iCloud Photo Library Issue - purge from phone?

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by spaceballl, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi There,

    Here's the issue I'm having. I have an 80GB library all properly backed up in iCloud Photo Library. As of yesterday, it was nicely sync'd with my phone. However, I was having a bizarre issues with my iCloud contacts. If I added them on any of my devices, they sync'd just fine... except for on my phone. I read some support forums, and disabling / enabling iCloud sync didn't help. One suggestion was to completely log out of iCloud and then back in. Bingo - that worked. iCloud contacts syncing again beautifully...

    However, signing out of iCloud and signing back in didn't delete my photos on my phone. It also didn't automatically turn iCloud Photo Library back on. My library is about 80GB in size. When I tried to turn on iCloud Photo Library, I got an error message saying that the size of my library would be too big and that I'd have to upgrade my storage plan... I just checked online, and I have plenty of storage... so it occurs to me that it's trying to MERGE and potentially duplicate the photos on my phone w/ my iCloud Photo Library.

    TL;DR: All I want to do is completely wipe every photo off of my phone. Then I want to re-enable iCloud Photo Library and let it pull everything down fresh... Thoughts? When I go into Settings -> Manage Storage there is no option to delete every photo from my phone. Thanks in advance!
  2. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    For those who are interested, I'll close the loop here on how I fixed this total pain the butt. I kept iCloud Photo Library disabled. I then went through and manually deleted every photo. I didn't need to select each photo, but the lowest granularity it seems you can select and delete is the "Collection" level. I did that. That took 20 minutes. Next step- go into the deleted pictures setting and delete all the pics there too, otherwise they're not really gone yet until you do that. Then I deleted all of the empty albums... Eventually, I had no pictures / albums on my phone.

    Then I re-enabled iCloud Photo Library. Soon, pictures started showing up on my iPhone. Within a few hours, I had all my pics. BUT... I didn't have any albums. I was curious about this... No albums... I checked my Mac. Yup. Albums were gone there too! Somehow, even though iCloud Photo Library was OFF when I deleted those, it decided to sync them back up to the cloud. YUCK.

    Then I knew I had to fix the problem on my mac... I deleted my photo library and used Time Machine to restore to a backup from last week. When you do this on a Mac, it then has to spend 20 minutes or so "repairing" your library. Once repaired, my albums were restored on the Mac. Now it's starting my iCloud Photo Library over from scratch, though. My computer is re-uploading everything, and I expect that to take a few days. Hopefully all the changes cleanly and automatically push to my iPhone.
  3. GuilleA macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2015
    Buenos Aires
    That's messed up. I pulled the trigger with iCP last week, but I started off fresh with an empty library after hearing all the horror stories (that and the fact that my upload speed sucks and uploading 8GB of photos would take forever).

    So far it's been working very well, albeit is't still a rather small library (about 600 photos).
  4. Rhonindk macrumors 68040


    Oct 3, 2014
    sitting on a beach watching a DC simulation ...
    Keep an off-line backup.
    When you least want it to happen, you too will be bitten again by the ICP genie.
  5. mikzn, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

    mikzn macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2013
    Photos is a pain for batch delete or purge of large number of photos.

    An easier way to batch delete pictures / purge from iPhone / ipad is to use preview while connected
    to a Mac <file< import from iPhone, and you can view, sort, and batch delete pictures or just "Select all" and delete / purge all the pictures. ( Not sure why this is built into the preview import function - but it works great) All the photos on the phone can be viewed in a list view for managing what to select / delete etc.

    It is confusing to delete pictures from phone on "Photos" - preview works very well.

    I don't use the cloud for back up of Pictures - just more comfortable with a "back up" on a separate media drive at home and large libraries / "back ups" to the cloud = more sync time to slow the Phone / Ipad and eat up the data plan.
  6. darknyt macrumors 6502a

    Sep 17, 2009
    Lol, try a 500gb Photo Library. That sucker took weeks to upload. That and my Google, Amazon, One Drive, and Flickr backups have kept my traffic at over a 1tb every month this summer lol.

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5 October 17, 2015