I wish to free up space on my iPhone, by deleting a large number of photographs that I currently on my iPhone. However I am concerned that because it is connected to my iCloud photo storage, and from that it is then connected to my MacOS Photos application on my Mac Mini, that by deleting photographs on my iPhone Will also cause the deletion on both my iCloud for the storage, and the corresponding deletion of the same photographs on my MacOS Photos application on my Mac Mini, is that true?

  • iCloud is not a backup service, it is a mirror service. If you delete a photo in one device, it is deleted in all devices.
    – lhf
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 10:44
  • Thank you, then it sounds like the best way forward, is to disable the iCloud connection between my iPhone and iCloud, but I will have to do it in such a way, so that I do not have the photos removed from my Mac Mini.... Any suggestions? Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 11:02
  • Disabling iCloud Photos on your phone doesn't have anything to do with your Mini's connection, other than that any further pictures you take on the phone will not appear on the Mini unless you put them there yourself. Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 16:05

1 Answer 1


iCloud Photo Library synchronises a library of photos between all your devices. The source of truth is the cloud, so deleting a photo on your phone connected to iCloud Photo Library will synchronise to all your other devices.

The right way to free space on your phone while keeping it connected to iCloud Photo Library is to turn on Optimise iPhone Storage in Settings → Photos.

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