How to Delete Photos From MacBook But Not iCloud?

Delete Photos From MacBook But Not iCloud

We’ve all experienced this when your laptop restricts you from downloading new stuff. When your laptop constantly reminds you that you’re low on storage. When you spend a lot of time figuring out items that you can delete from the storage media. Finally, you decide to remove some files to free up several gigabytes.

Be careful when deleting photos from your MacBook so that you won’t end up removing them from the iCloud drive.

For detailed instructions on how to delete photos from MacBook but not iCloud, go through the methods given in this article.

Steps to Remove Photos From Mac But Not iCloud

You can delete any photos that you have captured on your iPhone and shared on your Mac via AirDrop or the ones you have clicked from your digital camera and stored on the computer. To learn more about how to airdrop photos between Apple devices, visit

Step 1: First, Go to iCloud in System Preferences

On your laptop, open System Preferences. Navigate to the top-right corner and click on the Apple icon called Apple ID. When you click on the Apple icon, you should see an option named iCloud. Click on iCloud, and it will take you to iCloud Settings.

Step 2: Uncheck the Checkbox Next to the Photos

You will see a list of apps that iCloud syncs with. Locate the Photos app in the list and untick the checkbox next to it to deselect it. This will turn off iCloud’s sync with the Photos app. Mac will prompt you if you wish to delete the photos from your computer. If you want to remove all the photos from the computer’s hard drive, select Yes.

Step 3: Delete Photos You Don’t Require

After you turn off the sync for Photos app, the photos that you remove from your computer will remain stored in the iCloud drive. So, you can remove the photos from the MacBook without deleting them from iCloud.

This was your complete guide on how to delete photos from MacBook but not iCloud. After deleting the photos from your MacBook, if you still face a low storage error on your computer screen, there are a few ways you can optimize your Mac storage.

Other Options to Optimize Storage on Mac

Other Options to Optimize Storage on Mac

Apple offers three in-built ways to optimize storage space without using a third-party tool. These options include:

  • Store in iCloud
  • Optimize Storage
  • Reduce Clutter

“Store in iCloud” allows storing data in the iCloud drive. While the “Optimize Storage” option is quite similar to storing data in iCloud, “Reduce Clutter” enables deleting unnecessary files on Mac. Let’s discuss these three options in detail.

Store in iCloud

When you select the “Store in iCloud” option when optimizing storage on Mac, all your recent files, photos, documents, and other data will be moved to the iCloud drive. These files will stay on your computer’s hard drive as well.

iCloud works as a backup for data stored in your MacBook or other Apple devices. So, if you need to restore any file after it gets deleted from any of the Apple devices, iCloud can be one of the options. The data stored on iCloud won’t consume space on the Mac hard drive.

To enable the Store in iCloud option, you need to click on the Apple icon displayed on the left side of the top menu bar. Click on the About This Mac option and then tap Storage. The Storage window will give you access to the amount of storage you are currently using.

Another option that you see alongside Storage is Manage. On clicking the Manage, the system will give you the option to Store in iCloud.

Optimize Storage

The Optimize Storage option works similarly to that of storing data in iCloud. However, it works with your Apple TV and email attachments. To enable this option, navigate to About This Mac, click on Storage, and tap Manage.

In the Manage window, you will see the option that says “Optimize Storage”, click on it. Once you select this option, all your previously viewed movies and TV shows will be moved to the iCloud drive. This enables you to claim more free gigabytes of space on storage media.

You will be able to view items on demand without affecting the storage. You can choose to delete the shows and movies that you no longer wish to watch. This helps prevent storage space on the iCloud drive.

Reduce Clutter

Reduce Clutter

When you are looking to manage files, photos, messages, and other data items on your MacBook, Reduce Clutter is the option. By deleting unnecessary items, you can free up storage space on your Mac drive.

To select the “Reduce Clutter” option on your MacBook, navigate to About This Mac, and select Manage. Next, select the Reduce Clutter option. On clicking this option, you will see a list of apps and other items consuming space on the MacBook SSD.

Select items you wish to delete and remove them from the computer. Make sure to empty the Trash folder to erase data permanently from the computer and claim storage on your Mac drive.

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