Removing Photos on iPad To Gain Back Some Free Space

Share This:


I’ve got a 64GB iPad 2. That’s tons of storage space for a tablet device – but for a number of reasons, I’ve been filling that space up more quickly than I had imagined I would. Earlier this weekend I was down to 15GB free on the iPad 2.

So I decided to make a start on some iPad ‘housekeeping’ to free up a bit more space. My first target was Photos on the iPad 2. Yesterday I had over 5,500 photos on the iPad 2, occupying 5.5GB of space. Although it’s lovely having lots of family photos on the iPad to enjoy via the digital picture frame on the iPad’s lock screen, 5,000 is just too many to have on the device – especially when a lot of them are screenshots and photos from past reviews.

My plan is to look through the photos properly at some point, weed out the tons of old review shots, and return some slimmed down family photo albums to the iPad 2. Here’s how I went about reducing the number of photos on the iPad 2 from 5,500 to just 62 last night:

— First I selected a small number of photos I wanted to be able to put right back on the iPad 2 – a few funny pics of my big Labrador, some wallpapers I like, and mostly screenshots for upcoming reviews. I uploaded these to a Dropbox folder, and then copied them to a new folder  in the /Pictures folder on my MacBook Pro. The reason for creating the folder there is that I absolutely hate iPhoto – so I will instead sync photos in iTunes via the /Pictures folder (which is located under your user folder on the Mac).

— Next I used the Image Capture app – which I find to be roughly 20 million times faster than iPhoto – to import all the photos from the iPad 2. I imported all the 5,500 photos into the /Pictures folder – for sorting out at some later date. I selected the checkbox in Image Capture to ‘Delete after import’ but that didn’t happen, so I just selected all the images on the iPad 2 within Image Capture and manually deleted them.

— Then I synced the iPad 2 via iTunes – and on the Photos tab I chose to sync not with iPhoto, but with /Pictures and only with the one newly created folder with images I wanted to stick straight back onto the iPad 2.

The end result is that I now have just 62 photos, occupying just 0.03GB of space, on the iPad 2.


My next task on this little mini-project will be to sort through the 5,500 imported photos on my Mac, get rid of heaps of old screenshots, and return some fun family photos to the iPad 2. Overall, my iPad 2 is back to over 25GB free space.

That’s my little bit of iPad housekeeping for the weekend done. There may well be easier / better ways to have done this, but this approach worked well for me.

What sort of housekeeping have you done on your iPad recently?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

More Posts

Follow Me: TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

Share This:

2 thoughts on “Removing Photos on iPad To Gain Back Some Free Space”

  1. Photo-wise. I use iPhoto; the odd second’s delay I find I don’t come to miss over the course of a day. However, I use a smart folder (or two), to sync with. The main one, is ‘last month’. This has all the pics on my computer imported, worked on, etc, over the last calendar month – you can of course set the perameters on iPhoto. This suits me just fine. If I do any alterations to them on the iPad, they import as new pics, don’t affect the originals in the ‘last month’ folder, as you know.
    App-wise; I delete anything I haven’t used in the last month. Delete from iPad, still got it on the computer, just incase an earth shattering up-date comes along.

    1. Cool, good system. I know lots of people like iPhoto a lot, I just find it horrendously slow – to load, to do anything, just slow all the way around.

Comments are closed.