How to Unlink Google Photos from iPhone


A common issue faced by users who have both Apple’s iCloud and Google Photos enabled on their iPhone is the unintentional deletion of photos from iCloud when they delete them from the Google Photos app. If you’re looking for a way to unlink Google Photos and iCloud to avoid this issue, this comprehensive guide will discuss various methods to help you achieve this.

How Google Photos and iCloud Work

Before diving into the methods, it’s important to understand how Apple Photos and Google Photos work and their relationship with iCloud.

Apple Photos uses iCloud as its default cloud storage service. When enabled, any photo taken or added to your iPhone is automatically synced with your iCloud account, creating a central repository for all your images. If you delete a photo on your iPhone, it will also be deleted from iCloud – they are essentially the same copy.

On the other hand, Google Photos functions as both a gallery app and a cloud storage service. When the Backup & sync feature is turned on within the Google Photos app on your iPhone, your local photos will be uploaded to the Google Cloud. However, deleting a photo from the Google Photos app will remove it from both your device and any associated cloud storage services.

In addition to unlinking Google Photos from your iPhone, another useful tip to enhance your privacy is to learn how to modify snapchat location.

This raises an important question – why does deleting a photo from Google Photos also remove it from iCloud? The answer lies in the fact that both services handle photo deletion differently.

Why iPhone Photos Save to Google Photos

When you enable Backup & sync on the Google Photos app, it starts syncing any new or existing photos on your device with your linked Google account. If you delete a photo within the app, it gets removed from its cloud storage and the local gallery on your device.

To summarize: Your iOS device photos get uploaded to both Google and iCloud when each service’s appropriate settings are enabled. Deleting photos in either service will delete them from its own cloud storage and the device’s local gallery – which can also affect iCloud storage if the photo is deleted from the device in any way.

With this understanding, let’s explore different methods to unlink Google Photos from iPhone and prevent unintentional deletions from iCloud.

Methods to Unlink Google Photos from iPhone

Method 1: Disable Backup & Sync on Google Photos App

Turning off the Backup & sync feature in the Google Photos app prevents photos from being deleted from iCloud when you delete them from within the app. This setting determines whether your iPhone uploads photos taken or stored locally to your linked Google account. With Backup & sync disabled, deleting a photo in the Google Photos app won’t affect its presence within iCloud.

To disable Backup & sync on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Photos app on your device.
  2. Tap the three-line menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.
  3. Select “Settings.”
  4. Under “Backup & sync,” tap the toggle switch to deactivate it.

These steps will stop your device photos from being uploaded to Google Photos and minimize interferences with iCloud storage.

Method 2: Use Google Photos Website to Delete Photos

Another method for preventing unintentional deletions from iCloud while managing your photos on Google Photos is to use Google’s web-based platform instead of their app on your iPhone. Deleting photos through their website won’t affect any locally-stored images or disrupt iCloud syncing.

Follow these steps to delete photos using the web platform:

  1. Open a browser on your computer and navigate to
  2. Sign in with your Google account linked with the Google Photos app on your iPhone.
  3. Navigate through your photo library and select any images you’d like to delete by clicking on them.
  4. Once selected, click the “Trash” icon in the top-right corner of the screen to delete the photos.

Deleting photos this way will unlink Google Photos from your device and leave your iCloud Photos untouched.

Method 3: Uninstall Google Photos App from iPhone

If you’re certain that you no longer want to use the Google Photos app on your iPhone, consider uninstalling it. This method will not affect any iCloud or device photos or delete any images previously backed up to Google’s cloud storage. You can still access and manage your Google Photos library via their web platform.

To uninstall Google Photos from your iPhone, simply tap and hold its app icon on the home screen until an options menu appears. Select “Remove App” and confirm to uninstall it.

What Not To Do When Unlinking Google Photos

Turning off iCloud or disabling Backup & sync within the iPhone settings is not recommended when disconnecting both services. Doing so could disrupt syncing and potentially lose important images from your cloud storage.

Disabling Backup & sync on Google Photos without following other preventive actions mentioned previously can also cause issues with unintentional deletions from iCloud through local gallery connections.

Recover Deleted Photos

If photos are accidentally deleted, recovery’s possible through both services’ trash folders. For Google Photos, open the app or visit their website and navigate to the “Trash” folder (also referred to as “Bin”). Similarly, with Apple’s Recently Deleted folder, open the Apple Photos app on your iPhone and look for a dedicated album labeled “Recently Deleted.”

These folders temporarily store deleted images – typically for 30 days – before they are permanently removed.

In conclusion, understanding how Google Photos and iCloud work together can help you make informed decisions about unlinking these services on your iPhone. Utilizing any of these discovered methods will ensure that photo management is more seamless and prevent unwanted deletions from either platform while maintaining full control over your image storage.


  1. Can I use Google Photos and iCloud on my iPhone without causing any conflicts?

    Yes, you can simultaneously use Google Photos and iCloud on your iPhone. However, to avoid conflicts related to photo deletion, you should disable Backup & sync in the Google Photos app or use the Google Photos website to manage your pictures. This way, you can prevent unintentional deletions of photos from iCloud when managing them within Google Photos.

  2. If I disable Backup & sync in the Google Photos app, will my existing Google Photos be deleted?

    No, disabling Backup & sync only stop your iPhone from uploading new photos to Google Photos. It does not delete any existing photos backed up to the cloud. You can still access your saved photos through the Google Photos website or by re-enabling Backup & Sync in the future.

  3. Will uninstalling the Google Photos app affect my iCloud storage?

    Uninstalling the Google Photos app on your iPhone will not affect your iCloud storage or photo syncing. Your iCloud photos will remain safe and unaffected by this action. Moreover, any previously backed-up images on Google’s cloud storage will still be accessible via their web platform.

  4. If I unlink Google Photos from my iPhone, can I still access my photos shared across devices via other platforms?

    Yes, even after unlinking Google Photos from your iPhone, you can still access your shared photo libraries using other devices like an iPad or Android phone. Simply sign in with your respective account (iCloud for Apple devices and Google for Android) on another device to view or manage your shared images.

  5. How do I recover photos accidentally deleted from both Google Photos and iCloud?

    If you’ve accidentally deleted a photo from either platform, try checking the “Trash” folder (also known as “Bin”) in both services before it gets permanently removed. In Apple’s case, look for a dedicated album labeled “Recently Deleted” within the Apple Photos app. Both these folders temporarily store deleted images (usually for 30 days) before they are permanently removed from their storage systems.

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