Are deleted photos from iPad still on iCloud?

Quick Answer

Photos that are deleted from an iPad may still remain in your iCloud Photo Library if you have iCloud Photos enabled. When you delete a photo on your iPad, it gets marked for deletion but will not be permanently erased from iCloud until theRecently Deleted folder clears, which can take up to 40 days. To immediately and permanently delete photos from both iPad and iCloud, you must manage your Recently Deleted folder in iCloud and delete photos from there.

Are Photos Deleted from iPad Deleted from iCloud?

When you delete photos from the Photos app on your iPad, they are not immediately deleted from your iCloud Photo Library. This is because iCloud stores all your photos and syncs them across your devices. So when you delete a photo on iPad, it is marked for deletion but remains available on iCloud and your other devices.

The photo will eventually be deleted from iCloud storage within 30 days as part of the Recently Deleted folder cleanup. So during this time, the photo is still taking up space in your iCloud storage quota.

How the Recently Deleted Folder Works

iCloud maintains a Recently Deleted folder that stores photos and videos for up to 40 days after being deleted from any of your devices. This acts as a safety net in case you accidentally delete an important photo and need to recover it.

When you delete a photo on iPad, it gets moved to the Recently Deleted folder and marked for permanent deletion after 30 days. It will continue to appear in iCloud Photo Library and sync to your devices during this time.

After 30 days, the content gets permanently deleted from iCloud storage. Once removed from Recently Deleted, the photos cannot be recovered.

When are Deleted iPad Photos Permanently Erased from iCloud?

In summary, for photos deleted on your iPad:

  • They are immediately deleted from the iPad Photos app but remain available on iCloud for up to 40 days.
  • They continue syncing to any linked devices for 30 days after deletion.
  • After 30 days, they are marked for permanent deletion.
  • After 40 days total, they are permanently erased from iCloud storage.

So if you need to recover or permanently erase a deleted photo right away, you have to manually manage the Recently Deleted folder in iCloud.

How to Immediately Delete iPad Photos from iCloud

If you don’t want to wait up to 40 days for deleted iPad photos to be removed from iCloud, you can manually delete them sooner:

On iPhone/iPad

To permanently erase photos from your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the Photos app and tap on the Albums tab at the bottom.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Recently Deleted to view all your deleted photos.
  3. Tap Select at the top right corner.
  4. Select the photos you want to delete permanently by tapping them.
  5. Tap Delete in the bottom left and confirm deletion.

This will instantly and permanently delete the photos from both iPad and iCloud storage.


You can also manage Recently Deleted and permanently erase photos from iCloud through a web browser:

  1. Go to and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Click on Photos.
  3. In the sidebar, click on Recently Deleted to view deleted photos.
  4. Select the photos you want to permanently erase.
  5. Click Delete in the bottom left and confirm.

This will remove the photos from iCloud immediately so they won’t sync back to your devices.

Recovering Deleted iPad Photos from iCloud

If you need to retrieve photos that have been deleted from your iPad but are still in Recently Deleted, you can recover them from iCloud:

On iPhone/iPad

  1. Open the Photos app and go to the Albums tab.
  2. Tap on Recently Deleted.
  3. Locate the deleted photos you want to recover.
  4. Tap Recover below each photo thumbnail to restore them.

The recovered photos will again be visible in Photos and sync back from iCloud to your iPad and other devices.


  1. Sign in to and go to Photos.
  2. Click on Recently Deleted.
  3. Select the photos you want to recover.
  4. Click Recover at the bottom.

This will move the photos out of Recently Deleted and make them available in your iCloud Photo Library again.

Ways to Permanently Delete All iPad Photos from iCloud

If you want to mass delete your entire iCloud photo library and albums from your iPad, you have a few options:

Delete and Disable iCloud Photos

  1. On your iPad, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud.
  2. Tap on Manage Storage > Photos.
  3. Disable iCloud Photos so photos will no longer sync.
  4. Open Photos app on your iPad and select all photos using Select.
  5. Tap Delete to move them to Recently Deleted.
  6. On, permanently delete all photos in Recently Deleted.

This will erase all photos from both iPad and iCloud storage.

Delete Photos Library from iCloud

  1. Sign in to
  2. Go to Manage Your Data and Storage.
  3. Scroll down to Photos and select Delete next to the Photos Library you want removed.

This will permanently delete the entire library including all albums from iCloud.

Erase iPad and Disable iCloud Photos

  1. Create a backup of iPad photos you want to keep elsewhere.
  2. On iPad, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos and disable it.
  3. Perform an Erase All Content and Settings reset on your iPad.
  4. Set up iPad again without enabling iCloud Photos.

Doing a full iPad erase will wipe all local photos. Disabling iCloud Photos prevents the deleted photos from syncing back to your wiped iPad.

Can You Recover Permanently Deleted iCloud Photos?

Once photos have been permanently deleted from the Recently Deleted folder, there is no built-in way to recover them from iCloud. Here are some options to try:

  • Use a third party iCloud recovery app to extract deleted photo data from your account.
  • Contact Apple Support to see if they can restore deleted photos from a backup.
  • If you had downloaded or backed up the photos elsewhere like iCloud Drive or computer, you may be able to restore them from that external location.
  • Use data recovery software to scan your iPad’s storage for photo fragments that were not fully overwritten.

However, there is no guarantee with any method. The best way is prevention by having another backup of your important photos, so you can restore them if accidentally deleted from iCloud.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do deleted photos stay in my iCloud storage?

Deleted photos remain in your iCloud storage for up to 40 days in the Recently Deleted folder before being permanently erased. This allows you time to recover photos accidentally deleted on any synced device.

How long are deleted iPad photos kept in iCloud?

Photos deleted on your iPad stay in iCloud for 30 days after being marked for deletion. After 40 days total from initial deletion, the photos are permanently removed by iCloud.

Do erased iPad photos disappear from iCloud?

Yes, photos erased from your iPad Photos app will eventually disappear from iCloud after the Recently Deleted retention period ends. It takes up to 40 days to be permanently erased.

If I delete photos on iPad will they delete from iCloud?

No, deleting photos on your iPad will not immediately or directly delete them from iCloud. Deleted device photos remain available in iCloud for up to 30 days before being permanently erased.

How can I remove deleted photos from my iPad and iCloud?

To immediately and permanently delete photos from both iPad and iCloud, manually delete them from the Recently Deleted folder in the Photos app or on


In summary, photos deleted on an iPad will persist in the iCloud storage Recently Deleted folder for up to 30 days before being permanently removed after a total of 40 days from initial deletion.

To instantly and permanently erase photos from iPad and iCloud, you need to manually delete them from Recently Deleted. Once permanently deleted, retrieval options for removed iCloud photos are limited unless you had additional backups.

So when deleting important iPad photos, be sure to have a secondary backup in another location like on your computer, iCloud Drive, or third party cloud storage. This ensures you have photo recovery options if they are accidentally erased from iCloud, helping avoid permanent loss.