Devices Services

Wait, you can’t DELETE photos from the iOS photostream?

I do have to wonder at Apple, sometimes.

When the company introduced the reverse scroll in OS X Lion, so that all of a sudden I had to drag downwards instead of up (or whatever), I did have to think twice about the validity of it. I eventually trained myself, but I know quite a few people who just switched off the function.

Full screen apps and all this swiping got confusing. Genuinely confusing. I more or less get it, but I’m willing to bet that my parents won’t have a damn clue.

I think it’s a screw-up from Apple. I think they’ve made things more difficult that they need to be.

Which brings me to the Photostream.

I’m delighted that it works.

I did some experimentation with my iPhone, my MacBook Air and my Desktop back in the UK. I took a rubbish photo on the iPhone and seconds later it appeared in the photostreams of both machines. Woop!

I took a few more shit photos just to see it working. I beamed with delight.

Then I tried to delete them.

I couldn’t seem to delete them on the ‘photostream’ bit of the iPhone. So I deleted the photo from the gallery on the iPhone. I figured that must be the master copy. I waited a few moments. Nope.

Piece of flipping bollocks.

I tried to go into the photostream on iPhoto on my Mac to delete. No. No option to delete.



I’m in a strange place at the moment. That is, Apple stuff DOES NOT WORK.

I am supremely, supremely pissed off. The whole flipping reason I pay stupid, STUPID prices for this shit is so that it works.

“It just works” — that’s the mantra the whole thing is meant to live by, right?

So how do I delete a photo?

I can’t believe I am even having to THINK. I pay the Apple tax so that I don’t have to think.

There’s probably a very simple explanation.

I’m willing to bet there’s probably an option or a tick box or some command that I’ve totally missed.

But hold on a moment, I am pretty good at this stuff. I am a bit of a geek. I have programmed quite a few successful, scalable systems architectures in my time. If I don’t get it — immediately — then what about the rest of the population?

Surely it’s not unreasonable to assume that if you DELETE a photo from the device you took it, it should therefore remove itself from the photostream?

This is actually a rather important feature, n’est pas?

I logged into iCloud.

Fat lot of fucking use that is at the moment. I logged in looking for the photo gallery.

Well, again, it’s a reasonable expectation, right? Remember I am paying through the flipping nose for this whole experience. And that’s all fine as long as it works. So imagine my annoyance when there’s no online gallery.

I presumed that since these photos are being placed on the iCloud that when I log into it, I’ll see some sort of online-picasa-style gallery. I thought perhaps that’s where I would do the deleting.


That, er, doesn’t seem to be there.

So now… now I have to do the flipping unthinkable. I now have to do a sodding Google search to find out the answer to something that should have been FIXED, Apple.

Oh guess what?

Read this paragraph from the iCloud page:

1000 of your latest photos. With you all the time.
iCloud manages your Photo Stream efficiently so you don’t run out of storage space on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If you have Photo Stream enabled on your iOS device, every single photo you take appears in a special Photo Stream album that holds your last 1000 photos. You can’t edit or delete photos from your Photo Stream. If you want to touch up a photo or keep a favorite shot permanently, simply save it to your Camera Roll. iCloud stores new photos for 30 days, so you have plenty of time to connect your iOS device to Wi-Fi and make sure you always have your most recent shots handy.

Massive, massive FAIL Apple.

That’s fucking useless.

So every photo I take — EVERY PHOTO — whether it’s a blurred shot of my foot or a throw-away screenshot, it’s going to be WITH ME for 30 days? And I can’t delete it?

So you’re telling me, Mr Apple, that I could grab my friend’s iPhone, visit some dodgy adult sites and take some screenshots (which will go straight into his photostream) and he’ll have to live with that for 30 days? And so will his parents whose iPads are sharing the same account?


Now then. That’s a problem.

Update: I negated to point out that the reason this is a problem is that my expectations have been entirely mismanaged. I presumed. I assumed. I thought it worked differently than it actually goes. I was given the impression — or, more likely, I applied my assumptions to the raw information I was given, most likely during the Steve Jobs iOS 5 keynote earlier this year. Am I expecting way too much of Apple or is this genuinely a stupid, stupid fail point?

Update 2: A few Apple apologists are really worried that you, dear reader, will arrive at this post and having read my above tantrum, conclude that there is indeed no way to ‘delete photos’ from Photo Stream. There is. You can clear out all the photos if you want using a command on iCloud. Unfortunately that dumps the whole stream, lock stock. So if you do find your friend has uploaded some naughty photos to your Photo Stream as a joke, and you need to delete them, you can.

