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How to bulk select photos on an iPad Other Hardware
Recently I needed to delete 2,000 photos from my iPad manually. Manually clicking on each photo to select it for deleting would take forever. So I figured out this combination of gestures to do it faster.

After coming back from a holiday to Europe I had several thousand photos on my iPad. I had already synced to the Mac, and now needed to delete them from the iPad. The only method I could see would be to turn off syncing. But that also meant that photos I wanted to keep on the iPad got deleted as well. I could have done that and just resynced the images I wanted back to the iPad, but I wanted to just remove some of the images. Looking in the Photos app I could not find any method for bulk selecting the images I wanted to delete. I tried several things and eventually found some tricks.

Trick 1: Multi-selecting images. Normally you tap an image to select it for emailing or deleting. I found that if you tap and hold your finger on the image for a second or two, you can then drag your finger across other images and they will also be selected. Using this I could quickly select many images by just running my finger backwards and forwards across the rows of images.

Trick 2: Scrolling and selecting images. The next thing I was looking for was a way to select images, scroll to the next page and select more. I found that using Trick #1, I could select the images currently visible on the screen. I then found that once I had selected the images, if I left my finger on the screen and used my other hand to do a scrolling motion, the iPad would scroll to the next page of images, and still leaving my "selection" finger in contact with the screen, I could keep swiping across the images to add to the selection.

This method is nowhere near as fast as a 'Select All' function - which we don't have. But it's a lot faster that manually tapping each image.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I imagine it should work on other iOS devices as well.]
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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: dmmorse on Sep 29, '10 07:48:59AM

If you are using your iPad with a Mac, as opposed to a Windows box, you should try the Image Capture application. Multi-select and deleting is much easier using it.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: julioa.morales on Sep 29, '10 07:57:47AM

This don't work in my iPad, if I keep my finger on, the copy command pop.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: lauraf13 on Sep 29, '10 08:09:47AM

I tried this on an iPhone 4 running iOS4.1 and couldn't get it to work as advertised. From the album view I touched a photo and held my finger on it. The Copy choice popped up and I continued to hold my finger on the photo. I gave it several seconds, but when I moved my finger to the next photo it didn't seem to select the other photos. Also, I don't see an option to delete from the Album view. I only see the trash can when viewing an individual photo. I don't have my iPad with me, but I'll try it tonight and see if it works. It could be a difference from iOS3.x to iOS4.x which means this function might go away when the iPad OS gets updated.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: lauraf13 on Sep 29, '10 08:15:40AM

Pertaining to my previous comment. I missed a step in the instructions, so when trying it again it does work as advertised on iOS4.1.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: brianlees on Sep 29, '10 08:26:39AM

Couldn't recreate on a iPhone 4 running 4.1. All I get for trick one is the "copy" pop-up.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: timcrawf on Sep 29, '10 08:30:42AM

Great tip. Thanks for sharing.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: mrturtle on Sep 29, '10 08:38:32AM

I was wonder this when dealing with hundreds of photos the other day. Thanks for sharing.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: lowbatteries on Sep 29, '10 08:41:22AM

Nice tip for iPad users. Doesn't seem to work on my iPhone though.

For your purposes, you could also have connected to any Mac and used Image Capture to delete the photos.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: Beorn on Sep 29, '10 08:56:57AM

Works on my iPad and iPhone 4 very nicely. Great hint!



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: lowbatteries on Sep 29, '10 09:02:03AM

Nevermind, works on my iPhone. Have to click the little arrow icon first. This might even be faster than using Image Capture.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: sd on Sep 29, '10 09:06:26AM

YES it works on my iPhone 4.
For those that have the "copy" pop, it is because you missed one step! You first have to click on the "arrow+square" button at the top right (the button to send or delete multiple photos).

