Permanently Delete Photos From Photos App

I have a friend who called me up and asked how to permanently delete photos out of the new Photos App in OS X like you used to be able to do in the iPhoto app. To be honest, I had never thought about it before. So, after doing some research I sent him this information.



Photos Permanent Deletion

When you delete a photo in the Photos App in El Capitan it disappears. But, where does it go? I never noticed this before, but if you have deleted photos a folder called “Recently Deleted” appears in the sidebar:

If you click on the folder and select it Photos shows you all your deleted items:

Just select all these (Command Key & the letter “A”) and then click on the “Delete Items” button in the upper right corner of the window. Photos will give you this warning:

Click “OK” and your photos are gone permanently. But, while you are navigating around in there check out this text at the top of that window:

I did not know this, but it would appear that the Photos App does it’s own maintenance by permanently deleting photos on a time interval. That is pretty cool. You do not have to worry about it, it will do all this on it’s own!

Of course, you can do the permanent delete manually if you are in a hurry to make some space on your hard drive, whatever works for you.


We learn something new everyday. I will probably let the Photos App do it’s auto delete thing, but it is nice to know I can manually delete stuff if I am in a hurry.