How to Delete Files on iPhone

If your iPhone’s storage is filling up, it’s a good idea to start cleaning out old files. This guide shows you how to delete files on iPhone including photos, apps, music, videos, and documents. We’ll cover everything from removing a few unwanted photos to cleaning your entire iPhone. Whether you need to clear a bit of space or a lot, these easy methods will help you get started.

These steps work well on most iPhone models, including the latest iPhones (iPhone 13, 14, and 15). Feel free to give them a try!

How to Delete Photos on iPhone

Looking to clean up your iPhone’s photo gallery? Here’s a quick guide on how to delete photos. For detailed instructions on different methods, including batch deletions and album management, visit dedicated article.

Quick Tip: Always back up your important photos before deleting them, especially if they’re high-resolution images that take up a lot of space. This can help avoid the need for data recovery later.

  1. Open the Photos Photos app
  2. Tap ‘Select’ in the top right corner of the screen.Tap 'Select'
  3. Choose the photos you want to remove, or tap ‘Select All’ for a full album (works only in albums).Choose the photos you want to remove
  4. Tap the trash can icon, then confirm by tapping ‘Delete’ to move the photos to the ‘Recently Deleted’ album.delete selected photos

To permanently delete files from your iPhone, go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ album under the ‘Albums’ tab, select the photos, and tap ‘Delete’ again. Remember, photos stay in the Recently Deleted album for 30 days unless removed manually.

How to Delete Downloads on iPhone

Downloads can pile up, taking up storage space on your iPhone. Here we will show you how to locate and delete downloads on iPhone, whether they come from the internet, email attachments, or are stored within apps or the Files app.

Commonly downloaded files include PDFs, documents, and various media files, which can significantly impact your iPhone’s storage capacity. It’s a good idea to regularly clean up these files to keep your iPhone running smoothly.
  1. Open the Files app on your Files app
  2. Tap ‘Browse’ at the bottom of the screen if you’re not already in the browsing view.Tap 'Browse'
  3. Locate the folder containing your downloads. This could be under ‘On My iPhone’, ‘iCloud Drive’, or within a specific app folder.Find downloads folder
  4. Find the files you want to delete. You can use the search bar at the top to help find specific file types like PDFs or documents.Find the files you want to delete
  5. Select the file(s) by by tapping at the ‘…’ menu and choosing ‘Select,’ then tapping any files you want to downloads to delete
  6. Tap the trash icon, if prompted –  confirm by tapping ‘Delete.’delete downloaded files

To permanently delete files on iPhone, go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder within the Files app, select the files again, and delete them permanently. This ensures they are not taking up space in your storage.

How to Delete App Files on iPhone

Too many hidden files in your apps can slow down your iPhone. Here’s how to clean out the cache and other unused files from apps like social media or multimedia apps without deleting the apps themselves.

Regularly removing unused app files can significantly improve your iPhone’s performance.
  1. Go to the desired app.
  2. Check within the app’s settings for any options to clear cache or other storage.delete spotify temp files

For apps that do not support cache clearing within their settings, you might need to delete and reinstall the app to clear all associated data:

  1. Press and hold the app icon on your Home screen.
  2. Tap the Remove App on the dropdown menu and confirm by tapping menu on home screen
  3. Reinstall the app from the App Store if you want to use it again.

For more on how to keep your iPhone running smoothly, see Apple’s official storage management tips.

How to Delete Documents on iPhone

Documents can take up a significant amount of storage on your iPhone, particularly those that include media files. Here’s how to delete documents on iPhone and free up some space quickly..

Note: Always check the file size before deletion, as documents with images tend to occupy more storage.

  1. Open the Files app on your Files app
  2. Tap ‘Browse’ at the bottom if you are not already in the file view.Tap 'Browse'
  3. Navigate to the location where your documents are stored, such as ‘On My iPhone’ or ‘iCloud Drive’.where your documents are stored
  4. Locate the documents you want to delete. You can use the search feature for specific file types or names.find your documents
  5. Select the documents by tapping at the ‘…’ menu and choosing ‘Select,’ then tapping any other files you want to documents for deletion
  6. Tap the trash can icon and confirm your choice by tapping ‘Delete’.delete selected documents

To permanently delete files on iPhone, remember to empty the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder:

  1. Go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder located in the ‘Files’ app.go to recently deleted files
  2. Select individual files to delete permanently all files or choose Delete All.permanently delete all files
  3. Confirm your choice to clear the files from your device completely.

How to Delete Music Files on iPhone

If you need to clear some space or just tidy up your music library, deleting music from your iPhone is straightforward. Here’s how you can do it quickly:

  1. Open the Music app on your iPhone.Open the Music app
  2. Locate the song or album you want to delete.look for song or album to delete
  3. For a song, swipe left on the song name and tap Delete.delete single song
  4. For an album, find the album, tap ‘More’ (the three dots), and then select Remove...delete album

This approach helps keep your iPhone’s music library manageable and your device’s storage free from unnecessary clutter.

How to Delete Video Files on iPhone

Deleting video files can significantly free up space on your iPhone. Here’s a straightforward guide to removing videos from the Photos app and streaming apps like Netflix and Apple TV.

