Do not worry. We will help you. Currently, when you try to delete the photo from Google Photos app, you should be surprised to discover that the photo is deleted from iPhone and possibly from iCloud as well. Right? All you want to do is delete all the photos from Google Photos but not from iCloud. In other words, you want to dissociate Google Photos and iCloud.
Let's see how to proceed by first understanding how these two services work.
How Google Photos and iCloud work
Let's talk about apps first. iCloud Photos uses Apple's Photos application to function. Google Photos is an extension of the app-based service. Apple Photos and Google Photos are used to show you the photos on your phone. Take them as normal gallery apps. Although Apple Photos is preinstalled on iPhone and iPad, you can download Google Photos from the App Store.
The two also act as a storage service for your photos. In other words, they allow you to store photos in the cloud. While Apple Photos uses the iCloud service, Google Photos saves them to the Google cloud, which is different from Apple's iCloud.
Storage or backup of photos in the cloud is a secondary feature, which is disabled at startup. You can use one or both services simultaneously. You can even turn off backup for both services. Instead, use them only as gallery apps. Learn more about the differences between Google Photos and iCloud Photos.
However, once you activate it, these services work in different ways. Google Photos takes the photo from your phone and saves it to the Google cloud. The photo is now in two places: your phone and Google Cloud. To save space on your phone, you can delete it from your phone using the Free Space feature provided by Google Photos. In doing so, the photo remains only in the cloud. Check out our detailed Google Photos Guide to find out what's going on using the free space.
Think of the cloud as a central database. From this database, you can access photos on any device using your Google account. You can view them on the web, Android, and iPhone. On mobile phones, just download the Google Photos app and log into your Google account. Then you will be able to see all the photos without activating any settings (such as backup and synchronization) or download them. The photos automatically appear on your phone. But they do not occupy any storage space on the phone as they are stored in the cloud. You view them directly from the cloud.
Now, when it comes to iCloud, it also takes the photo and saves it to its cloud. Even if there is also a central database, the same copy is kept on your iPhone and other connected Apple devices, if applicable. Basically, the photos in the cloud and your iPhone are the same. So, yes, it also occupies your phone's storage.
However, Apple does offer a feature called Optimizing iPhone Storage to Save Space. By activating it, the original high quality photos are kept in the database, while your phone stores and shows you the smaller optimized version of the same photo. In short, there is only one copy of the photo. If you delete it from any device, it will be deleted from all connected iCloud accounts.
What's the problem
When someone tries to delete a photo from the Google Photos app on the iPhone, they are amazed to see that the photo is deleted from their device and from iCloud as well. Even when someone uses the free storage option in Google Photos, they will delete the photos from iCloud. You must be wondering why this happens when the two services are different and free storage is supposed to only delete the copy from the device.
To start, stop cursing Google. It’s not their fault. Google Photos has nothing to do with iCloud. He doesn't even know that iCloud exists.
Now when you delete a photo from the Google Photos app (or use free storage), it deletes the copy from the device. But, as explained above, iCloud stores the same copy of the photo on your iPhone and in the cloud. So when you delete the copy from the device using the Google Photos app (or even Apple Photos), it is also deleted from the iCloud server. Here's how it works:
In a nutshell, Google Photos is not spying on your iCloud photos, the photos are only on your iPhone, and that is how Google Photos has access to them.
Delete photos from Google Photos without deleting them from iCloud
Now we come to the main question – how to disconnect Google Photos and iCloud. The answer is simple – they are already disconnected and separated. But if you want to delete photos from Google Photos only, there are two methods.
Method 1: Use the Google Photos Website
The easiest and easiest way to do this is to use the Google Photos website. You have nothing to do on your iPhone. So open photos.google.com on your computer browser and sign in with your Google Account. Then hover your mouse over the photo you want to select. You will see the selection icon. Click on it. To select multiple items, press the Shift key and select other photos.
Once you have made your selection, you will see the delete icon in the upper right corner. Click on it.
Note: The photos will be deleted from the Google Photos app on your iPhone, but they will remain on iCloud.
If you think about the role that the backup and sync setting of Google Photos will play here, here is the answer.
Case 1: backup and synchronization activated
If you delete photos from the Google Photos website while backup and sync are enabled in the Google Photos app on your iPhone, you will notice that these images reappear in the Google Photos app. The reason being that the Google Photos app is a gallery app, and since the photo is available on your device, it appears.
However, Google does not automatically take a backup of it. This means that they will not be visible on the Google Photos website. You will see the standby backup symbol on them on your iPhone.
Case 2: backup and synchronization disabled
When disabled, photos no longer appear in the Google Photos app. But they will remain on your iPhone and will be accessible via the Apple Photos app.
Method 2: Uninstall Google Photos
If you don't want to use the Google Photos app at all, you have to go ahead and simply uninstall it from your iPhone. Uninstalling the app will not delete any photos from your iPhone. Even if the photos are saved to Google Photos, they will remain in the cloud. You can view them at photos.google.com.
If your Google storage is full or you don't want your photos to be on Google servers, open the Google Photos website and delete them from there.
What you should not do
If you're wondering what happens when you turn off iCloud or turn off backup and sync and then delete the photos from Google Photos, here's your answer.
Case 1: deactivate iCloud
If you deactivate iCloud before deleting photos from Google Photos on iPhone, the photo will be deleted from your device and Google Photos. It will remain on iCloud. However, if you reactivate iCloud on the same phone, the photo will also be deleted.
Case 2: deactivate backup and synchronization on Google Photos
Turning off backup and sync will have no effect on your iCloud photos, as this is simply a setting to enable or disable the backup service on Google Photos. If you turn it off and then delete the photos from the Google Photos app on your iPhone, they will be deleted from the iPhone when you technically delete the copy of the device from your iPhone. And once it is deleted, the iCloud copy is deleted automatically.
If you accidentally delete certain photos, you can recover them via the Bin (or Trash) folder in Google Photos – on web and mobile applications. To do this, tap the three bar icon in the upper left corner of Google Photos and select Bin.
Note: Items only stay in the trash for 60 days, after which they are permanently deleted.
You should also check the recently deleted folder in the Apple Photos app and iCloud Photos on the web. On iPhone, go to Albums. Scroll down and click on Recently Deleted.
To summarize, do not delete the photos directly from your iPhone. Use the Google Photos website to delete photos. We suggest deleting a few photos at the start. Then check them in iCloud after a while. If the photos remain, you can continue and delete them all.
Then: No longer want to use Google Photos? Know how to delete your account from Google Photos.