iPhone photos not freeing up space when deleted

Recently I was clearing out some old videos and photos from my iPhone because I was running low on space.

I have everything backed up to my Dropbox account so I was happy to just remove them from the device like I normally do.

Even though I deleted hundreds of images and videos the amount of space used didn’t seem to immediately go down. I put this down to the iPhone needing some time to recalculate free/used space.

A couple of days later and switching the phone off and on and I noticed that it was still reporting an issue with space.

Photos were apparently taking up 3.3Gb of space but when I went into the app it was reporting I had no photos or videos.

What went wrong?

Turns out there is a recently deleted album within the photo app which stores a copy of, you guessed it, all your recently deleted photos and videos!

I am not sure if this is a new(ish) feature I grabbed in a recent update or if it is because I have recently turned off iCloud.

To completely remove photos and videos then you need to;

  • Have backups already made should you want them
  • Select the photos for deletion from your main photo view
  • Delete them
  • Visit the “Recently Deleted” album
  • Press “Delete All”

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