How to Manage Your iPhone Photos #3 Getting your iPhone photos cleaned up and cleared out

In the first installment of this series, I proposed seven reasons for learning how to manage your iPhone photos. Then, in the second part, I explained the effects of your Photos Settings on your photo management goals.

In this article I will show you how to get your iPhone photos organized and cleared out in preparation for your ongoing photo management system.

With this photo management method, you can:

  • Stop paying for extra iCloud storage from Apple
  • Move your photos from your iPhone to your computer
  • Share groups of photos with friends and family
  • Create albums of your best photos using minimal iPhone storage space

Warning: This is a long post, but aren’t the above rewards worth it?

P.S. Warning: Make certain all of your devices are completely up-to-date with their software and apps before beginning.

Some definitions

One more important, quick explanation. When you open Photos on your iPhone, there are three options across the bottom.

Albums are the photos and videos saved in your iPhone. The albums Camera Roll (or All Photos) and Videos takes up storage space in your phone.

Shared are iCloud Albums you have created or that have been shared with you. They are actually saved in Apple’s iCloud, for free, with a space-saving copy on your iPhone. The memory this uses on your iPhone is negligible.

Photos are all the photos and videos from Camera Roll and Photo Stream or All Photos (if iCloud Photo Sharing is on), organized by Years, Collections and Moments. It’s simply a reorganization of your photos and a different way to view them, not extra copies.

Getting your iPhone ready for the iPhone Photo Management System

        1. Check your iPhone settings
          • Go to Settings > Photos & Camera
          • iCloud Photo Sharing should be ON.
          • Do not worry about the other settings that you have ON or OFF right now.
          • Press the Home button to return to the Main screen.
        2. Create a Favorites album in Shared Albums
          Apple provides a Favorites Album in Albums that you may already be using. The problem with this album is that it requires you to keep those photos in your iPhone, taking up storage space.

          If you will save your favorite shots to a Shared Album, you can keep many more pictures there and use less space.

          • Open Photos and touch Shared at the bottom.
          • If you see  in the top left, touch it to return to the iCloud Photo Sharing screen.
          • Touch the  in the top left.
          • Type Favorites in the popup.

          • Touch Next.
          • Touch Create, without entering anything for “To:”
          • You now have an empty shared Favorites album.
        3. Add photos to your Shared Album “Favorites”
          • With Photos open, touch Albums at the bottom right.
          • If you see  in the top left, touch it to return to the main Albums screen.
          • If you have photos in the Favorites album on this screen, touch it to open.
            • Touch Select and then Select All.
            • Touch and then iCloud Photo Sharing.
            • In the popup touch Shared Album, Favorites and Post.
          • Touch  in the top left.
          • Touch Camera Roll (or All Photos).
          • Touch Select and touch other photos you want to add to your shared Favorites album.
          • Touch , repeating the steps to add to your Shared Album “Favorites.”
          • Finally, touch Shared at the bottom and confirm that your selected photos have been added to Favorites.
        4. Share groups of photos with others
          When my family gets together for a holiday or vacation, I create a shared album which they can all see and add pictures to. This also works for ongoing sharing of photos with a specific friend or group. To keep the photos private, all sharing contacts must have an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac.

          • Follow the steps in #1 above with an appropriate name for your Shared Album (i.e., Christmas 2015)
          • Leave “To:” blank for now.
          • Follow the steps in #2 and add pictures from your Camera Roll (or All Photos) to your new Shared Album.
          • Touch Shared at the bottom and open your new album.
          • Touch People at the bottom and then Invite People… Depending on the information you have for your contacts, you may select to invite someone via email or their cell phone number. I find that inviting via email is seen more dependably by your invitees.
          • Touch as many contacts as you want to invite and then Add in the top right.  You can always add or remove sharing contacts at any time.***There are iCloud Photo Sharing and Photo Stream limits, but most people will not come close to reaching them. If you really want to know more, here are the numbers straight from Apple:
        5. Prepare Camera Roll (or All Photos) for saving on computer
          Once you have created shared albums for some of the existing photos on your iPhone, you need to look at the quality and number of photos you have in Camera Roll (or All Photos). Ideally, you only want to save the good photos on your computer. So, it makes sense to delete the ones you do not like first. However, if you have thousands of pictures in your iPhone, the overwhelming task of going through all the photos may hinder your photo management progress. If that describes you, skip the rest of this step, and you can decide what to delete later when they are on your computer.

          • With Photos open, touch Albums in the bottom right.
          • Touch Camera Roll (or All Photos).
          • Touch Select and touch each photo that you do not want to save on your computer and are ready to delete.
          • To quickly select lots of photos, simply drag your finger across any of the photos. As long as you keep dragging, each photo you touch will be selected.
          • When finished selecting, touch the trash can. If you have been using iCloud Photo Library, it will also delete them there.
          • If you delete by mistake, open the Recently Deleted album, touch Select, touch the picture(s) and touch Recover.
        6. Download iPhone photos to computer
          Before you connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac, you need to prevent iTunes from automatically syncing with your iPhone.

            • On a PC:
              • Open iTunes
              • In the top menu, click on Edit and then Preferences (if you don’t see the menu, follow these instructions from Apple:
              • Click on Devices.
              • Check the box beside “Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically.”
              • Click OK and close iTunes.
            • On a Mac:
              • Open iTunes
              • In the top menu, click on iTunes and then Preferences…
              • Click on Devices
              • Check the box beside “Prevent iPods, iPhones and iPads from syncing automatically.”
              • Click OK and close iTunes.

          Now, follow Apple’s excellent instructions for importing your photos
 and select either Import to your Mac or Import to your PC for the instructions.

        7. Delete photos from Camera Roll (or All Photos)
          Following the instructions in the link above, on a Mac, you will have the option to let Photos automatically delete your pictures from your iPhone after they are imported. If you did not check the box to do that or you have a PC, then you will need to delete the photos on your iPhone as described in item 5 above.
        8. Change Settings on your iPhone
          • Go to Settings > Photos & Camera.
          • If ON, turn OFF iCloud Photo Library and then touch Remove from iPhone (twice).
          • My Photo Stream should be ON.
          • The other settings are a matter of personal preference.

Doesn’t it feel great to have your iPhone photos cleaned up and cleared out?

Although your Camera Roll (or All Photos) will be empty, your shared albums that you created are still there to see and enjoy.

Don’t miss my last article which will teach you how to keep your photos under control going forward!

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