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How to delete photos from Photo Stream

Have a great weekend on a booze cruise and now your Photo Stream is full of embarrassing pictures? You might want to read this.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Photo Stream is a new addition to iOS 5, OS X, and iCloud. Apple has provided a hassle-free method for having all of your photos automatically synced across multiple devices at the same time, with one problem. As the service stands now, there is no way to delete a photo in your Photo Stream. Uh oh.

There is a solution for this potentially embarrassing problem, albeit a bit overkill, but effective overkill at that.

The only way to delete any photo, whether it's one or many, from your Photo Stream is to reset your entire stream. Make sure you have copies of the photos you aren't embarrassed of.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  1. Visit and log in to your iCloud account. From the main page, click on your name in the upper-right-hand corner.
  2. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  3. Your account settings screen will appear; click on "Advanced".
  4. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  5. Click on "Reset Photo Stream." Confirm your selection when prompted. Keep in mind, again, this will delete all photos from your Photo Stream. For the pictures you want to keep, make sure you still have the original picture in your Camera Roll or stored somewhere else.
  6. Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  7. You will need to disable Photo Stream in iPhoto to clear your stream photos. To do so, launch iPhoto and open Preferences. Click on the Photo Stream icon, then uncheck the box next to "Enable Photo Stream."

    You can also turn off the automatic import of Photo Stream photos into your iPhoto library, preventing unwanted photos from being saved in yet another place.

    Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  8. When you are asked to confirm your decision click on "Turn Off".
  9. Click to enlarge Screenshot by Jason Cipriani
  10. By default, iPhoto is set up to import your Photo Stream photos automatically into your iPhoto library. You will need to go into the Events section of iPhoto and look for the current months' Photo Stream event. You can open the event and delete individual photos from here.

To reset Photo Stream on an iOS device go into Settings > iCloud and turn off Photo Stream, turning it back on after your stream is cleared. If you are on a PC, you can simply delete each individual file you want to get rid of; you don't have to reset your entire Photo Stream in the iCloud control panel.

Hopefully this is something Apple addresses in a future update. The hassle someone has to go through to delete a few photos from Photo Stream isn't a welcomed process by any means, but for now it seems to be the only solution.