It’s not actually THAT simple though. You’ll find the full details on the Apple knowledge base. Once you’ve dumped them from the iCloud command, you’ll then need to go sequentially through each flipping iOS device you own and reset the Photo Stream. Here are the specific instructions from that Apple support post:

How do I delete photos from my Photo Stream in iCloud?

Individual photos cannot be deleted from your Photo Stream. You can, however, delete all the photos in your Photo Stream by clicking the Reset Photo Stream button in your account at The Reset Photo Stream button will instantly delete all Photo Stream photos stored in iCloud, but it will not remove any Photo Stream photos that have already been pushed to your devices.

How do I delete photos from my Photo Stream on my devices?

After deleting the photos from your Photo Stream in iCloud, you can remove the Photo Stream photos from your devices as follows:

On your iOS devices, go to Settings > iCloud > Photo Stream and turn Photo Stream off. This will delete all the photos from your Photo Stream album. If there are any photos you want to keep on your device, make sure to add them to an album or save them to your Camera Roll first.

FAIL, FAIL and thrice FAIL Apple.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

132 replies on “Wait, you can’t DELETE photos from the iOS photostream?”

Yeah, I’ve got random shots of yesterday’s lunch and my cat’s vomit this morning (no connection implied) and I’m stuck with them for 30 days, or until I take 1000 extra photos to push them off the precipice.

What if I take a quick snap of, say a possible birthday present for my wife? Which then syncs to her iPad and hey, surprise gone! I won’t even get into the pr0n issue, which is probably like 52% of all photographs taken…

I can see it being handy at crime scenes however, where you can snap a photo of the perp and when he politely asks you to delete it you’re like, “Ha HA! It’s already synced to iCloud!” so he kills you.

you can remove photos from photo stream. however you have to remove them all. not a big deal if you move them or save them, but still a lot of people so far don’t even know about this… 

log into 
up at the top right of the screen where it shows your name click it. 
click advanced. 
”reset photo stream” 

voi la.

Wow – glad you found that out before I did.

This means that the iPhones our kids were previously allowed to muck around with – no more. Small children being what they are, they’ll take photos of each other in the bath, the cat, anything. This is just Not Good Enough.

I’ve had the same reaction after doing almost every same step the same as you. Naturally I googled it to see if I wasn’t the only one missing what I was sure to be a pretty basic function. Yeah being able to select individual photos and delete from the stream seems like a no brainer. But then again I thought that being able to organize photos into albums was pretty basic too and they just finally added that feature to iOS 5.

As can be seen from the comments already here you do not seem to be alone in this! And quite frankly I’m gob smacked! Surely this is going to be fixed very soon though, and add a sort of “do you want this to go to photostream option?” when you snap the picture or as you say allow you to delete the picture on the stream when it is there. I would imagine that both would be needed! They could offer various sync options along the lines of “immediately for everything, at time xx:xx everything automatically, when in range of certain WiFi networks, ask every time, ask at time xx:xx for each picture”. And what about roaming?? If this is uploading the full picture, or even if it scales it down, this is still going to chew the data when aborad like nothing a normal consumer is going to have experienced before! I can see it now, people snapping away the holiday snaps (and the point about the pictures you wouldn’t want the whole world to see has been made already) and they are instantly shared to the stream! Yeah that is going to generate some huge data bills! And even if customers are getting texts from their UK based MNO’s warning them about their data usage how many will be able to figure out that is the act of  taking a simple picture that is running up their data bills! I need to share this article with all my iPhone totting friends asap! Thanks Ewan, and here is to Apple getting this sorted ASAP!

The roaming issue will be neutered by folk using the ‘don’t use data whilst roaming’ function. The trouble is, if you happen to just switch on data for a minute so you can do a quick send/receive, and you’ve got 150 snaps waiting, I imagine — as you point out — they’ll start uploading right away. Dear me. So the one quid you though your were spending doing some quick roaming will quickly grow.

On the other side, what if I’m not ‘saving’ photos from the photo stream?  Does that mean that once a photo is in the photo stream for 30 days it disappears completely unless it has been saved into an album?   And if it is is saved into an album, is that album visible on any synced device?