Delete Videos from the Photos App

  1. Open the Photos the Photos app
  2. Tap on the ‘Albums’ tab and open the ‘Videos’ the 'Videos' album
  3. Tap ‘Select’, then choose the videos you wish to videos to delete
  4. Tap the trash can icon and confirm by selecting ‘Delete Video’.delete selected videos

Delete Downloaded Movies and TV Shows in Streaming Apps

  1. Open the Streaming app.
  2. Go to ‘Library’ and choose ‘Downloaded’. Find the movie or TV show you want to delete.downloaded files apple tv
  3. Swipe left on the title and tap ‘Delete’.delete video in streaming app

Managing your video storage by deleting unneeded files helps keep your iPhone running smoothly and efficiently. For more detailed instructions on managing storage, visit Apple’s guide on iPhone storage.

How to Delete Multiple Files on iPhone

Need to clear up space quickly? Deleting multiple files at once on your iPhone is a straightforward process that works similarly across various apps. Whether you’re in the Photos or Files app, the steps to select and delete items in bulk are quite similar.

  1. Open the app where your files are stored (Photos, Files, etc.).
  2. Tap ‘Select’ usually located in the upper right corner of the screen.Tap Select
  3. Touch each file you want to remove to select it. If you want to select a range of photos quickly, drag your finger across the files you want to multiple photos
  4. Once you’ve selected the files, tap the trash can icon.delete multiple files at once
  5. Confirm the deletion by tapping ‘Delete’ or ‘Delete [number] Items’ to finalize the removal.confirm deletion of multiple files

Deleting files in bulk can help you manage your iPhone’s storage faster and easier.

How to Delete All Files on iPhone

Performing a factory reset on your iPhone is a surefire way to delete all files and reset the iPhone to its original settings. This process is particularly useful if you’re planning to resell your iPhone or need a fresh start. Here’s how to do it:

Important: Be sure to back up your iPhone before proceeding to avoid irreversible loss of your photos, documents, and other important data.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap General and scroll down to find Transfer or Reset iPhone.go to transfer or reset settings
  3. Select Erase All Content and Settings.Erase All Content and Settings
  4. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID password or device passcode.
  5. Confirm your choice to erase everything. Your device will restart as part of the reset process.Confirm erasing

This action will delete all files, remove all settings, and reinstall the operating system. Your iPhone will appear as it did when it was first unboxed, with no personal data.

How to Make Clean-Up Easier: Using Third-Party Apps

While the built-in tools on your iPhone are useful for basic file management, third-party apps can offer advanced functionalities for managing and deleting files easier. Here’s a look at some robust apps designed to help with file management on your iPhone.

  • Cleaner – Clean Up Storage: This app is geared towards optimizing your iPhone’s storage by cleaning up useless junk files, managing large files, and organizing photos efficiently. It can significantly reduce clutter by identifying rarely used apps, old photos, and redundant files that are safe to delete. It’s particularly effective for those looking to free up space quickly and safely. Cleaner for iPhone
  • Boost Cleaner: Boost Cleaner is highly effective at quickly scanning your device for unused and unnecessary files. It can help you delete cache data, old messages, and temp files that take up space without offering any utility. Additionally, Boost Cleaner can manage applications that are memory hogs, optimizing your iPhone’s performance and battery life.Boost Cleaner
  • Cleaner Kit: Cleaner Kit is not just about cleaning up space; it also focuses on optimizing your iPhone’s overall efficiency. It analyzes your battery usage, helps manage file storage, and provides detailed reports on how space is being used on your device. It’s particularly useful for users who want to extend their device’s battery life while keeping their storage neatly organized.Cleaner Kit

These apps enhance your ability to manage your iPhone’s storage by allowing you to efficiently remove unnecessary files, duplicate photos, and more. They provide an overview of your storage usage, making it easier to decide what to delete. As always, ensure you download reputable apps by checking user reviews and ratings.


Clearing out unwanted files from your iPhone can help it run better and give you more space for things you actually need. By following the methods in this article, you can easily learn how to manage and delete different files in different apps on your iPhone. Make it a habit to check and clean up your iPhone regularly, and you’ll keep it running smoothly. For more detailed tips, check out the Apple support links provided in each section of this guide.

Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Here, you’ll see a list of all your apps and how much space each one uses. This section also offers recommendations for freeing up space.
If a file won’t delete, first make sure you have the necessary permissions to delete it, especially if it’s part of an app. If the issue persists, restart your iPhone and try again. If it still won’t delete, you might need to update your iOS.
Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, find the app in the list, and tap on it. You can delete it from there by selecting “Delete App.”
Once files are deleted from the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder, they cannot be recovered through the iPhone. However, if you’ve backed up your phone before deleting the files, you may restore the backup to recover them. Alternatively you can try using data recovery apps, but recovery will never be 100% guaranteed with those.
When you delete files like photos and videos, they go to the ‘Recently Deleted’ album in the Photos app, where they stay for 30 days before permanent deletion. For apps and other files, once deleted, they don’t go to a trash folder but can often be re-downloaded or restored from a backup.
Yes, it’s a good idea to start by deleting temporary and junk files as these usually don’t contain personal data and can free up space quickly. After that, move on to larger files like videos and photos, and then apps you no longer use.
Temporary or junk files can often be found in app caches. Using iPhone’s built-in storage management under Settings > General > iPhone Storage can help identify apps with large caches that can be cleared. Third-party cleaning apps also help identify and safely delete these types of files.
Yes, you should never manually delete system files as this can affect your iPhone’s operation. System files are usually hidden to prevent accidental deletion. Always ensure you are only deleting files within apps or your own documents and media.
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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