How to Delete Photos on Mac When the Trash Icon is Greyed Out in iOS Photos

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Apple’s Photos is a neat built-in application that lets you do more than just view photos on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. With the Apple-exclusive app, you can organize, share, and edit your photos. It can also be integrated into your iCloud photo library, so you can access your photos on any of your other Apple devices as long as you have an Internet connection.

Despite being pretty straightforward and user-friendly, the Photos app has one known issue that leaves a lot of iOS users baffled (and you probably encountered it, too, that is probably why you’re here), that is the greyed out Trash icon. If you’ve been trying to delete a photo or video from the Photos app but the Trash icon is greyed out and cannot be tapped, the only solution you have is to go to a longer route and the problem typically happens when a user syncs their device to the iTunes.

But First, Back Up

To be able to delete photos and videos on your iOS device, you’ll need to erase the contents of your iOS Photos library, but not without backing up first. Follow the steps and learn how to delete photos on your Mac to get rid of this iOS-specific problem.

The most common way of backing up photos in your Mac device is by syncing it with your iTunes. You can even do it on a Windows PC, too. However, if your iTunes is updated and you are encountering the problem, the sync might actually be the very reason why the Trash icon is greyed out. This is because something might have gotten stuck in the process. What you need to do is use the iPhoto or the Image Capture to back up all of your multimedia items.

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Deleting iOS Photos Through iTunes in Mac

In this method, you will replace the library on your iOS device with iTunes. Essentially, you will delete photos from Mac that is why you must back up in case something happens in the process resulting in a loss.

Once you are sure you have backed up every photo or video you hold dearly, do the following steps:

  1. Connect your iOS device to iTunes on your Mac by plugging it in via USB.
  2. Authorize your mobile device when prompted.
  3. Select your mobile device from iTunes.
  4. Go to the Settings navigation bar.
  5. Click on Photos.
  6. Tick off “Sync Photos”, then click Apply.
  7. You’ll be told that the library on your mobile device will be replaced. Click on Agree.

To prevent the Trash icon from greying out, it’s best if you stop iTunes from automatically syncing your photos. To do this, uncheck Sync Photos and then click Apply. You can now check if the Trash icon is back on your iOS Photos app.

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