OK well with it being that simple to turn of data while roaming then yes a large number of people will be spared the worst of it, but what about those who think that they will not bother as they don’t plan on using the internet! I’ve already seen two comments from friends this morning basically saying that they have “heard from a friend of a friend” that this whole photostream/iCloud data transfer has been paid for by Apple and “well Blackberry owners don’t pay for their data!”. So there is some confusion about all of this. I’m a little surprised that my iPhone toting friends aren’t more clued in about this all actually. A lot of them have said that they didn’t approach the iOS upgrade with a whole lot of knowledge because, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, they found it all a bit too complicated! Where have Apple gone wrong on this? Surely all of this should of been up front, clear and simple and fully digested by even the least technically gifted Apple owner by now? Right? Or did I miss something too?

iOS5 camera mode needs a porn-button to move pics in a special folder, inaccessible to Photostream. So does iPhoto and Aperture : ask on import to move selected pics to special libraries.. 

Goto settings when you disable your photo stream option it prompts you to delete all pictures from your photo stream

Yeah, this is a shocking over site. Especially since I took like three pics of some hot guy today, and it immediately streamed it to all my home devices and my boyfriend is not pleased.

Definitely not the only one who is surprised, disappointed and a bit pee’d off.  Ho hum.  More Apple “it just doesn’t work” the way you want it to work because you’re doing it wrong.

Oh I can’t be bothered with that! You mean I need to buy a whole new copy of my music, video and apps so that my wife can still use what she expects? 😉

Being able to delete individual photos was not requisite functionality because that was not how this feature was intended to work. The photos were not meant to be available indefinitely so there was no need to offer a method for deletion. Maybe having a method for deleting indivual photos is not the solution at all, maybe the more suitable solution would be to give the user the option to reduce the number of streamed photos from 1000 to 10 or 20. Another solution would be to provide an option to reduce the number of days photos are available for viewing from 30 to 2 or 3. They could even offer both options.

The thing is they’ve instituted a system that works in a certain way and we have the option of using it or not the way it is and deleting individual photos may not even be possible in the way it’s been implemented. So again, it’s not a fail on Apple’s part, they offered something for us to use and if we like it we’ll use it, if not then we’ll not use it. No one else offers a feature like this because no one has thought of this before. Maybe we should give a try for a while to understand it and see if it really works for us before damn it all to hell because it doesn’t work they way we think it should. If Apple provided features on their products that work the way we think they should work then they wouldn’t be innovative, forward thinking company that they are.

I agree it is certainly innovative — multiple devices with a shared feed. It’s wonderful. I just need to be able to swipe-and-delete from the queue that’s all.
By NOT including this, the company has missed my expectations completely. That’s the first time, ever, I think.

I think it’s highly possible that the mainstream media could pick up on this and blow it up as a privacy problem rather dramatically given ‘delete’ is missing – look at what they did about location! And you can easily switch that off…

That’s the dumbest thing I every heard!!!!  All we want is an option to delete the photos on our phones.  Why should I have to go to another device, boot it up to go to delete photos off my phone which will not be permanently deleted in ICLOUD invading my privacy.  JUST PUT THE DELETE BUTTON BACK ON THE PHONE!!!!  It can not be more simple.  Give me the choice!!!

Yeah, I agree, sort of.   Photostream is not a completely steaming pile of horse excrement but almost.  Thing is, I would really like a function like iOS photostream if:

1. I could delete photos from it and move pix from an existing camera roll onto it.   Both of these are essential.

2. I can turn it on and off from the camera.   ie:   “I’m experimenting right now and I don’t want this crap to be distributed”

3. Photos aren’t deleted when I turn the stream off.   This is really dumb.   Say I have a thousand photos in the stream and I want to turn the stream off while I fiddle about with a new camera app or I am doing something weird like experimenting with photos of the bark texture of an elm tree.   When I turn the stream off, all the photos are deleted from the camera.  When I turn it back on, it flogs my network by downloading the pix from the stream again.  Yikes.

This was not well thought through.   Kind of an “alpha” app.   Let’s throw some pepper in the air and see what sneezes.

I have been trying to figure out why apple limited photostream functionality so drastically.   I’ve been mulling about storage performance issues: fragmentation, i/o performance etc and nothing seems to make sense.   I think it is just more of this “sparse is beautiful” and “apple knows whats best” arrogance.   Either that or they just wanted to get it out of the door and purposely limited initial capabilities until they see how it is used.

I am hoping it is the latter.

