How to Delete Photos on Macbook Pro/Air in 4 Effective Ways [2024 Update]

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Peter Wood

Since Apple released the Photos app for Mac OS X Yosemite in 2014, Photos for OS X comes with powerful features. It can mostly replace iPhoto and Aperture that are the two of Apple's existing photo apps. With Photos, you can use the great photo editing tools with your pictures. And Photos enable you to delete Photos from MacBook.

If you prefer using the latest Photos app on your MacBook rather than iPhoto or Aperture, you need to migrate the older iPhoto or Aperture libraries into the Photos app. Otherwise, you may perhaps have more than one photo library on MacBook. To gain better experience in the Photos app, you can delete old photos from MacBook permanently.

Delete Photos on MacBook

Why You Need to Delete Photos on Mac

There would be many reasons for you to delete photos from Mac. The following would be some possible reasons:

  1. Since the storage space is limited, you need to delete pictures to free up space on Mac.
  2. You may need to remove images corrupted. There are many ways to cause corruption. Some may cause by a damaged thumbnail for opening the image file, which makes the image file not be opened.
  3. You have saved the old photos up to the cloud service. There is no need to save it again on your Mac in case there would be duplicate files.
  4. You may need to delete pictures that can be considered as junk now, such as downloaded pictures or screenshots, etc.

Method 1. Best Ways to Delete Photos from MacBook Air/Pro via WidsMob Viewer Pro

If you do not want to use the Mac default photo library app to manage your photos and delete unwanted photos on your MacBook, you can choose WidsMob Viewer Pro. WidsMob Viewer Pro is a folder-based media viewer. It is the easiest and fastest solution to view images and videos on Mac. With this photo viewer, you can easily organize your photos on MacBook.

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Step 1. Install WidsMob Viewer Pro on your MacBook. And open the software to click + on the upper left to import your photo folder into this photo viewer.

Import Media Folder Viewer Pro

Step 2. You can easily browse your photos in the library mode. Or you can use full-screen mode, slideshow mode, or preview mode to view big size photos.

Slideshow Viewer Pro

Step 3. You can delete photos directly on the preview mode using the trash sign on the right bottom.

View Photo Viewer Pro

Method 2. Migrate A Library into Photos Manually

Before you delete photos from MacBook, you should better backup photos to iCloud, in case you want to get them back one day. Or you can migrate a photo library into Photos.

Generally, if you only have one library on your MacBook, the migration from iPhoto or Aperture to Photos happens automatically. However, if you have more than one photo library in your Picture folder, the migration is also easy. When you first open Photos, you need to choose the photo library you want. Photos app offers you to open libraries created in iPhoto or Aperture. With few steps as below, you can migrate a library into Photos quickly.

Step 1. Quit the Photos app on your MacBook.

Step 2. Hold down the Option key and open Photos again.

Step 3. Choose the library you would like to open and tap on Choose Library. If the library isn’t listed, don’t worry. Click the Other Library button to navigate to the library you want. Then click Open.

Note: You can drag the library you wish to open to the Photos icon in the dock.

Migrate Library into Photos

After you completed the migration, the pictures only exist in one location on a hard drive. In other words, Photos, iPhoto, and Aperture share the same library format. It seems that you do not need to delete iPhoto or Aperture library. The development of iPhoto and Aperture is no longer processing. To have a clear-up of the Picture folder, you should delete duplicate photos on MacBook. Moreover, any changes you make in iPhoto or Aperture won’t sync to Photos. Likewise, any changes made in Photos won’t reflect in iPhoto or Aperture.

Method 3. Delete iPhoto or Aperture Photos from MacBook

When you upgraded your MacBook to OS X Yosemite v 10.10.3 or later, Photos as a part of the update will appear on your Mac. If you downloaded iPhoto or Aperture earlier, you likely have more than one photo organizer on Mac. Duplicate libraries are meaningless. So, you can remove the old photo library from MacBook.

Step 1. Open a new Finder window on your Mac.

Step 2. Tap on Pictures in the left column.

Step 3. Scroll down and look for iPhoto Library.

