[2023] How to Delete Photos on Mac to Free Up Space

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Clare Weaver
Last updated: Jul 7, 2023

You probably have a lot of unwanted photos on your Mac. Read on to learn how to delete them from your Mac to free up space.

Want to better organize your Mac photos? It's a good idea to remove those damaged, duplicate, and blurry photos from your Mac.

If you don’t know what to do, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you will learn how to delete unwanted photos from your Mac so you can have more space to do what you want on your Mac.

How to Delete Photos on Mac to Free Up Space

How to Delete Photos in the Photos App

The Photos app is the ideal tool for managing and organizing your photos. Follow the following steps to delete unneeded photos on your Mac.

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. In Library, you will find all the photos. To delete a photo, select it, Control-click it, and select Delete 1 Photo. (To delete multiple photos, drag to select the photos you don’t want, then right-click or Control-click them to delete.)
    Delete Photos on Mac
  3. Step 2 just removed the unwanted photos to your Recently Deleted folder, they, actually, are still on your Mac. To delete them permanently, click Recently Deleted, select the photos you want to delete, and click on Delete X Photos in the upper right corner.
    Permanently Delete Photos on Mac
Regret deleting photos? If they are not permanently deleted, they can be recovered from Recently Deleted easily.

How to Delete Duplicate Photos on Mac

Duplicate photos are created in a variety of situations. If you don’t clean them often, they can pile up and take up a lot of your precious storage space.

Finding them manually can be a daunting task, not to mention that you may not be able to find them completely. To speed up the finding process, you need a duplicate photo finder for Mac. BuhoCleaner is just the tool you need. It can quickly find duplicate and similar photos in the Photos app and any folder outside the app.

Free DownloadFor macOS 10.10 and above
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Here’s how it works:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click on Duplicates and select the folder to scan. (If you want to scan photos in the Photos app, select PhotoLibrary.)
    Quickly Find Duplicate Photos on Mac with BuhoCleaner
  3. Once the scan is complete, you will see all the duplicate and similar photos on your Mac.
  4. From the Auto Select menu, select Smart Select, which automatically marks all duplicate photos.
  5. Preview them before clicking the Remove button.
    Remove Duplicate Photos on Mac with BuhoCleaner
  6. Switch to the Similar tab if you want to delete the similar photos you scanned.

How to Delete All Photos on Mac

If all the photos in the Photos app are useless to you, follow the steps below to delete them from your Mac.

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Press Command + A to select all files in the Photo Library folder, Control-click them and select Delete X Photos.
    Delete All Photos on Mac
  3. Go to the Recently Deleted folder and click the Delete All button in the upper right corner to permanently delete all photos on your Mac.

Photo Library is where all the photos imported into the Photos app are stored. If you’ve moved your Photo Library to an external SSD, you’re free to delete it from your Mac. Once deleted, all photos in it will also be removed.

Here’s how to delete the photo library on your Mac:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click on Pictures in the Finder sidebar.
  3. Locate the Photo Library and drag it to the Trash.
  4. If you want to permanently delete it from your Mac, go empty your Trash.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Deleted Photos on Mac

Occasionally, you may delete photos by mistake. So how can you recover the deleted photos?

Don't panic. If they weren't permanently deleted from your Mac, it's easy to restore them.

  • For photos deleted using the Photos app, go to the Recently Deleted folder, select the photos you want to recover, and click the Recover button.

  • For photos deleted using the Finder, go to the Trash, select the deleted photos, Control-click them, and select Put Back.

Neither of the two methods works for you? Then use Time Machine, the official backup tool for Mac. If you've ever used it to back up your Mac, you can use the backups to restore deleted photos.

Final Words

Now you know how to delete unwanted photos on Mac. Go ahead and organize your photos to free up space on your Mac.

It’s worth noting that BuhoCleaner is beyond a duplicate photo finder, it’s also an easy-to-use Mac cleaner that can free up gigabytes of Mac space with a couple of clicks. Try it out yourself.

Clare Weaver

Clare Weaver has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.