Of course, those of us who aren’t Mac owners and are still on XP are sol with your very useful suggestion.

Apple makes some excellent products but as a company they suck.  I did desktop support for a decade and by far they were the worst hardware/os vendor to deal with.   Nothing is ever their fault; it is always the user.  Eh, I’ll still upgrade to an iphone 5 when it comes out but my other phone is a Samsung.   I’m glad they both are duking it out.   Competition is good for everyone.

Then they won’t be happy with me: weird night shots, 80% of which are unusable.   Pattern experiments with colour and texture.   Angle and lighting fiddling.

No T’s n A’s unfortunately.

That’s just dumb.  It deletes them from your device but not from the stream.   Turn the stream back on and they’re all back.   Really dumb if you want to just get rid of some and not all.   An app only it’s mother could love.  

That’s a good point and a very useful strategy.  I think Photostream is a “fail” in its current form though.   Lots of potential but I have a nagging feeling that the lack of functionality is some sort of apple strat to see what might be monetized.   ie fling the app out and check how it’s used and what the complaints are.   Plan marketing tactics accordingly.

On second thought, nah.   Never ascribe conspiracy to a situation where simple stupidity provides a sufficient and complete explanation.

Good grief.  If there is one thing that irks me more than an alpha app under the guise of innovation, it is mac-olytes who figure everything Apple does is great.

Give your head a shake.   This is an almost useless function for anyone who cares about the photos they distribute.   Personally, I can’t thing of a situation where I would want to turn the damn thing on, given it’s current state. 

Yeah, It’s pretty…wait MAJORLY stupid that you cannot delete certain photos you don’t want out of photostream. STUPID STUPID STUPID, no other word for it. I’ve taken some photos I can do without seeing ever again.

In order to delete photos from photo stream you have to go into the settings for photos & turn photo stream off.  It deletes all photostream photos but not camera roll photos.

I’ve been through exactly the same expreriences as the author. Apple really fail this time and i’m wish i could sell my iPhone for Samsung Galaxy Note

I don’t get it, Ewan. It’s the exact solution to the problem that threw you into a fit of rage and made you blast a load of poorly researched blogging all over your screen. 

And the solution existed before you wrote the post.

You’re clearly aware of this, but you’re unable to acknowledge that your entire blog post was pointless. What would have been more logical is if you would have done a minute of research, found the answer to the problem that you instead chose to wail about. Hell, you could have even posted the solution on your blog for others who might have had the same quandary. Like me – which is how I found this blog, this post, this thread, and ultimately found the answer, from others who bothered to do the research that you did not. (And again, your flippant response to those who did the research is really just pathetic.)

One more thing: Why don’t you POST THE SOLUTION on your Twitter feed and whatever other social media streams these idiots below are for some unknown reason paying attention to? People are still spreading this blog post around, people are still saying, for instance: “Seems odd for @apple not to realize that people will want to be able to delete photos from their photo stream in #iOS5” …Seems to me that what’s odd is that you haven’t followed up with the answer to the problem that you didn’t bother to figure out on your own before writing this ridiculous post – that’s what people actually want to know.

And, again, this isn’t “limited” at all. The clearing out of the entire photostream is the only option that even makes sense. Individual pruning of images makes sense on the actual devices, which, if set up to sync with the photostream, will already have all images from the photostream at the time of deletion. So, what would be the point of selective pruning of images from the photostream on iCloud, if all of the connected devices already have all of those images synced? Think about it. This isn’t limited, nor is it a “nuclear option” – it’s the only option that makes any sense. If it were an online photo gallery or something, this would be different, but it’s obviously not that, so there would be zero value (literally none at all) in deleting anything but all of them, which simply prevents the images from being resynced to the devices that they were already synced to once deleted.

Explain, clearly, why selective pruning of images on iCloud’s photostream would be useful, when all the iCloud photostream is is a mechanism to sync photos between devices. 

But, first, let’s consider a couple facts here:

1) All of the photos on the iCloud photostream, at any given moment, are ostensibly synced to the connected devices. In other words, those photos are already ON those devices. 

2) You can’t view photos on iCloud like an online photo gallery, as its only function is to sync photos between devices.

3) This iCloud photostream storage isn’t accessible to anyone except the owner of the account – and more accurately, the owner of the devices the account is associated with.

4) Selectively pruning images from that iCloud storage of photos won’t change the photos that are already synced to those attached devices.

