A few days ago you posted a piece about how to add new photo albums in the Photos app on my iPhone 5 so I could better organize my exploding photo library [see Create Albums in Photos app on the iPhone or iPad]. Helpful. But now I have a ton of albums and want to prune things down, but am afraid of losing photos if I delete my new photo albums. Suggestions?
Glad my article was helpful, first off, but it appears I need to reiterate how the albums work on your iPhone (or iPad): they’re really more of a keyword tagging capability and even though they appear to move photos from “Camera Roll” to the new album, that’s not actually happening. The result is that you can safely delete any album you’ve created within Photos without any risk of losing even a single picture. They’re all still jammed into your overflowing “Camera Roll”.
Where this doesn’t hold true is if you could delete an album that’s managed by your computer. If I were to delete “Photo Library” or “☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆”, for example, those photos would indeed be removed from my iPhone or iPad. Fortunately, perhaps, the Photos app won’t let you do that.
In terms of deleting an album, it’s pretty darn easy.
Here’s what my Photos album list looks like:
“Camera Roll” are the photos I’ve taken with my iPhone, “Cute” is an album I created on my iPhone within the Photos app, “☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆” is an album automatically managed by Aperture on my OS X system, and “Photo Library” is a collection of photos also downloaded from my computer via iTunes.
To delete any of the albums, tap on “Edit” on the top right.
You can see that “Camera Roll” and “Photo Library” are special: no ‘reorganization’ button shows up, and there’s no red “-” allowing you to delete the album. In fact, I was wrong earlier too: notice that the five-star album cannot be deleted either though you can shuffle it around a bit. Apparently you can only delete albums that you’ve created within the Photos app. Okay, now we know!
Pick an album that you can delete — I’ll choose “Cute” since it’s my only option — and tap on the red circle with the white dash.
The button rotates and a new button appears:
Again, remember, you’re not deleting a single photograph in this process, just the “keyword” album. To proceed, simply tap on “Delete” then confirm:
Done? Done. Easy enough.