Once you’ve deleted all your unnecessary apps, it’s time to work on your photos and videos. This can be somewhat daunting if you have 2,000 photos and videos loading up your camera roll, but conversely, it means it’s that much more important for you to perform this cleanup. It’s always shocking to me how few people have backed up their photos and videos to their Mac or PC. Phones are lost all the time, and even the miracle Find My iPhone service can’t always assure a successful recovery, so if your photos and videos are important to you (and if they’re not, why take them in the first place?), it’s foolish not to back them up regularly – not just when you run out of storage space.
For the uninitiated, there are numerous ways to get your photos and videos off of your iPhone and onto your computer, from the automated transfer of iPhoto or Aperture, to the manual import method of Image Capture. If it’s been a long time (if ever) since you imported your photos, and you never curate them on your iPhone by deleting bad shots, pictures of stuff you sold on eBay a year ago, and duplicates, it’s well worth doing that before you import all that junk content into iPhoto or Aperture. This is where Image Capture comes in. In all likelihood, you didn’t even realize you had the Image Capture program on your Mac, but it’s there in your Applications folder. The easiest way to find it is by simply typing “image” into the Spotlight search field, by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the top right side of the Menu bar. Once you see Image Capture in the search results, either navigate to it with the keyboard and hit return, or mouse/trackpad over it to click on it, and it’ll launch right up.
At this point, if you haven’t already, it’s time to plug in your iPhone to your Mac. After a moment or two you should see your iPhone appear in the sidebar, and your photos and videos should start appearing in Image Capture’s main content window. Of the two available content views, image view is likely preferable to list view, so click the appropriate icon on the bottom of the window beneath the content to select your desired work mode. Additionally you can drag the sizing slider to the right to increase the size of the images you’re viewing. With everything all configured, now you can begin deleting unnecessary photos and videos. Note that this is an unrecoverable deletion process, and unless you’ve already saved the images, once you select an image and tap on the red delete icon at the bottom of the content window, it’s gone forever.
With the junk cleared our of your camera roll, it’s time to import your photos into iPhoto, Aperture, or whatever other photo management/filing system you prefer. That’s really a whole tutorial unto itself, so I’ll just assume you know how to do that. If you don’t, Apple has a solid tutorial to take you through that process.
Once your photos are synched to your Mac, it’s safe to delete them from your iPhone. This might be scary to the uninitiated, so feel free to disconnect your iPhone from your Mac and then quit and restart iPhoto. If you see all your pictures are still there, then you have nothing to worry about. For an extra layer of security, you should make sure you’re backing up your Mac.