Now, considering those facts, explain to me why an “individual delete” function would have any bearing, any relevance or usefulness whatsoever, were it added to the iCloud photostream. Because all of those images are at any moment already synced between devices, as the photostream is intended to function, pruning out images on the photostream would have no functional usefulness.

What I would suggest is that Apple could include more control over what is UPLOADED to the photostream – for instance, an “HDR On/Off”-esque option in Camera to enable adding the image to photostream or not. But plucking images one by one out of photostream is irrelevant once the photos are uploaded, because by that point they’re already synced between devices, at which point you need to delete those images, locally, on an individual basis, as per how the photo syncing of the iCloud photostream is intended to function.

Another viewpoint of mine is that you’re unable to take into consideration a logical answer to a problem you didn’t bother to research before blasting all over the web about it and actually creating more confusion than was necessary. Just another example of why technology blogs like this are worthless.

Re-read the title of your blog post and decide if you were completely off the mark – while I assume you think too highly of yourself to admit you were wrong, you should really post a followup so people who stumble upon this blog (like 99% of the people who posted here) can see the solution to the problem you said had no solution. Your “UPDATE” at the end of your post is where that followup should appear.

Admit I’m wrong? You can’t delete photos from the photo stream! That’s fact!
You can delete them ALL. That’s fine. But the post is about my reaction to not being able to delete individual photos. So I feel no requirement to admit or declare an error.
I think you’re right about adding an update though. I will do that shortly.

Agreed, you CAN DELETE photos from your photostream. Furthermore, there is no effective use for selectively deleting photos from the photostream, since they sync to the attached devices as soon as they hit iCloud. By selectively deleting photos from the photostream, you’d have zero impact on the photos already synced to your devices – selective deletion has to happen on that level once the images are synced. This is why the only deletion option that has any value in this situation is deleting all. Which, again, also has no impact on the devices that images already synced to. 

As I said in another response you evidently didn’t approve: The option that WOULD make sense is for Apple to implement an addition to Camera (similar to the HDR on/off option) that would allow you to turn the photostream sync on and off shot by shot. If you want everything uploaded, just leave it on. Don’t want your photos synced to your other devices, turn it off with a single touch. But selectively pruning them once they’re on iCloud will have no bearing on anything.

I thought I’d approved everything, sorry about that.

My point is that by selectively deleting from the photo stream — or from the camera stream — that should impact the rest of my stream. Just leaving it ‘everything or nothing’ smacks of ‘Alpha’. A lot of people on this thread have been arguing Apple’s ‘side’ — an argument that will be negated when they update iOS at some point with either some kind of selective delete function, or — as you rightly point out — making it possible to select ‘photo stream on/off’ when you’re taking a shot in the camera. That makes a lot more sense.

I agree – once Apple makes updates that undermine even my argument, I’m sure I’ll see the logic in the changes, in which case throwing my own argument out the window. 

But I think what we can safely expect is that Apple will give far more transparency to what is in the iCloud storage for all data (photostream included, control over selective devices – another great feature that could be added, so certain content can be limited to certain devices, or even a step further, that content up-synced to iCloud from device A can only be sync’d as a rule to device B and C, but not device D, and so on. 

For now, though, looking at the last (pre “Update”) part of your original blog post, I think that’s a scare that everyone had – in fact, when I was wondering, wait, where the hell are my images going now and how do I control it, I was very dismayed that I didn’t have the control to simply stop it in its tracks. That’s why the full-delete of the photostream storage is important to inform people of, and I should add that Apple didn’t make it easy. The iCloud interface should have had, from the get go, a Photostream icon or even simply a “delete photostream content” button, instead of something hidden under “Advanced” (which we, you, me, and most others on this thread, didn’t navigate through til much later on after the panic hit and diffused through the internets). 

Anyway, I think we’re both on the same page with this, and apologies for it getting a little heated – I’m aware of your logic on this, and I think the same vice versa.

Cheers, and Happy Halloween!

In a reply a minute ago to Ewan, some of these functions are what I suspect will be implemented in the rest of the photostream-compatible apps. More control over what content is added to the stream, and then more control at the iCloud level of which content, from which devices, can be synced automatically, or manually, with other specifically selected devices. More control, the better, and once all of this control is implemented, I think the entire system will be far more useful. One simple scenario I would find useful would be to continuously upload images from my iPhone 4 to iCloud, automatically, knowing the content there is safe, secure and private, yet not automatically syncing to my other advices. Being able to then connect to the photostream via my iPad and control (at the device level or at the iCloud level) which content I want synced down. Obviously the logic right now is for the photostream to sync everything without thinking, without needing to push a button, as they say, which is just fine, but giving the control to those who do want a more fine tuned functionality is really going to help this thing take off and be more widely adopted.

