Is it possible to remove photos from iPhone using the Terminal line of command? I've been struggling with Image Capture (not making the "delete" icon available) or even Aperture or iPhoto (not being able to delete after import from iPhone). Thanks all for any input and recommendations. Lau


bjb, is right, you can’t operate iOS device using Mac Terminal. The ways of clearing the library offered in the linked threads will work for Camera Roll only.

You can wipe clean all your iOS photo library with 3rd party software. I work with iMazing and will explain how it's done there, using the free version. Other tools include iExplorer, PhoneView and many others, feel free to check them out too.

  1. Install iMazing on your Mac or PC, launch it and connect your device
  2. Enable Airplane mode for your device
  3. At the right menu select you iOS device, go to File System
  4. Locate folder Media and delete ALL the contents of the following folders:

    • DCIM
    • PhotoData
    • Photos PhotoStreamsData
    • Reboot the device

Here’s what it looks like: enter image description here

Now reboot your phone, et voilà! Your photo library is nuked.


Not unless there is a way to mount the iOS device's file system, you won't be able to remove photos from the iOS device from the command line.

It sounds like you might have had the same issue that I did with removing photos from your iOS device. I did find a solution to this, but need to complete the blog post that I'm intending to post with my findings. I will get that done before the end of the week and will update this answer at that time.

UPDATE: here is a link to the blog post that describes how to remove those orphaned photos.

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