How to Delete Photos From MacBook But Not iCloud [Easy Guide]

You can’t delete photos from Mac without deleting them from your iCloud storage, unless you disable the photos sync feature.

To disable it, you’ll have to open System Preferences, and uncheck ‘Photos’ from the iCloud tab. Just remember that this is temporary, and the moment you switch the iCloud photos sync back on, your pictures will be permanently deleted from your iCloud storage. I recently wanted to delete pictures from my Mac because I was low on storage space, and with a bit of research, I discovered how to do it. I also touched on some additional information, like how you can recover recently deleted photos.

How do I delete photos from my Mac but keep them in iCloud?

As mentioned, the only way to delete photos from your Macbook and not your iCloud account is by disabling the photos sync feature. However, when you re-enable syncing, your pictures will be automatically deleted from your iCloud storage. Here’s what you do:
  • Open System Preferences – click on the Apple logo button in the corner
  • Click on Apple ID
  • Select iCloud
  • Uncheck Photos to turn sync off (until you turn the sync feature back on, new photos on your Mac won’t be saved to your iCloud storage space)
Once you’ve turned sync off, here’s how to delete unwanted photos:
  • Go to the Photos app on your computer
  • Hold the command key down to select multiple photos (make sure they’re not important as they will be deleted when sync is turned back on)
  • Right-click and select Delete

How Do You Recover Deleted Photos On Mac?

If you accidentally deleted your favorite photos from iCloud, you can still get them back. Just remember that you can only do this if you have deleted the pictures within the last 30 days. This is because iCloud sync keeps backup copies of all the recently deleted photos and videos for upto a month. Here’s how:
  • Go to the website on your Mac
  • Go to the Photos bar
  • Click on the Recently Deleted Folder in the sidebar
  • Select the file or video you want to recover
  • Click on the Recover button from the drop-down menu bar

How to Organize iCloud Photos library?

Many users have disorganized and messy iCloud photos. If you have the same issue, taking care of this is easy. You can make new albums for your files and organize them. To make an album:
  • Launch iCloud on your browser
  • Log into your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password
  • Go to the Photos tab
  • Select the Plus icon
  • Click on the New Album button
  • Give it a name
  • Click on the Ok button to confirm
To add different photos on Mac to an album:

How Do You Delete Photos From iCloud Storage?

To delete photos from your iCloud storage:
  • Launch the iCloud website on your browser
  • Log into your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password
  • Go to the Photos tab
  • Double-click on the picture or video you want to remove
  • Select Delete to confirm the change

Does iCloud take up Mac storage?

iCloud doesn’t take up additional storage on your Mac computer. Any data you store on your Apple iCloud account will be saved to Apple’s servers. You get up to 5 GB of data on iCloud for free. You can also upgrade and get additional storage if you want.

Why can’t I delete photos from my Mac?

This issue can pop up due to various reasons. Usually, it happens when your Mac OS version is outdated and bugging out. Update it immediately and check whether you still can’t delete photos from your Mac. It could also be due to a minor glitch. Restart your Mac computer and try again.

Final Thoughts

If you want to delete photos on Mac (system photo library), and not iCloud, simply unsync your Mac’s photos to iCloud, then delete the pictures that you want to get rid of. As mentioned, when you sync the Photo app to iCloud again, your deleted files will automatically be removed from your iCloud drive. We hope you found all these points about deleting photos on Mac useful and managed to fix the problem.