While I generally love Apple. My love is NOT unconditional or blind. I like the innovations proposed by Apple, but I think they should still listen to user feedback from actual experience using the innovations. I agree that, while not intended to be used that way, iCloud and PhotoStream should allow at least the following abilities:

1) Select individually which photos should be sent (or NOT) to iCloud via PhotoStream.
2) Allow for individual photos to be deleted selectively from PhotoStream/iCloud and/or from individual devices.

I don’t care about the debate between streaming vs storage, this is what I would have expected to be available intuitively. To me this new “innovation” was more about facilitating the transfer of photos from the device that captured them (mostly iPhone4) and other devices on which we want the photos to be available (without the whole USB cable and iTunes sync circus). At to some extent, it becomes about storage (if only as an exchange/transfer platform).

My 2 cents…

Right.  A way that somebody had to point out to him, one which I couldn’t see either.  I’m no idiot.  Ewan’s no idiot.  The fact that photostream is more of a documentation of every single picture you’ve taken instead of something useful, like, say, a collection of your favorite shots you can sync between your devices, is pretty damn lame. 

So, this is literally a stream, of which you’ll have to fish out the images you care about on each and every other device which is connected before it runs out of the stream?  This doesn’t sound convenient.  It sounds super freaking confusing, tiresome, and painful.  I really do hate to say it but I must repeat Ewan’s sentiment: for the digital era wherein Apple has pioneered the mantra of ‘it just works’, this really is bullocks.

Now that has to be a joke.  So, because Apple botched (which I’ll easily concede at this point) a feature that is NEW to the OS, one which you can DISABLE at any time you please, you want to switch to a phone that snorts battery like a coke fiend, responds to touch like a catatonic grand-dad, and has more plastic than Heidi Montag?  Not to mention it sucks as a poor imitation of the iPhone?  

What is that, a stylus included in the box?Srsly?

If you’re on XP, that’s your (very serious, very unfortunate, and very laughable) problem, Pinky.  Not ours.

And, again, you actually can delete photos, as this original blog post was in error. Simply go to your profile name, click Advanced, and, well, delete. 

Ewan, again, you should really update your blog post so new readers can see, immediately, that in fact you CAN DELETE photos, contrary to the title of the post. 

Nope – totally reasonable expectations.  I found this article by googling, “how do I delete photos from this stupid fucking photo stream on my mac?”  Thanks for supplying me with the answer.

That’s what you keep saying in this thread. However, you NEVER mention individual photo deletion in your blog post. You should probably re-read it yourself. What you do say is this:

Wait, you can’t DELETE photos from the iOS photostream?
The answer is yes, you can.

You also say this:

“So you’re telling me, Mr Apple, that I could grab my friend’s iPhone, visit some dodgy adult sites and take some screenshots (which will go straight into his photostream) and he’ll have to live with that for 30 days? And so will his parents whose iPads are sharing the same account?”
The answer is no, That’s not the case at all.

You also say this: 

“So every photo I take — EVERY PHOTO — whether it’s a blurred shot of my foot or a throw-away screenshot, it’s going to be WITH ME for 30 days? And I can’t delete it?”

The answer is no, That’s not the case at all.

I’ve read the sodding post three times now. I think you’re missing something yourself.

– J.

Again: I’ve read the sodding post three times, and these are the facts:

You NEVER mention individual photo deletion in your blog post. You should probably re-read it yourself. What you do say is this:Wait, you can’t DELETE photos from the iOS photostream?The answer is yes, you can.You also say this:”So you’re telling me, Mr Apple, that I could grab my friend’s iPhone, visit some dodgy adult sites and take some screenshots (which will go straight into his photostream) and he’ll have to live with that for 30 days? And so will his parents whose iPads are sharing the same account?”
The answer is no, That’s not the case at all.You also say this: “So every photo I take — EVERY PHOTO — whether it’s a blurred shot of my foot or a throw-away screenshot, it’s going to be WITH ME for 30 days? And I can’t delete it?”The answer is no, That’s not the case at all.I’ve read the sodding post three times now. I think you’re missing something yourself.- J.

