Why is Image Capture 'Delete' menu item greyed out?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by harry753, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. harry753 macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2015
    I am trying to do the following using an iPhone 5 and MacBook Pro (Yosemite 10.10.3, mid 2012):

    1. Connect the iPhone to the MBP using a standard cable.
    2. Open the Image Capture application.
    3. Using Image Capture, select a photo that is stored on the iPhone.
    4. Click on the Image Capture 'Edit' menu.
    5. Click on the 'Delete' item in this menu.

    However, I get stuck at step 5. The 'Delete' menu item is greyed out. (The 'Undo', 'Redo', 'Cut', 'Copy' and 'Paste' items above it in the 'Edit' menu are also greyed out.)

    How can I use the 'Delete' menu item so that I can delete iPhone photos and videos from Image Capture? Any help on this would be appreciated.
  2. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Wow, I didn't see this until today. Hopefully you are still interested in a reply. I went online with Apple support about this very issue. It turns out the delete function disappeared from image capture around the time Photos came out and iOS 8.x came out. Here's the deal...

    1) If you enable iCloud photo Library in Preferences-iPhoto the Delete button goes away.
    2) if you fail to enable "optimize iPhone storage" and instead keep it set to "download and keep originals" everything stays on your iPhone forever until you delete it and then...
    3) when you do delete it, it disappears from the cloud at the same time. Annoying.

    That sounds like a bad thing for those of us who are used to connecting our iPhone to our Mac and using image capture to grab copies of larger videos while deleting them to free up space.

    Here is the way this is supposed to work and frankly it's a lot better now...

    1) enable "iCloud Photo Library"
    2) enable "optimize iPhone storage"

    That's it. You are done. Every now and then you can go into Photos or iPhoto (which still works by the way) and drag photos out to your file system to make sure you have them backed up if you so choose. Meanwhile on your iPhone things are automagically downsampled to free up space. Photos on my iPhone went from 26+ GB down to below 13 GB by simply toggling this setting. Since I pay for 200 GB of iCloud storage, it will be "a while" before I'm faced with weeding out stuff to avoid paying for a higher tier and by then perhaps Apple will have brought terabyte pricing in line with the rest of the cloud industry.

    To summarize:

    You can bring "delete" back to image capture by toggling OFF "iCloud Photo Library"
    You can stop micromanaging iPhone storage by switching ON "optimize iPhone storage"

    I took the latter option and I don't have to think about iPhone storage any more.

    Hope this helps...

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