How do I get my 5GB iCloud storage back?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AppleDogs, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. AppleDogs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    #1
    I set up iCloud on my iPhone so that photos are synced from my iPhone to iCloud and my 5GB filled up. Since then, I imported my photos into the Photos app on my Mac which is not logged in to my iCloud account. From there, I exported the photos to my NAS drive for long term storage.

    Now, in the settings on my iPhone, I have disabled Photos from syncing with iCloud. I want to remove the photos from iCloud so that I will have 5GB of storage available for iCloud Drive, etc. How do I simply disable/deactivate the Photos app in iCloud itself? If I delete a photo inside iCloud, I get the warning that it will delete photos on all my devices. I am afraid if I later go back to my phone and enable Photos to sync with iCloud (possibly by accident), it will delete the photos on my phone since the last activity was the deletion in iCloud.

    I need to keep the photos on my phone and I want iCloud to return to a sort of "new" state as if photos have never been synced so I will have my 5GB of storage free to use for iCloud Drive.

    My iPhone is the only device that has ever been connected to my iCloud account. I signed up for iCloud when I bought the my phone.

    If I had never foolishly turned on Photos to sync in my phone settings, I would have 5GB of free space available. :(
     
  2. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #2
    Settings -> iCloud -> Photos -> Turn Off iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream.

    If that doesn't work, contact Apple Support and they can fully wipe iCloud.
     
  3. AppleDogs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    #3
    I did that on my iPhone, but that just disconnects the link between my phone and the photos already in iCloud. The photos already synced are still in iCloud using my 5GB of space. I can try calling Apple and see if what they do is different from just deleting the photos in iCloud. I need to make sure if I turn on iCloud Photos on my phone later, it won't simply delete the photos on my phone.
     
  4. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #4
    Typically when you turn off iCloud Photo Library it asks if you want to remove the photos in the cloud. Try doing it from iCloud.com
     
  5. AppleDogs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    #5
    When I turned it off on the phone, it just said Turning Off. Where do I turn off at iCloud.com? I don't see anything in Settings or Photos?
     
  6. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #6
    Bare with me, I don't use iCloud Photo Library.

    According to Apple:

    "How do I delete photos and videos from a device using iCloud Photo Library?
    If you want to remove photos and videos from all your iOS devices, Mac, and iCloud.com, you can delete them in the Photos app.

    When you delete a photo or video from your Photos app, it will also delete from your iCloud Photo Library and iCloud storage. You can recover your photos and videos from the Recently Deleted album for 30 days."


    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204570

    So make sure you have a hard copy of the photos, then delete them from your device or iCloud.com.
     
  7. AppleDogs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    #7
    Right, that's what I found too. Since I already let the photos sync to iCloud, I can delete them from iCloud and I will have my 5GB back. The photos will stay on my phone for now because I disabled the iCloud Photos sync. My issue is that if I (mistakenly) turn on Photos to sync with iCloud in the future, then the photos I have on my phone today will be deleted because iCloud is storing the last activity = deletion of each individual photo. Photos I take after today will upload to iCloud.

    I want to deactivate the Photos app in iCloud.com as if it was never used: no photos, but also no history of deleting photos. That way, if the sync is turned on by mistake, photos will just be uploaded again, not deleted on my phone.

    I already exported the photos to my NAS, so I won't lose them permanently if iCloud deletes them from my phone, but it would be a hassle to have to put them back on the phone via iTunes.

    In iTunes, you can set up folders for photos and decide which folders to sync and which to ignore. iCloud is all or nothing.
     
  8. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #8
    Then why don't you delete them from the cloud, delete them from your phone and have a blank slate. Then just sync them to your phone via iTunes? Is there a reason why you don't want to do this?

    That seems to solve all your problems if you did it that way.

    Re-enable iCloud Photo Library on your phone. Remove all photos, empty recently deleted. Now there are no photos on the cloud or your phone. Then sync back whatever you want.
     
  9. AppleDogs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    #9
    I can do that but iCloud also deletes any photos that were moved to the phone though iTunes (unless they were originally taken with the phone and restored via iTunes restore) if iCloud is turned on again. iCloud warns of this when turning on the Photos sync.

    I'm really surprised that iCloud is so limited in its functionality. I think it's odd that you can disable Photos on individual devices, but not disable universally at iCloud.com.
     
  10. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #10
    I don't believe the bold is correct. If you synced via iTunes then uploaded to iCloud then, the bold would be correct if you were to delete them form the cloud. But if you merely synced them through iTunes, turning off iCloud Photo Library will not delete synced photos. But considering you have a hard copy and you want to erase any existence of iCloud Photo Library, you should delete all the photos, then enable it on all the devices so it completely erases. Then as I suggested, go back and sync only what you want through iTunes.

    I do agree that it is very limited, but it might still be in "beta" from a year ago.
     
  11. AppleDogs, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017

    AppleDogs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2017
    #11
    I read about the part in bold here:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201302

    "If you've already synced photos to your iOS device from iTunes, and then you turn on iCloud Photo Library on your iOS device, you'll see a message that says "Photos and Videos Synced from iTunes will be Removed." The photos and videos that you synced from your computer will stay on your computer, but they're removed from your iOS device."

    It looks like iCloud just overwrites whatever was already on the phone. The photos will be OK as long as iCloud doesn't get turned on again.

    I should have read up on iCloud before I just let it enable stuff.
     

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