Quickly Select Many Photos in iOS

Select Multiple Photos on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

A customer inspects the new iPhone at the Wangfujing flagship store on September 20, 2013 in Beijing, China.
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you've ever tried to copy, email or delete multiple photos from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, you were probably frustrated by all the tap-tap-tapping you had to do on each and every photo you wanted to select. It’s a tedious task even if you’re dealing with only a few photos. If you want to select more than just a handful, the process can become much more irritating.

Fortunately, there's an easier way to deal with photos in iOS.

 Here's a little tip for quickly selecting many photos in iOS 4.x so you can delete, copy or e-mail them relatively quickly. Sadly, this useful shortcut stopped working in iOS 5.x and 6.x, but iOS 7 launched a new method for selecting multiple photos and the method works through iOS 10. 

How to Select Many Photos in iOS 7.0 and Later 

  • Open the Photos app and tap Select, located in the top right corner.
  • Tap on each photo you want to select. A small blue check mark will appear at the bottom of the selected photo.
  • Tap the action box at the bottom left corner. It looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it. Numerous options will then appear at the bottom of the screen, everything from emailing the images to sharing them on social media or sending them to iCloud Drive. The option you select will apply to all the photos you’ve checked, so you can deal with several photos at once with just one more tap. 

    How to Select Many Photos in Older iPhones

    • Tap the action button from a thumbnail view in the Photos app.
    • Tap and hold on the first photo you want to select.
    • Drag your finger across the rest of the photos you want to select without lifting your finger from the first tap.
    • The selected photos will display a small check mark icon in the bottom right corner, just as in later iOS versions. You can choose to delete, copy or email the photos from the on-screen buttons and the action will apply to all checked photos, just like in later iOS versions. 

      Tips

      • You can lift your finger to scroll then repeat the tap-hold-drag sequence to add to the selection in iOS 4.x. This can be helpful if you want to select more photos than what are shown on one page.
      • You can also press and drag to select multiple photos at once in later iOS versions.
      • This tip also works for selecting multiple photos when you're importing from the Camera Connection Kit.