How to Remove Photos from the iPad

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There are a couple of ways to remove photos from the iPad.

First, I will cover how to delete photos saved from the iPad. Since there’s not a camera on the iPad yet, these can be photos saved from a web page, email or a screenshot.

To delete photos saved on the ipad;

  1. Open the photos to be deleted.
  2. Tap the arrow in the upper right corner.
  3. Select the photos you wish to delete and tap delete.

This is also a good way to copy or email multiple photos.

Managing Photos With iTunes

Photos synced from iTunes will need to be removed from iTunes.

The method above will not work for these photos and if it did, they would only reappear when the device is synced.

Managing your photos on the iPad can be done easily from iTunes. To get started plug the iPad into your computer and open iTunes.

  1. Select the iPad on the left of the screen under devices.
  2. Select “Photos” on the top right.
  3. Make sure “Sync Photos” is checked.
  4. Click on “Selected albums, events and faces”.
  5. Check the albums, events or faces desired and sync your iPad.

Now, only the selected folders should appear on your iPad. You can also create a new folder on your computer, move the photos you want to show on your iPad into that folder and just check the newly created folder.

To remove individual photos from the folders;

Locate the folder on your computer and move or delete the photos from the selected folder before you sync the device.

  • Kerry

    Ifollowed the above instructions to delete photos foam the iPad. Does not show a delete button option.

  • Phil

    Yes, those photos will have to be removed by the syncing method. Only images that are saved from the device, such as screenshots and saved photos from emails or webpages will allow you to delete the on the iPad. Photos that were synced will need to be removed by unchecking the photos from iTunes.

  • Gary

    Is there any way to sort photos into files? All my pics are in one big saved photos file

  • Judy Stokes

    Exactly how do you delete photo’s from the ipad that you loaded when you sync your computer and ipad? All my pictures (265) went to my ipad! Thank You

  • Phil


    You will need to manage your photos form iTunes. You probably already have some of your photos in separate folders. You can select which folders you would like on your iPad by following steps 1 – 6 under managing photos in iTunes in this post.

    If all of your photos are in one folder on your computer. You can create a new folder on your computer and move the photos you want on your iPad into that folder. Then just select the newly created folder in iTunes to sync to your iPad.

  • Phil

    I have updated the post to try to make it simpler. It’s actually steps 1 – 5 and they are all shown in the photo.

  • Bak

    I have tried to move all the photos to a different folder and re sync the new folder into iPad and all the double s are back again. I also went through the new folder to make sure there are no doubles. Thanks

  • Bak

    this is so bad. I’ve just erased all the photo folders, cleared all the Trash, reboot the computer and recreated the photo files from an external drive to re-sync the iPad. All that done, i am still getting doubles in my Album. please help.

  • Phil


    Did you select “Selected albums, events and faces” in step 4 ?

    Also, make sure next to automatically include “no events” is selected. It should be the default setting.

    Of course, you will want to select where you to sync your photos from as in step 3. I have iPhotos selected but you will need to select the appropriate place on your computer.

    Let us know how it goes.


  • kkehus

    How do I remove photos that were put in iPad from a computer other than my own?

  • Jessica


    The photos that were put on your iPad from another computer will be removed when you sync your iPad with your own computer.

  • Gary Garrison

    All my photos automatically synced when I initially pugged my IP3 to my computer. I am now trying to resync so I can reload only the photos I want on my IP but when I open Itunes I get the messge “This ipad cannot be used because Apple Mobile Device Service is not started” What is this about? I do not want to use my ipad for any email right now.

  • Kaz

    How do I acess/use the picture frame mode on my I pad 2??????

  • Phil

    Just tap the icon on the lower right of the lock screen next to Slide to Unlock. The icon looks like a daisy. Your photos should start displaying. You can go to Setting> Picture Frame> and adjust the setting. If you are using the iOS 5 beta it Picture Frame may not work. Any other version should not be a problem.

