How to Delete Photos from Google Photos Without Removing from Phone

Deleting photos from Google Photos without removing them from your phone might seem like a tricky task, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. All you need to do is make sure your Google Photos app isn’t set to sync your photos automatically, then just delete the photos from the app, and they’ll still be safe and sound on your phone. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how you can do this.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Delete Photos from Google Photos Without Deleting from Phone

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that following them will allow you to remove photos from your Google Photos cloud storage while keeping them on your device. This can be especially useful if you’re running out of cloud storage space or if you want to keep certain photos private.

Step 1: Turn off Back up & Sync

Go to the Google Photos app and click on your profile picture in the top right corner. Then, click on “Photos settings” and toggle off “Back up & sync.”

Turning off “Back up & Sync” is crucial because it stops Google Photos from automatically saving a copy of every photo on your phone to the cloud. This means that, from this point forward, any changes you make in the app won’t affect the photos on your device.

Step 2: Delete the Photos from Google Photos

Select the photos you want to delete within the Google Photos app, then hit the trash bin icon.

After you’ve turned off “Back up & Sync,” you can safely delete photos from Google Photos without worrying about them disappearing from your phone. Remember, these photos will be removed from your Google Photos library on all devices, so be sure you really want them gone before taking this step.

After completing these actions, the selected photos will be removed from your Google Photos account but will remain on your phone. Just keep in mind that any photos you took while “Back up & Sync” was on have been backed up to the cloud, and deleting them from Google Photos now will also remove them from your phone.

Tips on How to Delete Photos from Google Photos Without Deleting from Phone

  • Always double-check that “Back up & Sync” is turned off before deleting any photos.
  • If you’re unsure which photos are backed up, you can check by going to on a web browser.
  • Remember that any photos deleted from Google Photos will also be removed from any devices that are synced with your Google Photos account.
  • Photos in the trash will remain there for 60 days before being permanently deleted, giving you a chance to recover them if necessary.
  • After deleting photos from Google Photos, consider backing them up elsewhere if they’re not already saved on another device or service.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know which photos are backed up?

You can check which photos are backed up by going to and looking for the cloud icon on the individual photos. If you see the cloud icon, it means that photo is backed up.

What happens if I turn “Back up & Sync” back on?

If you turn “Back up & Sync” back on, any new photos you take will be automatically backed up to Google Photos. If you delete a backed-up photo from Google Photos, it will also be deleted from your phone.

Can I delete multiple photos at once?

Yes, you can select multiple photos by holding down on one photo and then tapping on additional photos. Once you’ve selected all the photos you want to delete, tap the trash bin icon.

How do I recover photos I accidentally deleted from Google Photos?

If you’ve accidentally deleted photos from Google Photos, you can go to the “Trash” within the app. Here, you’ll find deleted photos that remain for 60 days before being permanently removed.

Is there a way to quickly free up space on Google Photos?

Yes, Google Photos has a “Free up space” feature that will delete photos from your device that are already backed up. This option can be found in the “Photos settings.”


  1. Turn off “Back up & Sync” in the Google Photos app.
  2. Delete the photos from Google Photos.


Keeping your phone’s gallery organized while managing your cloud storage can be quite the balancing act. With Google Photos, it’s easy to keep everything in sync, but sometimes you need a bit more control over what stays and what goes. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your precious memories remain tucked away on your phone while clearing up some much-needed space in the cloud.

Remember, the key to success here is first turning off the “Back up & Sync” feature. Without taking this critical step, you could end up accidentally losing photos from your device. It’s like deciding to repaint a room without moving the furniture first – sure, you can do it, but you’re going to end up with some unintended consequences.

In this digital age, our photos are more than just pixels on a screen; they’re snapshots of our lives, our memories made tangible. So take control of your digital photo management with confidence. Go ahead and clean up your Google Photos cloud storage, safe in the knowledge that your phone’s photo gallery won’t be affected.

And if you’re ever in doubt or have questions, revisit our tips and FAQs for a quick refresher. Now go ahead and tackle that photo decluttering project with ease, knowing how to delete photos from Google Photos without deleting from phone.

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