How to Delete Photos From Lightroom CC

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You can add as many photos as you want to the Lightroom app. However, it takes up space on your hard drive, and there comes a time when the space starts running out. Therefore, you should delete the photos that you do not want to use. For that, you should learn how to delete photos from Lightroom CC.

How to Delete Photos From Lightroom CC

To delete photos from Lightroom CC you first have to figure out which photos you want to delete. After that you can either choose and delete each photo individually or delete multiple photos. You either have the option to delete the pictures from Lightroom or your computer’s hard drive itself.

An image of a person discussing on how to delete photos from Lightroom CC

Determine Which Photos to Delete

You first need to choose which pictures to delete. There are times when you need delete all the photos in your work log. However, other times you only need to delete certain ones. Here are some factors to consider when determining which photos to delete:

  • Pictures with obvious faults, such as photos that are overexposed, have a poor composition, or are blurry.
  • Duplicate photos, or ones that are very similar
  • Test photos that you might have taken prior to taking the actual photo

Reject the Photos

Sometimes, you might want to mark the photos you want to delete so you can easily identify the ones to remove. This is called rejecting the images. You can later delete these rejected images. Follow these steps:

  1. In the library module, when you have selected a photo, press “X” to reject it. This makes the photo appear grayed out when not selected. You can later press “U” to remove the rejection mark.
  2. To reject multiple photos, you can hold shift and select multiple photos. Then press “X” to reject them. Alternatively, you can press “caps lock”. Then whenever you reject a photo, it moves on to the next image.
  3. To delete the rejected photos, press “ctrl+backspace”. Alternatively, under the Photos menu, select “delete rejected photos.” This will show the delete dialogue box and choose according to your preference.

Hiding Rejected Photos

There might be times when you are not ready to delete the rejected photos. Another alternative that you might have is to hide them instead. Follow these steps to hide rejected photos:

  1. Set up a library custom folder on your view.
  2. From the “Menu Bar”, choose the “Attribute Filter” and then select “Unflagged Attributes” and pick “Flag”.

Delete Images

Once you’ve determined which photos you want to delete, there are two main ways to delete images: individually and in bulk. Let’s go through how to do both of these options.

Delete Individual Photos

To delete individual photos in Lightroom, follow these steps:

  1. Select the image you want to delete.
  2. Click on the trash icon (you will locate it as the one with the blue arrow) that is next to the file’s name.
  3. Click delete.
An image of woman discussing about work

Another option to delete individual photo is following these steps:

  1. Select the image in the library tab of Lightroom.
  2. Right click on the photo and select remove photo or click delete on the keyboard.
  3. You will now get a dialogue box. If you just want to remove the photo from the Lightroom catalog click remove. If you want to remove it from the hard drive, click remove from drive.

Delete Multiple Photos

It can be time consuming to pick, choose and delete individual photos. A simpler way to do this is to delete multiple photos. Follow these steps to delete multiple photos:

  1. Hold the shift key and keep pressing the images you want to delete. Another thing you can do is hold the shift key and move the cursor key over the photos. It will select multiple photos together.
  2. Press delete. You will get a dialogue box asking if you want to delete or delete from disk. Click the one you want.

Delete Photos From Lightroom Cloud Storage

Deleting photos in the Lightroom Cloud is similar to deleting from Lightroom CC. The difference is that you delete photos from Lightroom’s Cloud and not your computer’s hard-drive. To delete in the Lightroom Cloud follow these steps:

  1. Mark photos in the album (and not the catalog) with X. This is similar to rejecting photos in Lightroom CC.
  2. Click on the marked photos and hit the “delete” key.
  3. There will be a dialogue box asking for confirmation of the deletion. Hit “Confirm” to move ahead.

Deleting From Disk vs Deleting From Lightroom

When you click the delete button in Lightroom CC, you are presented with a dialogue box that gives you two options: “delete from disk” and “delete from Lightroom/ Catalog.” You should know what they mean before clicking on one of them.

Deleting from Lightroom means you are deleting from Lightroom’s catalog only and not from your computer altogether. You will still be able to find that picture in your computer; it just won’t be in your Lightroom catalog anymore. These include the pictures that you previously edited in Lightroom and are saved on the hard drive separately. So do not worry about them.

On the contrary, “deleting from disk” refers to deleting from your computer altogether. You will not be able to find that photo in Lightroom nor your computer. You should do this if you never want to see that photo again. Also, this is a good step to prevent your computer’s hard drive from running out of space.

Recover Deleted Photos

If you deleted some photos from Lightroom, all is not lost, and you can still get them back. However, note that this is only possible if you chose the “delete from Lightroom/ Catalog” option and not the “delete from disk” option. Follow these steps to recover deleted photos:

  1. Go to the folder where they were stored. 
  2. Right click and press ‘Synchronize folder.’
  3. A dialogue box will now pop up. Make sure “Import New Photos” is checked and then select “Synchronize.”

This is a good option if you accidentally clicked the “delete from catalog” option even though you wanted to delete from the hard drive altogether. Just recover these photos, select them all and click delete. Only this time, choose the “delete from disk” option.

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Related Questions

How Do I Free up Space in Lightroom CC?

You can free up space in Lightroom CC by moving photos into the Lightroom Cloud and removing them from your computer’s hard drive. When you upload your photos to Lightroom, those photos are copied onto a local file before they are uploaded to your cloud. This eats up a lot of space on your computer.

Once the images are uploaded to the cloud, they can be deleted from the cache folder. This cache folder is on your computer, and you have to delete these pictures manually to remove them from your computer’s hard drive.

How Do I Stop Lightroom From Storing Locally?

To stop Lightroom from storing locally, you need to adjust preferences. Open the preferences dialogue box, choose “Edits” and then “Preferences.” Then choose “Local Storage” from the menu on the left.

Here, you can choose how much of your local storage Lightroom is allowed to use. You can reduce the space to 0 or a bit higher to let Lightroom store some photos. The amount of disk space Lightroom might require might differ based on your daily use. Photos that are considered active remain on the local disk a while longer.


To delete photos from Lightroom CC you can first reject the photos and delete all rejected photos. You also have the option to delete individual and multiple photos directly. Moreover, if you deleted something by mistake and want to retrieve it, you have the option to recover them too.