  • Fon

    ughhhhhhhh I have the original Ipad got it for Xmas last year. When i synced my ipad all my pics synced with it. I’ve followed the instrcutions for itunes but step 4 doesnt come up on my list. what else do i do
    i need these off, im getting a new ipad 2 and want thse off before i pass it on to my niece.


  • ralph

    nothing seems work when I try to delete pics from my ipad, any new ideas out there?

  • jthomas

    Is there a new process for delete for IPads with IOS 5? Photos does not appear on the Itunes menu and it seems that everything is now related to “Photo Streams”

  • jerry

    easy, just delete from computer under pictures selected ones then sync your ipad and all gone!

  • Rich

    My problem was I cleaned a bunch of pics off my hard drive that I had already synced to my iPad. In order to get the unwanted pics off my iPad, I went it iTunes on my pc, selected “photos” at the top right, checked the “Sync photos from…” box, chose the “select folders” option, but did not select any folders from the menu below. I then synced my iPad. This removed ALL the previously-synced photos from my iPad. I then selected the folders I wanted and performed another sync to get the photos I wanted onto my iPad.

  • Grace Orr

    Very frustrated all 1234 of my pictures were transferred from my iMac to my iPad and none could be deleted. What I did was move all my pictures on my Mac to the trash and then sync photos in iTunes again and all were removed from my iPad. Now I can return my photos from trash and do another sync using marked photos only.

  • VanceVains

    I am so sick of these silly procedures to get something so easy accomplished. Why must this be so difficult??? Who designs this?? I just want to delete a synced photo from my iPad 2 and can’t. In this day and age, should this be so difficult?? It’s like that I have to run around my car 3 times, tap the brake pedal 4 times while twisting the radio knob quickly in order to start the engine. Who would accept doing that?

  • Charlie

    I had same problem and none of the suggestions seemed to work. I finally created a new folder under ‘Pictures’ on my pc and left it blank. I then selected this folder to sync to and…viola…I finally got rid of the unwanted pictures that I had added to the iPad from my PC!!

  • Phonewithacord

    Is it me or are things getting more difficult.

  • salah mazloum

    I think Apple are going backward. Why I can’t delete unwanted photos from my iPad?

  • ijat

    i have ipad 2 and i upgrade to 5.0.1 .when i upgrade my foto i i wan to get back my foto.pless help me

  • suekarl

    Re: Deleting 3rd party photo files and albums from iPad2. I just followed directions to create a new (empty) photo file on my PC with the same name as file I want to remove from iPad (after renaming a copy of same file to keep on PC) then I ran SYNC. IT WORKED…BUT…one empty album out of 5 remains. I’ve deleted that file from PC and ran SYNC again assuming that the disappearance of this file would result in it’s subsequent removal from iPad but no luck. I’ve run it several times but can’t get it to delete. (not to confuse this but I should add that I created this last empty album after the fact, with the same name as one of the original albums to try and replace a full album with an empty one but not only did this fail…Apple seems to allow two photo files to have the same name!!! which I thought was a universal impossibility. Any ideas??? Any suggestions for basic 3rd party photo app to upload and manage photos without iTunes?
    I still love the iPad but for me, Apple’s user friendly simplicity has been rendered to an Urban myth. Who could have forgotten a DELETE function? No doubt, any other tablet would serve the average user just as well (and better) for a fraction of the price.

  • Chuck

    My problem is that deleted photos using the method above are leaving trace/ghost impressions in the photo section; that is, occasionally an impression of a deleted image will return, sometimes stacked on top or underneath an existing image.

    I thought iPads were not supposed to retain residual data in this manner like windows does. Is there a way to fix this? An app that wipes old data, etc.?

    If anyone knows please comment here, or if the author of this post can help, please email me at the address provided. Many thanks.

  • Alice

    I had to reset my intire I pad to get all the darn photos off from when it linked up and went into sync with itunes on my pc…962 photos is a bit much to have on a I pad. They should make it to were you can delete the photos no matter how they got on there.

