Getty Images; Alexis Camarena
Unless you're a pro at digital decluttering, you can probably agree that the only number more haunting than the one next to your inbox is the one next to your photo library. With the average iPhone holding over 140GB of storage, it's easy to rack that number up into the hundreds or thousands. What's not so easy is trying to find the exact photo you're looking for or remembering what's even stored amidst all the random snaps of cute pets and delicious brunch spreads. If this sounds like you, you may be in need of a Marie Kondo-style photo storage makeover—and we're here to walk you through it.
Not only can cleaning out your photo library help you get rid of unnecessary digital clutter, but it can also make it easier for you to access and hold onto those memories you don't want to forget. Learn how to organize photos on your iPhone using photo organizing software and apps, plus a few simple tips and tricks.
How to organize photos on your iPhone:
1. Delete duplicate photos
The invention of digital photography was a wonderful thing—it means we don't have to rely on just one roll of film to capture our favorite moments and we have endless chances to get the perfect shot. It also means we end up with way too many photos of pretty much the same exact thing, and they can quickly clog up the camera roll.
Luckily, there are apps to make the process of deleting duplicate photos way easier. These apps use photo analyzing software to dig through your photo library and gather all the clusters of similar photos, making it easier to delete all the images you don't want or need and keep the ones you do. Two of the most highly-rated duplicate photo-remover apps on the App Store are Gemini Photos and Smart Cleaner—and while the full version of both cost money, you can utilize a free three-day trial to clean out as much of your photo library as possible.
3. Delete unnecessary screenshots
Since most screenshots have a pretty short lifespan—we take them to send to someone right away and quickly forget about them—there's no need for them to be taking up storage on our phones. Luckily, iPhones have a designated "Screenshots" folder in the Photos app that automatically collects all screenshots you take. So, anytime you're looking to quickly clear up a bunch of photo storage, without taking a long stroll down memory lane, you should head to the Screenshots folder. While you may find some funny memes or recipe ideas you want to keep, it's likely that many of your screenshots can go straight to the trash.
4. Utilize the search option
Once you're done removing the unnecessary photos from your library, you can focus on organizing the important ones into designated albums. When doing this, you can use the search tool in the iPhone Photos app (located in the bottom right corner) to search photos by date, place, and content. This allows you to gather categorically similar photos that you may want to organize in an album without having to manually scroll through your entire library.
For example, if you wanted to make an album of photos of your dog, you could type "dog" into the search bar, adding the name of the city or even the street where you live (to avoid getting every picture you've ever taken of a cute dog). You can also add the year or season to get more time-specific.
4. Use photo organizing apps
Whether you want reinforcements outside of the Photos app or just want another option for backing up your photos, photo organizing apps can be a good way to go. Google Photos and Amazon Photos are two of the best options, offering AI-assisted search and cloud storage to help you store and organize all of your images. Amazon Prime subscribers who use the Amazon Photos app will get unlimited cloud storage of their original resolution photos, as well as 5GB for video and document storage, while non-Prime members get a combined limit of 5GB for photos and videos. Google Photos is free for all users, but now, as of June 2021, has limited its previously unlimited storage to 15GB for all Google Cloud services, including Gmail and Google Docs.
5. Create a "print-worthy" album
If you're someone who's been saying you want to print out a bunch of photos for years now but has yet to actually do it, this tip is for you. While organizing your photos, be sure to "set aside" the ones you want in hard copies by adding them to an album designated for printing. That way, whenever you finally decide to place a mass order of prints, you'll already have your photos selected. Then, you can put together some old-fashioned photo albums to flip through anytime you're tired of scrolling on your devices and want to reminisce on your favorite memories.