No delete button - iPhone photos



My wife’s trying to free space on her iPhone 5S (running a modern -1 iOS). Goes into Photo app, deletes away… But then on a number of OLD videos (ie 2015), there is simply no delete option - just a share icon.

What’s with that?

How do you delete them?

I was wondering if they may be iMessage attachements…? ? But even so, you think it’d let you delete, if it’s going to show you them at all.




Or they might be in albums created elsewhere. Anything thats not in the camera roll cant be deleted. I’ve discovered that, recently, when I synced a shedload of pix fromy my Mac Mini to my ipad. heaps of dupes. not to worry I thought, I’ll just dispose of them later. Nope. I haad set up a bunch of albums on the Mini and thats what I synced over. arghhh


How on earth do you delete them then?

I really really really really hate iOS file management!!!


You can’t delete synced photos off your device (as you/your wife has discovered), you “delete” them by un-syncing them.

This doesn’t seem like an iOS file management problem to me.


You don’t. See Bennyling’s post. I chose to sync with a different computer which didnt have the dupes and triples. 6k as opposed to 18k.


Organising and arranging files in a computer. Yep, that’s what I want to do. There’s a file on my wife’s iPhone (ie computer) that needs to be deleted. I cannot however perform this function without connecting the device to another. So iOS’s file management requires the use of an external entity.


…which you would have had to do to get the file on there in the first place?

But yeah, pretty confusing for newbies, iOS should definitely at least tell you that the file you’re trying to delete can’t be done from your device and needs to be done on a computer.

Not even sure why such a limitation exists, to be honest, although maybe if you know files are synced in the first place, then there’s possibly some confusion that may arise if you try and delete it from your device - does it then get removed from your computer the next time you sync? And other fun questions.


Even when you sync files - you should be able to delete them on the fly. I have a large movie file on my iPad that’s been there for years, which when on the road I often wish I’d remembered to delete when I was at home, cos gee - I could sure use that space right now.

I appreciate the “putting onto the device” aspect of “syncing” - yes that makes it easy to select content to copy over… but then being unable to then remove the files from the i-device other than via iTunes?? To me, it’s not user friendly.

I guess in most regards I’m no better than my 70yo parents with regard to their understanding of iOS. I tend to believe it should “just work” like with a Mac. Instead it tends to be much more the case of - “you need to know how it just works”. Same as when I deleted all my contacts due to choosing the wrong option with the Cloud years ago.

Following above - I connected the phone to iTunes. It was not ticked as having anything sync’d. I clicked to sync, then unticked, which triggered the “sync” button to hilight. So I clicked it… but then my wife had to rush off before I had a chance to see if it remedied the situation. I’m just hoping I haven’t wiped any recent photos…


Syncing to itunes should be abolished, it’s such an archaic concept in this day and age. Surely it’s days are numbered. Apple got rid of the home button and the headphone socket, it’s just another example of that. Sure some people will complain but they’ll get used to it eventually.


No photos wipes… But still have the undeleteable vids.


Sorry, but no. For those of us who cannot afford to take a big icloud subscription, its the only way to get photos from computer to idevice in bulk.


There should be a better way to do it - not just abolish it, but improve it.

Indeed - plenty of people don’t use the cloud services - but - ah, maybe that’s why Apple has no interest in improving the interface - if you want a better service, pay for it.


Seems to be whats coming. I may find myself in a situation where I need to abandon Apple, if I live long enough. But I dont want Android. damn.


I didn’t say that you should abolish connecting your phone to your Mac/PC. They could have it that you could still do that either via cable or wirelessly, and copy photos across as needed. And there are other free ways to sync all your photos into the cloud.


Or they could just fix syncing to make it more sensible and logical.


All of what you said is true. However, I (and others) actually like itunes (though not so much in the present incarnation) and would wish for better sync.

I tried google photos yesterday. Hated it. Its not what I want. I actually dont want to have all my stuff “in the cloud” I want it on my computers and my idevices. I still use Photostream.


Are they actually on your phone? They may only be proxy files, ie: not the full video.


Hi @Currawong
Just tried - they play, so guessing no proxy.
They simply only offer the “share” icon down the bottom - no trash or other options.