How to sync photos+videos to both iCloud and Google Photos while simultaneously deleting from iOS devices?

How can I sync my iOS (in my current case, an iPhone8) photos+videos to both iCloud and Google Photos but delete all the photos+videos from my iOS device, primarily to free storage space (on my iPhone)?

Details and (known?) problems

This answer suggests that I can not do this, because deletion of photo/video files from the iOS device also deletes it from iCloud (example scenario below), which violates my goal. However, I’m hoping there’s some workaround.

Specifically, I want to “free up space on my device” like I’ve done several times previously with Google Photos (GP). However, the GP photo/video file deletion may effectively delete the same photo/video file(s) from iCloud–which is what I’m trying to avoid.


The following worked for me. For my current purposes, ‘iOS device’ = iPhone8 running iOS 11.4.1.


  1. Confirm iOS device has uploaded all photos+videos to iCloud Photo Library. (How does one explicitly confirm this?)
  2. Deactivate iCloud Photo Library
  3. Execute Google Photo’s “free up space on my device” to remove photos+videos from iOS device.
  4. Permanently delete photos from on iOS device; excerpt:

    Delete photos permanently

    If you want to permanently delete your photos or videos within 30 days, you can remove them from the Recently Deleted album. When you delete a photo from this album, you can’t get it back. (An aside: this procedure can be quite cumbersome for thousands or more of photos+videos.)

    • Open the Photos app and go to the Albums tab.
    • Open the Recently Deleted album and tap Select.
    • Tap each photo or video that you want to permanently delete.
    • Tap Delete.
  5. Reactivate iCloud Photo Library.

  6. Future-captured photos and videos are now both synced to iCloud and Google Photos, while perviously-captured-but-now-deleted-from-iOS-device photos (prior to #2) are all retained in iCloud and Google Photos (?).

Source : Link , Question Author : Johnny Utahh , Answer Author : Johnny Utahh

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