Very great tip indeed. Of course, to manage a lot of photos, it is easier to plug the iPhone to the Mac, and use the MacOS "image transfer" app to mass-delete your photos.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: dleepenn on Oct 07, '10 03:13:34PM

You have to also sweep your finger over each thumbnail to turn on the check box for deletion. You have to scroll for each page as well repeating the process until you have all the thumbnails checked. Then you can multi-delete. Also, this only works for the albums called Last Import and All Imported or some such name. Albums brought in via iTunes cannot be managed in this way.

Lee



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: pwsloss on Sep 29, '10 10:44:16AM

Very useful suggestion. Now, the iOS programmers need to deal with another iPad Photos issue: Loading in more than about 12 photos at a time via the USB connector kit usually results in an app crash. The entire contents of a SD card or the camera's other memory can be viewed, but don't use the hold-and-drag selection beyond 2 rows on the screen or there will be trouble.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: GianPaJ on Sep 29, '10 02:42:52PM

works as written on iPhone 3GS 4.0.1



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: yrret on Sep 30, '10 01:09:30AM

AWESOME!

No wait.

Super AWESOME!

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Microsoft is not the answer.
It is the question.
The answer is NO!



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: auco on Sep 30, '10 02:42:39AM

whilst the selection hint is nice, the underlying issue is better solveable:

If you use iPhoto, you can create a new intelligent album (say for all pictures taken this month/year/whatever). Sync this folder via iTunes with your iPad/iPhone.

Now open iPhoto and import your images from the camera roll. There is a option to delete them automatically after downloading them to the computer. After you sync, the pics are in a synced album an not in the user's camera roll. You can of course refine the preferences for your intelligent synced folders.

I don't know about Windows, but I think there has to be a similar way.

(Edited a typo):

Edited on Sep 30, '10 02:44:27AM by auco



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GREAT HINT
Authored by: robogobo on Sep 30, '10 04:23:33AM

For those suggesting the "easier" method using Image Capture or iPhoto, remember there are some of us who don't want to connect to a computer to do things on the iPad. I'm most appreciative of hints that allow the iPad to work independently of the Mac. It's not always easy but there are ways.

Keep it coming!



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GREAT HINT
Authored by: dleepenn on Oct 08, '10 08:06:42AM

The pairing of the iPad with the computer via iTunes is a safety factor which people might forget about. When you do this, you are also backing up the iPad. Remember, the iPad is a truly portable device and that makes it subject to being stolen or lost as real risks. So, as far as I'm concerned, the iTunes pairing as a fundamental design makes perfect sense. However... I would suggest to Apple that they consider a "Cloud" implementation of iTunes and have the iPad/iTunes pairing occur via the "cloud" rather than a physical computer. I could see a larger number of advantages to this approach.

I don't see the iPad as a "independent" computing device. Backup and Data recovery is not currently possible as it and it's software exists now other than thru iTunes and another computer.

Also... when doing photography, I never delete images from my camera cards. I save them away as backup just in case there is a problem. I always carry enough memory cards to hold every photo on my trips. When I transfer images from the iPad to my computer, I can delete the transferred images from the iPad with reasonable safety. When I transfer images from the cards to the iPad I NEVER delete the images from the card tho that is an option. I always "format" the cards when I want to reuse them anyway.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: dkopn on Nov 28, '11 11:41:46AM

I can't make this work on an iPad2 under version 5.0.1. I'm new on the iPad but seem not to understand "tap and hold, wait, drag". I tried to do this mmany times but it didn't select more than the first photo I tapped. I must be doing something wrong. Others may have the same problem.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: robogobo on Dec 11, '11 12:20:41PM

with iOS 5 you have to use two fingers to tap and drag. I'll go ahead and submit this as a hint in case it isn't covered anywhere else.



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How to bulk select photos on an iPad
Authored by: vegashobo on Mar 20, '12 09:51:44PM

I have an iPad 2 running OS 5.1. I tried the one finger select and it did not work. After repeated attemps, I used two fingers and I could select multiple pictures and it would scroll down when I reached the bottom of the display. First, you need to tap the arrow button, however. This now means I can use the iPad to back up my photos with an easy way to delete them after they are transfered to my computer.



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