days before they’re removed from iCloud and your Mac. If you’re not using iCloud Photo Library, your deleted photos are removed from your Mac only. You can also manually delete photos from the Recently Deleted album to remove them immediately from your computer and iCloud Photo Library.

Delete photos and videos

Do one of the following:

  • Delete a photo from an album, but not from your library: Select the items you want to delete, then press Delete.

  • Delete a photo from a Smart album (for example, Last Import, Favorites, or Videos): Select the items you want to delete, then press Command-Delete. The selected photos are deleted from your library and placed in the Recently Deleted album.

  • Delete a photo from a moment (placing it in the Recently Deleted album): Select the items you want to delete, press Delete, then click Delete.

  • Delete a photo from a moment or album (placing it in the Recently Deleted album): Select the items you want to delete, then press Command-Delete.

  • Delete a photo and then remove it from the Recently Deleted album: Select the items you want to delete, then press Command-Delete. Open the Recently Deleted album. Select the items you want to delete permanently, click Delete, then click OK.

Restore recently deleted items

Deleted items remain in the Recently Deleted album for the number of days shown, and then are deleted permanently. You can view recently deleted items and restore them back into your Photos library.

  1. Click Recently Deleted under Albums in the sidebar.

  2. Select the photos you want to restore.

  3. Click Recover.

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.

For more information on using Time Machine, see Restore a Photos library from a Time Machine backup.

Published Date: Mar 30, 2017
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