Oh my gosh I’m astonished that you actually need me to spell it out. I just assumed everyone wound understand from the examples I gave!

I will modify the post later tonight.

At which point you can then tell me there’s a ‘delete all’ function and I can tell you that this is a complete and unmitigated fuck-up from Apple as they’ve clearly shipped an Alpha version.

And then we can both stare at each other.

Dunno man – you made a lot of exasperated statements in your blog post, most of which centered around this idea that your photos would remain in the iCloud photostream for 30 days with no user control over removing them. That simply isn’t true. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to read the title of your post as any more nuanced than it actually was. When you wrote it, you had no idea that photos were deletable, period. When I read it, I didn’t either. So I researched it for two minutes and found the actual answer. Unfortunately the majority of people who read your blog left thinking that they had no way to delete photo content from iCloud, which isn’t actually the case.

That said, I want more control over iCloud too. But the answer to your blog’s claims were already stated on Apple’s support pages. It was in the comments thread that you changed your focus once the current controls were made apparent to you (i.e. the Little Jimmy’s parents seeing dirty photos on their iMac for the next 30 days scenario was a load of hogwash).Do what you will with your blog, but I’d recommend being less emotional and hyperbolic – the humor in the post is lacking – and try to be a little more fact-focused while you’re at it.- J.

I found out about the delete all function a few moments after I wrote the post.

The post is NOT about ‘delete all’. I’m delighted Apple built that functionality in at the very least. My post is about the fact you can’t ‘delete photos’.

By this I mean delete one or delete two. Or three. Or four. SELECTIVELY, basically.

I expected to be able to do this. THAT is what the post is about.

Meanwhile I’ll do an update to EXPLICITLY point out that you can delete all photos.

The post refers to ‘photos in the photostream’ and then goes on to refer to ‘a photo’… singular. It’s pretty clear that Ewan’s referring to a sub-set.

Nuking the whole stream is as good as turning the product off, which isn’t really a very good response for customers who want (and perhaps have now paid for) the syncing service.

Ben, I was just reading through the Apple support pages again and I’m surprised to see that you do actually do have to turn the product ‘off’ if you’d like to remove the photo stream from a particular iOS device!

Disappointing. Although I’ve given up on iCloud for now anyway…

I created an account using my existing Apple ID only to now discover that I can’t migrate my MobileMe account into it as that uses my address (created relatively recently) which Apple believes is completely separate. There’s no clear warning that the two addresses need to be identical or that they can’t be merged. The only option is to give-up the MobileMe address and start-over… 

Lots of people on the support forums caught in the same trap. At least I only lightly used it so the ‘cost’ for me to abandon it is minimal.

Services really do seem to be Apple’s achilles heal.

This is crazy. Wouldn’t it be simpler and far more functional for Photostream to simply sync all photos for every device, but then if you choose to delete a photo From WHICHEVER device, that photo
Is them deleted across the board the next time a sync happens??? That is the way Dropbox works for documents and it’s great – there is even an ‘undelete’ facility for 30 days after the deletion if you log onto the site itself.

Apple – that is the way it SHOULD be done!!!!

Can’t believe some people share their iCloud account with partners or children!

Also if Photostream doesn’t work the way you want it too – the magic slider moved to the off position will solve your concerns.

To defend Apple – photostream works perfectly, as Apple designed it too. It’s just that it doesn’t work as some people would like it to.

Isn’t that the case with most products/services/software we use/buy?

I don’t like the way it works, so I turned it off. Some companies might not have given you that option.

If you don’t like it switch it off? Oh come now Clive that’s sounding very much like you’re an Apple Apologist defending the crown. How about Apple making it work properly so I don’t have to switch it off?

YOU are an idiot. turn function off, turn on, swipe this way, that way. Why can’t we just delete individual photos from Photo Stream? Stupid Apple

I love these posts from these known nothing basement dwellers. 
This is just too funny given Ewan a good time with invalid points and Apple BS.
Enjoyed thoroughly.

When I NEEDED to delete a single photo from my phtotostream and eventually arrived that the only way to do that is to clear out my whole photostream, I was indeed pissed.

I pray to baby jesus that Apple will improve this in the coming months. They also should put your gallery on too… I don’t think we’re asking for the world but at times I have also noticed that apple has fu*#!* up my expectation levels… 

 I guess this is what it feels like to be a 22 year old girl in a relationship.

