How to Empty Trash on iPhone 13: A Step-by-Step Guide

To quickly empty trash on your iPhone 13, simply go to the “Photos” app, tap “Albums”, scroll down to “Recently Deleted”, tap “Select” then “Delete All”. Your iPhone 13 will then remove all the items permanently.

After you complete this action, the deleted files will no longer be recoverable. This helps free up space on your device and declutters your photo library.


Have you ever wondered why your iPhone 13’s storage seems to fill up so quickly, even though you’re pretty sure you haven’t filled it with a ton of apps or music? Well, one of the culprits might just be the overlooked trash bin—yes, your iPhone has one too, and it can get pretty full. When you “delete” photos and videos, they aren’t actually gone right away. Instead, they’re moved to the Recently Deleted album, where they hang out for 30 days before disappearing forever.

If you’re in desperate need for more storage, or simply like to keep a tidy photo library, knowing how to empty the trash on your iPhone 13 is a must. Let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial to clear out that digital dustbin.

Step by Step Tutorial to Empty Trash on iPhone 13

Before we walk through the steps, it’s worth noting that emptying the trash on your iPhone 13 will permanently delete any files you have in the Recently Deleted album. Make sure there’s nothing you want to hold onto before proceeding.

Step 1: Open the Photos app

Open the Photos app on your iPhone 13. This is where all your photos and videos are stored, and where the trash bin is located.

In the Photos app, you’ll see all of your moments captured and stored. Remember, the aim here is to navigate to the trash or Recently Deleted album to clear out unnecessary files.

Step 2: Tap on Albums

Once in the Photos app, tap on the “Albums” tab located at the bottom of the screen. This will show you all the albums you’ve created plus some default ones created by the iPhone itself.

The Albums tab is the gateway to organizing your photos and finding the hidden trash bin, where all your deleted photos await their final fate.

Step 3: Find and select Recently Deleted

Scroll down to find the “Recently Deleted” album. This is the iPhone’s version of a trash bin. Tap on it to open and view all the items you’ve deleted in the past 30 days.

The Recently Deleted album is like a holding cell for your images and videos; they’re not quite gone, giving you a chance to recover any mistakenly deleted items.

Step 4: Tap on Select

Once you’re in the Recently Deleted album, tap on the “Select” option in the upper right corner. This will allow you to choose what you wish to permanently delete.

By tapping Select, you’re one step closer to freeing up space and saying goodbye to any photos and videos you no longer need.

Step 5: Choose Delete All

After tapping Select, an option to “Delete All” will appear at the bottom of the screen. Tap on it to empty all the contents of the Recently Deleted album.

When you choose Delete All, it’s the final curtain call for these files. Make sure you’re absolutely certain there’s nothing you want to keep before tapping this.


Frees up spaceClearing the trash on your iPhone 13 helps in freeing up valuable storage space.
Enhances performanceWith more free space, your iPhone 13 can run smoother and faster, enhancing the overall performance.
Keeps photo library organizedRegularly emptying the trash helps in maintaining a clean and organized photo library.

Frees up space:
By emptying the trash, you’re effectively reclaiming storage that was being held hostage by photos you don’t actually need anymore. More space means more room for new memories or apps.

Enhances performance:
Like any device, an iPhone with more free space operates better. It can process tasks faster, and you’ll likely notice a smoother experience when using your iPhone 13.

Keeps photo library organized:
It’s easier to find the photos you love when you’re not wading through a sea of unwanted images. A decluttered photo library is a tidy one.


Permanently deletes filesOnce you empty the trash, there’s no going back. The files are gone for good.
Could remove important filesIf you’re not careful, you might accidentally delete something you meant to keep.
No multi-level trash systemUnlike a computer, the iPhone 13 doesn’t have a multi-level trash system to recover files once the Recently Deleted album is cleared.

Permanently deletes files:
The finality of the action means you must be certain that there’s nothing important in the Recently Deleted album before you empty the trash.

Could remove important files:
It’s easy to make a mistake and delete something you’ll later regret. Always double-check before taking action.

No multi-level trash system:
Unlike some other devices where you might have another shot at recovering a file, once the trash is emptied on an iPhone 13, it’s the end of the line.

Additional Information

One thing to keep in mind when emptying the trash on your iPhone 13 is that it’s not just about photos and videos. Other apps can also create files that end up in the trash. For instance, if you’re using document editing apps or note-taking apps, they may have their own version of recently deleted files that need to be cleared out separately. It’s a good habit to go through your apps periodically to see if they’re hoarding any unwanted files.

Also, don’t forget about the importance of backups. Before you go on a deleting spree, make sure that your iPhone 13 is backed up to iCloud or your computer, so you don’t lose anything you’ll miss later. This way, even if you do accidentally delete something, you have a way to get it back.


  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone 13.
  2. Tap on the Albums tab.
  3. Scroll to and select Recently Deleted.
  4. Tap on Select in the upper right corner.
  5. Choose Delete All at the bottom of the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does emptying the trash on iPhone 13 delete files permanently?

Yes, once you empty the trash, the files are deleted permanently and cannot be recovered.

What happens if I accidentally delete an important photo or video?

If you haven’t emptied the trash yet, you can recover it from the Recently Deleted album. Otherwise, if you have a backup, you can restore from that.

How often should I empty the trash on my iPhone 13?

It depends on how frequently you find your storage filling up. Some users prefer to do it once a month, while others do it more frequently.

Is it possible to recover photos after emptying the trash?

Unfortunately, once the trash is emptied, recovery without a prior backup is not possible.

Will emptying the trash affect my iCloud storage?

Emptying the trash on your device will not affect the storage you’re using in iCloud unless the photos and videos were part of your iCloud backup.


To sum it up, emptying the trash on your iPhone 13 is a simple yet crucial task that helps you maintain your device’s performance and storage space. It keeps your photo library clean and ensures that your iPhone runs smoothly, without the unnecessary burden of files you no longer need.

Just be mindful of what you’re deleting, make sure you have backups of the important stuff, and you’ll be good to go. Don’t let digital clutter slow you down; take control of your iPhone’s storage and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a well-organized device.

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