Step 4. Right-click on iPhoto Library and choose to Move to Trash in the dropdown menu.

Note: You can also drag iPhoto Library to the upper Trash icon on the dock and then let go.

Step 5. Empty the Trash.

Delete iPhoto Photos on MacBook

At this point, you deleted the iPhoto library from MacBook. You can go to Photos to make sure that all of the images are still appear in there.

Method 4. Delete Photos from MacBook through Photos App

Now that you have already made your Picture folders as clean as you like, it is time to free up your MacBook storage space. It is very convenient for you to delete photos from MacBook Air or MacBook Pro via the Photos app.

1. Erase Photos or Videos in Photos for macOS

When you want to delete photos from MacBook, you can go to Photos to preview photos and videos before deleting.

Step 1. Run the Photos app on your Mac.

Step 2. Click on the Albums tab in the upper navigation bar to get a quick preview of all images on your device.

Step 3. Select the pictures your want to delete and then right-click, hit on Delete, or press Command + Delete.

Delete Photos on Album Macbook

When you delete photos in Photos, they will store in a Recently Deleted album. In that album, they remain for the numbers of days shown and then deleted forever. You can recover items before that period or manually remove them from the album. Similarly, if you accidentally delete photos from your SD card, you can recover deleted photos from the SD card.

2. Delete All Photos from MacBook

If you would like to delete multiple photos from MacBook instead of removing photos one by one, you can follow the steps as below:

Step 1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.

Step 2. Select the Photos section in the top navigation.

Step 3. Head for Moments you can see that group of photos and videos taken around the same time and place.

Step 4. Find the moment you would like to remove. Then click on the first photo, hold Shift on the keyboard and click on the last photo. Or go to Edit in the top column and tap on Select All.

Step 5. Press Delete to complete the deletion.

Delete All Photos from Macbook

The method to delete batch photos from MacBook at once is quite simple and easy to learn. You can also obtain the approach to delete photos from iPhone as these two methods are similar.

3. Delete Photos from MacBook Permanently

Once you think there is no necessary to keep the photos on your MacBook anymore, you can use Photos to erase them permanently.

Step 1. Open Photos app on your Mac.

Step 2. Tap on Albums in the toolbar and double-click the Recently Deleted album. Or, go to File and find Show Recently Deleted.

Step 3. Check the images or videos. You can either choose to delete or recover.

Step 4. Click Delete in the upper right corner to permanently delete photos on MacBook. Otherwise, you can tap on Recover to get them back.

Delete Photos from Macbook Permanently

Except for the Photos app can organize your Photos on MacBook, iCloud Photo Library offers you to access your entire Mac photos and video library from all your devices. Hence, if you want to delete photos from MacBook through iCloud, you should note that as soon as you delete pictures in the iCloud Photo Library, those pictures will disappear in iCloud and Mac within the same time.

You manage iCloud Photos in the best way and learn more detail about iCloud. If you wish to delete photos from MacBook but keep them in iCloud, you can use the Photos app.

4. Delete Photos from Photo Stream on MacBook

It seems you cannot erase photos from MacBook Photo Stream on your iPhone currently. While if you want to delete photos from MacBook Photo Stream, you can give Photos app a try. Before the deletion, you should ensure that My Photo Stream is a turn-on. Follow the steps to turn on My Photo Stream.

1. Go to the Apple menu and choose System Preferences.

2. Tap on the iCloud tab and then click on Photos.

3. Click on the Options button and check My Photo Stream.

When you finish the above preparations, start removing photos from Photo Stream on MacBook.

1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.

2. Go to Albums and open My Photo Stream album.

3. Click the pictures you want to erase.

4. Tap on Delete Photo in the toolbar.

Delete Photos from Photo Stream Mac

Besides, if you wonder at things about Photo Stream on your iPhone, you can link how to delete Photo Stream to know more specific information.


When you want to delete photos on MacBook to free up storage space, the Photos app can help you a lot. After knowing the feasible methods to remove photos from MacBook, you can also delete the photostream. Clear up iCloud space and avoid paying for extra storage. You can feel free to share your comments in the article with us if you have any other queries about deleting photos from MacBook.

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