How to empty trash on iPhone

If you are one of the many people who make time to delete unwanted files, photos, and videos on your iPhone, congratulations! This is a useful habit to develop, and it keeps your data from gobbling up all that precious storage on your iPhone. But have you ever spent lots of time deleting files, only to find that your storage space is still lacking? This happens when apps hang onto deleted files in case you change your mind and want them back later.

Many apps will hang onto deleted files for up to 30 days, which will give you peace of mind if you accidentally delete something. If you want to free up storage space now, you can give your iPhone a virtual cleanse by permanently deleting those empty files, otherwise known as ‘trash.’

How to delete trash on iPhone

Is there a trash folder on iPhone? No. But while iPhones don’t have a dedicated ‘trash’ folder like many other phones and computers, individual apps often have a folder with deleted files that you can purge. Here are some different tips for how to clear trash on iPhone to free up space.

Get rid of unwanted photos and videos with Gemini Photos

Photos and videos likely take up more room on your iPhone than anything else. It’s so easy to snap too many photos or videos in the moment but so hard to delete them. Gemini Photos makes it easier to scroll through your similar shots and giant video files and quickly delete the ones you don’t need.

Here’s how to use Gemini Photos to delete extra photos and videos:

  1. Download Gemini Photos and open it on your iPhone. If this is your first time using the app, give the necessary permissions for Gemini Photos to access your photo library.
  2. The home screen of Gemini Photos will sort your photo and video files into categories: Similar, Duplicates, Videos, Screenshots, and Notes. Choose ‘Similar.’ Your similar shots will be categorized into months of the year with an option to ‘Delete All.’ Tap on any month to start working through your similar shots.
  3. Gemini Photos will group all of your similar shots together, with the best result showing up larger and the other similar shots as thumbnails below. Choose to keep the best result and move the others to trash, or keep all of the photos in the group. You can also deselect any that you want to keep before selecting ‘Move to Trash.’
  4. Scroll through your similar photos, keeping the ones you want. This goes really quickly once you get the hang of it.
  5. Tap on ‘Videos.’ Gemini Photos will sort your videos from large to small so that you can quickly determine what to save and what to get rid of. Tap on a video and tap the play icon to watch it. Swipe up to save the video. Swipe down to move it to the trash.
  6. Tap on Screenshots, Duplicates, and Notes to quickly get rid of items you don’t need. In each of these categories, you can choose to delete them all at the tap of a button or scroll through and manually delete each photo.
  7. Within each category of photos and videos, you can choose ‘Empty Trash’ at the bottom of the screen to permanently delete all of your selections in that category.
  8. A pop-up menu will appear, verifying your decision. Choose ‘Delete.’ Congratulations, you have successfully and quickly deleted your unwanted photos and videos!

How to empty trash in Files

Files on iPhone can be photos, videos, PDF documents, or any other type of file that you’ve saved in this location. Your apps may save files here as well, so it’s worth checking to see if there are files from apps that you no longer use. Here’s how to empty the trash in your files:

  1. Open Files on your iPhone.
  2. Tap ‘Browse’ in the lower right corner.
  3. Tap ‘Recently Deleted.’
  4. All of your recently deleted files will appear on the screen. Tap the three dots in the upper right and choose ‘Select.’
  5. Tap on all of our recently deleted items that you want to permanently delete.
  6. Tap ‘Delete.’ Confirm your decision by tapping ‘Delete’ again.

How to empty trash in mail

When you delete an email, it moves to the trash folder in Mail, which will then be deleted in 30 days. You can speed up this process to save space by following these steps:

  1. Go to Mail on your iPhone.
  2. Swipe left on any email to move it to trash.
  3. Tap ‘Mailboxes’ in the upper left corner of your screen.
  4. Scroll down and tap ‘Trash.’
  5. Tap ‘Edit’ > ‘Select All’ > ‘Delete.’ The emails in your trash can will be permanently deleted.

How to empty trash in Notes

When you delete a note on your iPhone, it moves to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder for 30 days. You can empty your trash in Notes any time to acquire more storage on your iPhone. Here’s how to empty the trash in Notes:

  1. Navigate to Notes on your iPhone.
  2. Tap ‘Folders’ > ‘Recently Deleted.’
  3. Tap ‘Edit’ > ‘Delete All’ to permanently delete your Notes.
  4. Confirm by tapping ‘Delete Notes.’

How to empty trash in Voice Memos

If you record voice memos on iPhone, you will find that it uses up quite a bit of storage space. As with many of the apps we’ve already discussed, when you delete a voice memo, it is temporarily moved to the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder and is permanently removed after 30 days. Here’s how to empty the trash in Voice memos on iPhone:

  1. Open Voice Memos on iPhone.
  2. Tap ‘Recently Deleted.’
  3. Tap ‘Edit.’
  4. Tap ‘Delete All’ and confirm by tapping ‘Delete Forever.’

Once you know how to empty trash on your iPhone, you’ll find that it’s fairly simple to manage large files to save on space and reduce clutter.

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