Can I delete photo from iPhone, but still keep a copy in iCloud?

moosquared

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 10, 2010
216
0
So I've been reading regarding iCloud and it seems like you can't use iCloud as a back up?
Basically, my iPhone is full of photos. I want to free some space on the iPhone by transferring the photos to iCloud. Once they're all in iCloud, I'll delete said photos from my iPhone and free up some storage.

After reading many threads and discussions that people have online, seems like you can't do that.
If you delete the photo from you iPhone, you're also deleting the copy that you saved on iCloud.

If that is the case, after I sync my photo to iCloud, I'll turn off the photo sharing with iCloud and then delete the synced photo from the iDevice, therefore, keeping safely keeping the photos on iCloud.
But if turn it back on, will it erase the previous photo from iCloud?
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,442
404
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Turn on "Optimize Storage" and that effectively does what you are looking for. The local copies will be removed from the phone automatically but will still be accessible as thumbnails & full version will download on demand when needed (I.e. For printing, editing, etc).

My iCloud Photo Library is over 32GB but on my iPad, "Photos & Camera" takes only 1.86GB of space.

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH19450
 

anitak1982

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2017
460
201
West Central Ohio
Turn on "Optimize Storage" and that effectively does what you are looking for. The local copies will be removed from the phone automatically but will still be accessible as thumbnails & full version will download on demand when needed (I.e. For printing, editing, etc).

My iCloud Photo Library is over 32GB but on my iPad, "Photos & Camera" takes only 1.86GB of space.

https://support.apple.com/kb/PH19450
What if you want to access the photo. Can you click on it and still see it?
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,442
404
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
What if you want to access the photo. Can you click on it and still see it?
Yes, if you just look at the photo you still see it - however it's a screen-resolution image stored on the device, it doesn't take up much space at all. If you do something that requires the original photo (e.g. touch "Edit", or "Share", or something like that) it downloads the original photo from iCloud automatically.
 

anitak1982

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2017
460
201
West Central Ohio
Yes, if you just look at the photo you still see it - however it's a screen-resolution image stored on the device, it doesn't take up much space at all. If you do something that requires the original photo (e.g. touch "Edit", or "Share", or something like that) it downloads the original photo from iCloud automatically.
WOW! With my iphone se, that has a 16 gig hard drive that I was always trying to delete things to let my phone work why didn't I know about this? Now with my iphone X I am now nowhere needing to do this. But glad to know this just in case.
 
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FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,442
404
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Right? I just ordered a 64GB iPhone X to replace my 128GB iPhone 7 Plus, since I'm only actually using < 30GB of it. Between iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Music Library, I just don't need that much local storage.
 
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