iCloud Photo Library, Photostream, and the saga of deleting photos ONLY in one place...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BrentD, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. BrentD macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    I apologize if this has been covered before ad nauseam, but I can't seem to get an accurate answer even from the Apple Store reps.

    In an alternate life, when Apple still had your Photostream as one album and your Camera Roll as another, you could delete a photo from your Camera Roll after it had been uploaded to Photostream and you'd still have a copy of it there without taking up space on your phone. This was insanely useful because I had access to ALL my photos with only ones I needed quick access to the full size version available directly on my phone. This saved space on the phone without sacrificing access to photos.

    But somewhere along the line they ditched the Photostream on the phone and went to this iCloud Photo Library deal. In the description under it in the iCloud settings it says "Automatically upload and store your entire library in iCloud to access photos and videos from all your devices." Sounds great! Only, when I delete it from my phone it ALSO deletes it from iCloud Photo and the Photos app on my Mac(s). This is contrary to what the first Apple Store rep told me, which was once it's in my iCloud Photo I could delete it from my phone. When I approached a second Apple Store rep and mentioned this misinformation, he was like, "I just plug my phone in at least once a week and dump all my photos to the Photos app. That way they don't have to stay on my phone." Only, that's ALSO not the case, because once I delete them from my phone, they again disappear from the Photos app.

    So. Is there ANY way to keep this functioning like it used to where I can have *access* to all my photos from the phone, but selectively delete the ones that actually reside on my phone WITHOUT them deleting from my iCloud Photo Library? I understand the Optimize iPhone Storage option, but even that will eventually fill your phone if you can't delete from there without it also deleting the cloud copy.
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    Note that the second rep didn't mention iCloud Photo Library. If you don't use it, you can just synch photos back and forth via other methods, like just copying or something. If you've got ICL turned off (I think that's necessary to use iTunes synching).

    I suppose you could use two Photos libraries, one as the System Library to sync everything everywhere, and another with non ICL images, and then either manually switch back and forth or use PowerPhotos by Fat Cat Software to help manage the two libraries. Or try Mylio: it can synch just thumbnails, or full images, or subsets of folders, etc which makes it easier to manage files across devices. Or other photo storage software that is more user friendly.
  3. BrentD thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    Thanks. I'm thinking another third party solution might be a better plan. Upon reading more about turning OFF iCloud Photo Library, and how it would return you to a Camera Roll and Photostream setup, I had hopes. But after trying that last night I see that even with that setup it now will delete from your Photostream if you delete from the Camera Roll. I guess Apple wants us to store every photo on our phone (or at least a thumbnail of it) and assumes if we delete it there we don't want to ever see it again. Even with the optimize iPhone storage button ticked, that will eventually fill up the phone if you can't delete them without also deleting it from the cloud.
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Hmmm, Photostream (sans iCloud Photo Library) is still an option on all of my iOS and Mac devices.

    No, not that I've found (or have ever read about).

    IMO, Optimize iPhone Storage is supposed to make sure you device doesn't fill up with photos. I've got a 64GB iPhone and it always keeps about 10GB of free space, no matter how many pictures/videos I take (which can be a lot). So it must be deleting other pictures/videos from the device.
  5. BrentD thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2010
    I was referring more to Photostream and it's original functionality. As of right now, turning off the iCloud Photo Library brings back Camera Roll and Photostream, but it works nothing like before. Before I could delete from the camera roll after it uploaded to Photostream and still have access to it there. But now deleting from the Camera Roll also removes it from your Photostream.

    As far as always having free space, hard to tell. It seems logical that enough thumbnails would eventually fill up your storage as well.

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4 April 11, 2016