  • Angry

    Ipad 2 what a piece of cr$&@p

  • cindy

    someone has posted a pic of my 12 yr daughter on their ipad with her phone number with the pic. i have an idea of who it was but wanted to know what i can do to delete the pic. i have already changed her phone number so she would stop getting harassing txt from these people. i would also like to see the pic of her to make sure that it isnt something that is worrysome. please help me correct this issue. and no i do not nor does my daughter have an ipad to check out this pic… but these people are harassing a 12 yr old and i know in the state of illinois that harassment via cell phone is illegal also.
    looking for a response asap
    cindy quinley the mother

  • LPS

    Thank you for posting this!! You saved my sanity and a whole lot of space on iPad and in iCloud. This is so, so helpful and extremely well-described. Thank you.

  • Milida

    I’m trying to delete 1700 photos from my iPad that were synced through iTunes. I’m using the following method:
    Open iTunes,choose photos tab,uncheck “sync photos”,check “apply”. This is supposed to delete all the photos. I then check “sync”to remove those photos from my iPad. The problem is, I’ve been waiting for 3 hours with no indication whether or not it’s working. Does anyone know about how long this process should take.

  • Mel

    Hi, I recently purchased a second hand ipad 2 but the person i bought it off didnt delete their photos.. I have over 1000 photos that arent mine. I have tried syncing my ipad with my itunes but their photos are still there.. How do i rid them for good?

  • Mel

    I also tried all of the above feedback but no good to me either… HELP! Please!

  • Phil

    Hi Mel,

    The person that sold the iPad to you should have done a restore and Set It Up As New. This will erase all of their data including photos.

    However, you can set it as new. Just plug your iPad into your computer, open iTunes, Restore it, when asked choose the option to Set It Up As New. Then, make the selections in iTunes to sync the content you want on your iPad.

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  • Debbie D

    Restore? where? How???? I see no restore!

    I just got this thing and I think I’m going to love it but I agree, this hoop-jumping just to delete some pictures is r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s.

    When I try the “choosing no folder” method, I get nowhere either.


  • Fram Cama

    I just got a new ipad 2,&I synced it with my computer,now I have doubles of all my pics.,& have no idea how to delete them.HELP

  • Phil

    Have you checked your settings in iTunes to verify the pictures are coming only from where you want them?

  • David Bertrams

    All of the pictures that I have loaded from my camera through ITunes have been duplicated. I’m talking thousands. I don’t know why or when.
    The order has been jumbled as well.

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  • Rio

    How can i ré obed. Saved pics from my iPad 1??

  • Kelvin

    After trying I found an easy way to remove and replace photos on my Ipad 1.
    1 – On the sync page. Go to check \’selected albums\’.
    2 – Remove check marks from all albums you want to remove
    3 – Select \’sync\’
    4 – All photos will be removed from your Ipad
    5 – You can then sync any other photos you want to transfer to your Ipad

  • Barb

    Trying to delete albums \”last import\”, \”all imported\” from photos. Don\’t have access to computer. Can\’t this be done from my I pad directly?

  • winston

    Craziest nonsense I have ever seen!! Why wouldnt Apple just enable drag & drop, normal editing capabilities, like any other device on the planet? This is what makes these devices total crap

  • Sue

    When I select a photo to delete, the delete icon is shown but not activated. How can it be activated?

  • chris

    Ok, so i synced my ipad from a computer i no longer have. I have 4 albums that have been synced and others that have not. how do i get rid of the synced albums if i dont have the original computer?

  • Dave West

    I think it’s also possible to copy photos to iPad without iTunes.

  • Jesmine Taylor

    OK! so after trying everything I could find to solve my same problem… I finally found one that worked!!

    This person mentions a software called DiskAid… and that it what I had to use!!

    You open up the software and then click the folder “file system” then “camera roll”…. on mine it popped up with a bunch of random files, I deleted them all… since I had them already saved… I have no idea where or how these files were there… it was like they were hidden, anyways that freed up most of my space!!

    Also if you noticed when you connected to itunes that it shows the data as other…. it should go down after you delete those files…

    if its still large it might be voicemails as well… I’m going to try to delete some and see if that helps.

    God Bless and good luck!!