How to Delete Synced Photos & Other Media From iPhone

Need to delete synced photos from your iPhone? This quick tutorial will walk you through simple steps to clear unwanted synced content from your device. From using your computer to handle synced photos to adjusting settings to avoid future issues, we’ve got you covered.

How to Delete Synced Photos from iPhone

If you need to clear up space on your iPhone, you can delete synced photos directly using your computer. This method doesn’t require you to use iTunes, due to the features of newer versions of macOS or Windows.

  1. Start by plugging your iPhone into your computer using the USB cable.
  2. On a Mac, open Finder. On a Windows PC, open File Explorer. These programs let you manage and browse the files on your Finder
  3. Look for your iPhone listed under ‘Locations’ in Finder or ‘Devices and drives’ in File Explorer. Clicking on your iPhone will show its internal storage and files.Look for your iPhone
  4. In the window for your iPhone, find and click on the ‘Photos’ tab. Here you’ll see all the albums that are currently stored on your on the 'Photos' tab
  5. Uncheck any albums or photos you want to delete. On Windows simply select unwanted photos and press delete. On Mac after making your selections, left-click on ‘Apply’. This will remove the unchecked photos from your iPhone, freeing up space.delete synced photos from iphone

How to Delete Other Synced Media Types

If your videos, audiobooks, music, or podcasts were synced from a computer, you need to adjust the sync settings via the same computer to remove them from your iPhone.

  1. Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to the computer where the videos were originally synced.
  2. On macOS Catalina or later, use Finder. On older macOS versions or Windows, use iTunes.use Finder
  3. In iTunes, click on the device icon near the top. In Finder, find your device listed on the left sidebar.find your iphone listed on the left sidebar
  4.  Select the tab for the appropriate media type depending on which type of media you want to manageSelect the tab for the appropriate media type
  5. Uncheck the boxes next to the media you want to delete from your iPhone.Uncheck the boxes
  6. Click the ‘Apply’ or ‘Sync’ button to update your sync settings. The media you deselected will be removed from your iPhone.delete synced media from iPhone

For media that were added to your iPhone manually or downloaded directly (such as through the TV app), follow these steps to delete them:

  1. Navigate to where your videos are stored within the app.
  2. Scroll through your library or playlists to locate the media.locate the media in library
  3. Tap Edit, select your media, and then tap Delete.Select and Delete
  4. You may be asked to confirm that you want to delete the media. Confirm to finalize the removal.confirm to delete media

Troubleshooting Common Problems with Synced Content

If you’re having trouble with synced content not deleting properly, here are some quick steps to fix common issues like iCloud sync errors, outdated iTunes settings, or software glitches.

iCloud Sync Problems

Issues with iCloud might stop changes from appearing across your devices:

  • Check Wi-Fi connection: Syncing requires a stable internet connection.
  • Check iCloud settings: Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud and make sure syncing is on for the apps you use.go to icloud settings
  • Restart sync: Turn the sync setting off and on for the troubled app. Wait a few minutes after turning it off before you turn it back on.

Also, feel free to check this page if you have issues with Contacts, Calendars, or Reminders

Old iTunes Settings

Old iTunes settings might cause syncing problems:

  • Update iTunes: Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes on your computer.Update iTunes
  • Adjust sync settings: Connect your device, open iTunes, and go to the device summary to update your preferences.Adjust iTunes sync settings
  • Reset sync history: In iTunes preferences under Devices, you can reset the sync history to clear errors.Reset sync history iTunes

Software Glitches

Software issues can mess up your content management:

  • Restart your iPhone: Often, a simple restart can fix minor bugs affecting sync.
  • Update iOS: Keep your iPhone updated to the latest iOS to avoid known issues.
  • Get help from Apple: If problems continue, Apple Support can offer more detailed help.

These steps should help solve most issues with syncing on your iPhone. Keeping your device and software up to date is key to preventing these problems.

Manage Sync Settings to Prevent Unwanted Syncs

Adjust your iPhone’s sync settings to avoid accidentally syncing unwanted photos, videos, and other media. This guidance outlines how to control these settings effectively.

Manual Syncing in iTunes or Finder

Setting your iPhone to manual sync mode allows you to choose what gets transferred:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer. Open iTunes for Windows and older macOS versions or Finder for macOS Catalina and newer.
  2. Select your device. It appears in the sidebar in Finder or the top bar in iTunes.once again select your device
  3. Access the ‘General’ tab. Check the option ‘Manually manage music, videos, and other content.’Manually manage music, videos, and other content
  4. Save your settings. Click ‘Apply’ to confirm your changes, preventing automatic syncing.

Control iCloud Sync for Photos and Media

You can manage which media syncs through iCloud by adjusting your settings:

  • Open your iPhone Settings, tap your name, then select ‘iCloud.’select icloud settings
  • To adjust photo settings, tap ‘Photos.’ To control other media, select ‘Manage Storage.’go to photos to manage synced photos
  • Disable automatic iCloud sync for photos by turning off ‘iCloud Photos.’ Apply similar settings for other media.Disable automatic iCloud sync for photos

Adjust Device Sync Settings

Keep your device’s syncing in check by customizing each app’s settings:

  1. Check sync options in apps like Apple TV or Music.
  2. Turn off auto-sync where unnecessary to keep your data consistent only where needed.
  3. Modify settings under ‘Accounts & Passwords.’ This menu lets you specify your preferences for app data syncing.

Managing these preferences helps maintain your iPhone’s storage efficiency and ensures that only essential data is kept in sync.


Following this guide, you can now delete synced photos and manage other media types on your iPhone. Use these steps to keep your iPhone’s storage organized and avoid common syncing issues. Regularly update your device and review your sync settings so everything runs smoothly.


Synced photos that were transferred from a computer via iTunes or Finder cannot be deleted directly from your iPhone. This is because they are managed by the synchronization settings on your computer. To remove these photos, you need to adjust your sync settings on the computer where the photos were originally synced and then synchronize your iPhone again.
To prevent automatic syncing, open iTunes or Finder, connect your iPhone, go to ‘Device’ settings, and uncheck ‘Automatically sync when this iPhone is connected’. This must be done while your iPhone is connected.
Yes, you can delete iCloud-synced photos directly on your iPhone. Simply open the Photos app, select the photos, and delete them. However, this will remove them from iCloud and all connected devices.
If deleting photos doesn’t free up space, restart your iPhone. If the issue persists, check if the photos are stored in recently deleted items within the Photos app and permanently delete them from there.
If you don’t see the ‘Photos’ tab, ensure your iPhone is properly connected to your computer. Also, check if you have the necessary permissions and that the latest version of iTunes or macOS is installed.
To delete multiple types of synced media, connect your iPhone to your computer, open iTunes or Finder, select your device, go to each media type’s tab (Music, Movies, TV Shows), and deselect the items you want to delete. Apply the changes to update your iPhone.
Yurii Kulynych is a skilled professional who continues to work in Quality Assurance (QA) for InsanelyMac while also starting to write articles. He has a strong eye for detail and extensive experience in ensuring content quality, especially in areas like data recovery, understanding macOS/iOS, and storage solutions for Apple devices. Yurii excels in writing easy-to-follow guides and putting together helpful toolkits.
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