Worse yet… even when you go to iCloud and say “reset photo stream” and turn off photo stream on your device, when you turn the device back on, there they are.  So no matter what, it’s 30 days of fail.

Sorry Answer Guy: Photostream, in my opinion, is an epic fail. Since I’ve had it, I have basically no idea how to use it. It sucks just like iTunes. AND, by the way, I love Apples hardware. They stink on the software end though, because they have no clue how to make their software user friendly.

Photostream is dumb, because not only do I have my regular photo album on my phone, but I also have the photostream album on my iphone 4 taking up space. What’s the point of that? If anything, make it easy for me to figure out how to use the damn thing. Don’t be such an Apple lover that you fail to see where they fail. Photostream, at this point, is something I have no idea how to use, and I don’t understand it’s purpose.
When I think of cloud storage, I think of Dropbox…which at one point Apple wanted to purchase. Yes! I want total control over my photos, what photos I can store, what photos I can delete, etc. etc. Furthermore, give me the ability to store other files too; pdf’s, .doc, or any other for that matter.

Apple wants to control their cloud storage too much, and what they have done is make a cloud storage system that doesn’t make much sense at all.

Apple doesn’t get it. It’s a great company that develops great hardware. But, they aren’t very good on the software end, let alone understanding what the consumer wants…again…from the software standpoint only. You have to be a computer guru to understand how to use all of the features in iTunes. Now iCloud makes the same mistake.

Fail! Fail! Fail! I’m just going to shut it off on my iPhone. What’s the point. I have much more control by simply opening iPhoto and syncing directly.

This is a classic case of apple thinking they know what a user wants, rather than asking the users in the first place. They do it a lot, and often get it right, but are a million miles off with this piece of rubbish! Got it working, smiled, realised can’t delete, off it goes.

Ewan, I must say I agree with everything you said, I am seriously thinking about going back to Windows unless Apple address all of the issues that you mentioned sooner rather than later, I was a big Apple fan, still am I suppose, but I am very frustrated at the moment because of Lion and Photostream. I hope the powers that be in Apple HQ get to read your post .

I echo Epic FAIL>

I thought i had a solution where i could take our best and favorite family photos and add them to the photo stream where we could use the Apple tv to have a photo wall. After i read this after about a week of trying to get it to work right. I now realize that this is not the solution that i had assumed it was. Photos will only be cached for 30 days. Why?

Also i have about 900 pictures that i wanted in the photo stream. during the upload process, it will stall and stop uploading. I did a wireshark capture and found the picture that it was not able to upload. You have to sign out of icloud on the computer to remove the picture. Now you would think it would be as easy as signing back into the icloud agent on the computer to continue the uploads. Error. You have to clear the photostream and start all over.

I have had to wipe the photo steam four times in the last week and still do not have the photos all uploaded. i guess i will have to get in a habbit of doing this every 30 days.

Hell with iPhone 5… biggest blunder of my life wasting my money on f!@#$ thing called iPhone… this bullshit photo stream ruined my life… i should have sue Apple… i cant explain what this idiot Apple did to me… i mistakenly took picture which was never mean to share with any one in the world… this Apple !@# !@#$ ~!@#$% shared it with all every one my family my kids… hell with you Apple.. go to hell… i want burn my this bullshit device now… f!@#$ you is small word… and they idiot did not even provide option to delete that photo… hell with such thing… go to hell… will never in my life recommend to any one of even thinking about Apple’s f!@# products… better burn your money… don’t ever go to near Apple or iPhone…

I have done all these things and still when I am trying to manage my storage on my phone…it says that my photo stream is using 3.9KB of space…i swipe to delete the whole thing and it doesn’t let me. Super frustrating.

Thank you Ewan, there are parts of apple that are rotten, some programmer/designer fkud up here big time by simply not allowing you to delete from photo stream oh how simple windows xp is and over complicated apple’s photstream is

I have tried for over a year to find a way to delete all the photos apple has managed to crowd my devices with to no avail. I know I am late to this discussion but has any one found a solution? I am ready to trade or throw away my apple devices and just buy other devices without the unauthorized theft that apple does without remorse or care for its users. If no solution for apple devices can anyone tell me of another non apple device to get for my phone and tablet uses? I really need help here.

I would NOT have an iphone or ipad if you friggin GAVE IT TO ME!!! I have been trying to get photos off my daughters iphone and ipad for hours… it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Save yourself hours of frustration and BUY A SAMSUNG GALAXY!!!

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