When i sync my iphone, I am getting an error message saying it can't do a backup because i have more than 5GB of space used.

I went to:

Settings --> iCloud --> Storage and backup --> Manage Storage.

I see it says Next backup size 5.0 GB and 4.6 GB of that is coming from Camera roll. So i have a few questions on how to clean this up:

  1. When looking at my photos, I see:
    • Camera Roll (500 pictures)
    • Photo Stream (655 pictures)

Since it says, Camera roll on the iCloud storage page, I am assuming if I just delete some pictures and videos from this, it will free up space.

  • Is this correct?
  • Does iCloud simply backup latest state of camera roll at sync time and if i have previously backed up pictures and i deleted them on camera roll, it will be deleted from iCloud backup?

My second question is around getting all of these pictures down to my computer (I have a Windows XP computer). I am currently NOT syncing pictures in itunes as I find it was making the sync time go from around 45 seconds to over 10 minutes. After a bunch of research the advise everyone gave was to not sync pictures via iTunes. Is there any easy way to download these all to my Win XP computer so I can free up space on my iPhone ?

  • 2
    An easy way like syncing them via iTunes? Enable picture sync for one time, disable it again after successful synchronization and delete the pictures on your phone.
    – nohillside
    Jun 4, 2012 at 12:40

1 Answer 1


First question: yes, iCloud backs up your photo as it is. If you delete media from your photos library it will be deleted from iCloud. (I might add that videos are also stored in the cloud - and consequently take up the most room).

Second question: It is possible you can use the Scanner and Camera wizard to import photos from your iPhone. Here is are two articles that briefly describe the process.

Before you delete all (or most of) your photos off your iPhone, I would recommend that you double check that everything has been transfered correctly so you don't lose any pictures.

You probably already know this but it's worth mentioning anyways. When you go to delete photos from your iPhone, open the Photos app, click the Camera Roll album, then select the box with the arrow icon at the top right of the screen. Select pictures to be deleted, then tap the Delete button in the bottom bar (this is also a way to email more then one picture).

Of course, the other option would be to turn off the iCloud backup of your photos. (You already know how to get there but go to iCloud > Storage & Backup > Manage Storage > [your name] iPhone > Turn Camera Off.)

  • 4
    Note that you can also delete the photos directly from the phone using the Scanner and Camera wizard – much faster than tapping each photo one by one on the phone.
    – lensovet
    Sep 1, 2012 at 23:03

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