iPhone Shows Photos in Storage, But None on Device? Here’s Why!

iPhone Shows Photos in Storage, But None on Device? Here’s Why!

iPhone shows photos in Storage when there are none

Have you ever looked in the iPhone Storage section of your iOS Settings and discovered that the Photos section shows that it’s taking up storage space, but you don’t have any Photos in the Photos app?

If you have deleted the photos from your iPhone but the iPhone Storage section shows that Photos are still on the device, there’s probably a good reason for that, and it’s not a bug. Read on to learn more about what causes this problem, and how to fix this issue so that storage is not taken up by photos that were deleted.

Why does iPhone show Photos in Storage, but none exist because they were deleted?

First, let’s understand what causes the iPhone to show that Photos are taking up storage when there are no photos on the device because they have been deleted.

When you delete a photo from the iPhone (or iPad), the photo does not actually delete itself instantly by default. Instead, the photo goes into a “Recently Deleted” folder on the iPhone.

Thus, when you delete a photo or multiple photos from the iPhone, it’s moved from the main Photos app Camera Roll and albums to the “Recently Deleted” photo album, where they will delete themselves automatically after 30 days, or if storage on the device gets too tight, or if the user chooses to immediately and permanently delete the photos from the iPhone or iPad.

Now you might be asking, what’s the point of that? Well this is for good reason! The “Recently Deleted” folder is intended to allow the iPhone to be able to recover deleted photos easily, usually in case they were deleted accidentally.

How to Fix iPhone Showing Photos When None Exist on the Device

You may have guessed by now that the solution to this problem is quite simple; you need to permanently delete the photos manually from the iOS “Recently Deleted” album. This will permanently and completely delete the photos from the iPhone or iPad so be sure you want to do this, it is not reversible.

  1. Open the “Photos” app and go to the ‘Albums’ view
  2. Scroll all the way to the bottom to locate the “Recently Deleted” photos album
  3. The Recently Deleted album

  4. Tap on “Select” in Recently Deleted
  5. Tap on “Delete All” to delete all photos from the iPhone or iPad
  6. Confirm that you want to permanently remove and delete the photos from the device, this will recover the storage space in iOS
  7. Confirm to delete the recently deleted photos to clear Photos storage

That’s all there is to it, if you return to the “Storage” section of Settings you will find that the Photos app no longer shows taking up any storage because the photos have been permanently deleted from the device.

There is no way to recover permanently deleted photos, without restoring the iPhone or iPad from a backup anyway.

Are there other reasons why iPhone or iPad may show Photos in Storage that don’t exist?

It’s certainly possible, but perhaps not too likely. For example it’s possible that a crash or bug or something of a technical nature might erroneously show Photos as taking up device storage when they are not. Simply rebooting the iPhone (or iPad) may resolve those type of issues and is certainly worth a try too.

Have you ever encountered this before? Was the reason your Photos were showing as Storage because they were in the Recently Deleted album, or was there another reason? Share your experiences in the comments below.


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