How to Permanently Delete All Photos on Mac?

Summary: You may need to delete photos on your Mac to free up the disk space, to get rid of duplicates, or for any other reason. This blog presents some effective methods to permanently delete photos on your Mac system easily and securely. It also mentions a file eraser software that can erase photos and other files beyond the scope of recovery.

If the photos are getting piled up on your Mac and taking a lot of hard drive space or you may want to remove some unwanted/duplicate photos, follow the methods mentioned below to delete them permanently. However, before moving further, ensure to take a backup of those photos that you want to keep.

How to Permanently Delete Photos on Mac?

Here are some methods that can help you to permanently delete photos from Mac.

Delete Photos on Mac using Trash Bin

You can delete a single photo or multiple photos using the Trash Bin. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Click on the Finder icon in Dock to open a new window.

Finder Icon

Step 2: Select the folder from where you want to delete the photos.

Select Picture Older

Note: In general, the Pictures folder contains the photos on your Mac. To access it, select Downloads in the Finder sidebar, under which you can see the Pictures folder. If you are not sure of the location of the desired photos, you can use Spotlight to search them.

Step 3: Select the photos and drag and drop them in the Trash bin in Dock.

Trash Icon

Step 4: Click on the Trash icon and select ‘Empty’.

Step 5: Click ‘Empty Bin’ in the dialog box that appears.

Your photos and all other items in the Trash bin are permanently deleted.

Permanently Delete Photos using Photos App

You can also delete photos using the Photos App on Mac. However, if your pictures are in sync with iCloud, the images you delete on your Mac would also get deleted from other connected devices. Here are the steps to delete photos using Photos app:

1. Erase Photos from Photos Library on Mac

Step 1: Click the ‘Launch Pad’ icon in the Dock.

Launchpad Icon

Step 2: Select the ‘Photos’ app and launch it.

Launch Photos

Step 3: Click on the photo you want to delete.

Note: To delete multiple photos, click the first photo, hold the ‘Shift’ key and press the ‘Left/Right/Up/Down’ key to select other photos. You can also use ‘Command’ key to select multiple photos.

Step 4: Rightclick and select ‘Delete’ from the menu or press the ‘Delete’ on your keypad.

Step 5: In the ‘Delete from all your devices’ dialog box, click ‘Delete’ to confirm deletion.

Step 6: Empty the Trash bin to delete the photos completely from your Mac.

2. Delete a Photo Album using Mac Photos App

The photos app arranges your pictures into different albums. These albums are listed in the left pane of the Photos App window. Here is how you can delete a complete album.

Step 1: Launch the Photos App.

Step 2: Select the album you wish to delete from the left pane.

Photo App Windows

Step 3: Right-click on the album and click ‘Delete Album’ from the menu.

Step 4: Confirm the deletion in the dialog box that appears.

Delete Album Window

The selected album will be moved to Trash bin. To erase the photos completely, empty the Trash bin.

Note: If you want to directly delete the album, press ‘Command + Delete’ and the album would be deleted without any further confirmation required.

3. Permanently Delete All Photos on Mac using the Photos App

In case you wish to delete all the photos at once, you can again use the Photos App to do so. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Launch the Photos App.

Step 2: Select all photos by clicking in left pane and pressing ‘Command + A’.

Step 3: Right-click and select ‘Delete’ from the menu or simply press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard.

Step 4: In the left pane of current window, go to ‘Recently Deleted’.

Recently Deleted Images

 Step 5: Click ‘Delete All’ in the top right corner and click ‘Delete’ in the dialog boxto confirm.

All the photos on your Mac are permanently deleted.

Note: This will remove photos beyond the scope of recovery. All the photos are also removed from iCloud and connected devices, if your Mac is synchronized with iCloud.

Permanently Delete All Photos on Mac with BitRaser File Eraser

The easiest and quickest option to permanently delete all photos on Mac is by using a file eraser software, such as BitRaser File Eraser. The software not only helps you to delete the photos but also other data. To erase all the photos from your Mac by using the software, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install and launch the BitRaser File Eraser software on your Mac.

Step 2: Select the ‘Files & Folders’ optionon the main user interface window.

Select what to erase

Step 3: The left pane of the window displays all the volumes on your Mac. Select the desired volume by clicking on it.

Select Desired Volume

Step 4: The files and folders will be displayed in the right pane. Select the photos/folders you want to delete.

Step 5: Click ‘Preferences’ icon on the top of the window, select ‘Erasing Algorithm’, and click the ‘Erase’ button at the bottom right.

Preferences Erase Algorithm

Step 6: In the ‘Confirm Erasure’ window, click ‘Confirm Erase’.

Confirm Erase

Once the erasing process is complete, a message appears confirming the file erasure.

Note: Restart your Mac system after erasure process is complete.


You might need to delete photos from your Mac to free up the space or to remove unwanted pictures. You can follow the methods mentioned in this post to permanently delete the photos. The best way to delete the photos permanently is by using a file eraser software, such as BitRaser File Eraser. The software erases the photos and other files from Mac hard drive beyond the scope of recovery.

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