How to Declutter Phone Photos

Looking for a quick and simple method for cleaning-up the photos on your mobile device? 

Want to start organizing your cell phone pictures, but don’t know where to start? 

Below you will find my simple yet effective way to clean up the photos app on your cell phone. Follow these steps and continue to look back on this guide in order to enforce new habits! 


Start with one section on your photos app. For example, look at one trip, one month, or 1-2 swipes through. 


Scroll through that section to get a good feel for the following:

+ How many photos do you have?

+ Which photos stick out to you the most?

+ What is the overall vision / story from the images?


After you have scrolled through that first section, navigate back to the top.


Start to delete photos in this order:

1.Bulk select and get rid of all the ‘butt dial’-type pictures. The photos that you accidentally took or accidentally clicked the shutter button for. These photos typically look blurred, blacked out, or crooked. 

How to declutter your phone photos step one: Delete Accidental Photos
How to declutter your phone photos step one: Delete unneeded Photos

2. Select and delete old screenshots that are no longer needed. 

3. Delete ‘note taking’ or texted images that are no longer useful or have no value for the future (ex: a picture you took to quickly remember something, images of clothing captured during shopping trips, or an attachment image sent via text to a friend).

How to declutter your phone photos step one: Delete unneeded Photos

4. Next look at multiples, duplicates and images captured during ‘burst mode.’ Narrow down to 1-2 photos in the same pose/location. If you are having a difficult time deciding, narrow the following way: 

+ Delete blurry or out-of-focus images.

+ If there are two photos taken at the same location but with a different zoom, then click back and forth to decide which perspective you like the best! This also applies to two photos at different angles. Decide which angle you like best and delete the other. 

+ For group photos, look for the following things: Which photo is everyone smiling at the same time? Is there a photo where people are cut out? What photo has the best lighting? Which photo would you decide to share with others?

5. Delete images that don’t tell the full story or bring joy. If the photo doesn’t provide joy, jog a memory, or help tell the overall story then you should consider getting rid of it.

How to declutter your phone photos step one: Delete Photos that don't bring joy


Favorite your top photos! Use the ‘favorites’ feature! Otherwise, you can create a ‘favorites’ album or ‘for print’ album to help organize further.


Empty the trash/delete folder. Depending upon your mobile device, you might need to empty the trash folder on your phone. Remember to do this from time to time or immediately after you have finished going through a section of photos. 

That’s it! Once you have finished editing one section, you can continue to go through the rest of your phone and follow the same process. After you have successfully trimmed down all photos, remember to BACK your images UP! If you are unsure which apps are the best for backing up your photos, consider researching any of the following: 

  • iCloud (for iPhones)
  • Google Photos
  • Mega
  • Amazon Photos
  • Dropbox
  • Microsoft Onedrive
  • Flickr