Deleted photos still taking up storage space

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by koyi, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. koyi macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2015

    I found that my storage is almost full (only 2GB free) on my 64GB iPhone 6 Plus. I looked into the storage usage in Settings, and it seems the Photos app is taking up 40+ GB of storage. This is weird because I only have 200+ photos. I connect my device to iTunes and hope I can find some hint, iTunes "honestly" tell me that 20,000+ photos are taking up those 40+GB storage.

    I started searching on Google and found that people are suggesting the following solutions:

    1. Delete "deleted" photos from "Recently deleted items" in the Album section of the Photo app. Tried but it is weird that I do not see any such folder in the Album section. I do not know why it disappeared. To be sure, I check the same place on other iOS devices and I can see it there so I know I am looking at the right place. The OS versions are the same.

    2. Fast forward time 30+ days into the future to hope that it magically triggers the deletion of photos older than that. Done but to no avail.

    3. Reverse to no.2, reverse the time 2 years back so that photos appear again in "Recently deleted Items" folder. Tried but as said in no.1, that folder does not show up no matter what time it is...

    4. Turn off photo sync, photo stream. I do not use them in the first place.

    Then, I have been searching a lot on the web and still couldn't find the answer that fits my exact situation. Some forum posts mention about jailbreak tweaks in which you can hide that folder but I did not jailbreak my device whatsoever.

    So, anything else that I can try?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    Would like to know as well. Deleted 800 images yesterday and never got the space back.
    You'd think that iOS would have an auto trim feature!
  3. tvbi macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2004
    When you are in the Photos app, at the bottom, there are 3 icons, choose "Albums", the "Recently deleted" folder should now appear. If all you see are photos, make sure you click the blue "< Albums" on the upper left corner to go back.
  4. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    Already deleted from the recently deleted folder as well. Space was never regained.
  5. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
    This is what I was going to suggest too.

    Did you try rebooting after that last step. Shouldn't need to but I've had things get hosed up.
  6. Elisha macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2006
    Yeah I've rebooted a few times as well. I may have to reset.
  7. prflyer macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2015
    This happened to my niece iphone 5c (she didn't had much free space and couldn't do ios updates), after backing up, she deleted all photos from the phone camera roll & recently deleted but still the phone was showing a lot of space used by photos.

    Sometimes even if you delete photos somehow they are kept in the phone as what some people call "phantom photos".

    We solved this problem doing the following:
    1- Went to settings/general/date&time and turn off set automatically.
    2- Set date to a date in the past (we went three years back)
    3- Go back and open the photo app, go to recently deleted (in our case there were a lot of pictures in there) and delete them.
    4- Restore the date & time setting to set automatically.
    5- check your storage, in her case she regained the space that was being used by the "phantom photos".

    Hope this helps and solves your problem.
  8. iDanny26 macrumors regular


    Apr 16, 2013
    Sometimes backing up my 6S manually using iTunes restores some storage space, would that be a useful thing to try? (I'm not sure what actually gets removed)
  9. jgelin macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2015
    St Petersburg, FL
    They could be waiting to be backed up as deleted for the next icloud backup.. do the backup and they could go away? Just tossing out an idea here.
  10. crazee928 macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2011
    i had the same problem. looked online for awhile and found a solution that worked for me. my issue was that the photos archive was corrupted. go to iTunes, sync your photos to an empty folder on your mac, then check your storage.
  11. jayducharme, Dec 26, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015

    jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    I had just discovered this as well. It was driving me nuts -- 8 gb of non-existent photos! The date reset trick worked perfectly. This is an odd bug that appeared only recently. I hope Apple fixes it so we don't have to keep deleting already deleted pics!

    EDIT: Interestingly, this trick didn't work on my iPad which reports that there are over 1000 "phantom" photos on it.

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