Admit it: Your photos app is a mess. Sure, it’s full of fabulous memories from years of hangouts, travel, and ordinary life. It’s also full of useless screenshots, duplicate photos, and embarrassing snapshots that inspire us to wonder, “what was I thinking?” Whether you have an iPhone or an Android with a bloated photo library, there’s a hack that can seriously help clean things up, albeit rather slowly.
Part of the problem is the sheer scope of the situation. Many of us have photos libraries that are years, if not decades, old, with tens or hundreds of thousands of images in them. It’s not feasible to scroll through your entire library looking for these unwanted images one-by-one, so we’re usually forced to find them when looking at other photos — like a little, unwanted surprise.
At the start of this year, TikTok user kaylakerr_ shared her simple hack for dealing with her camera roll mess. It’s one of those tricks that makes you think, “huh, why didn’t I think of that?” You can (and should) even start today.
First, open your photos app of choice, then open a search and type in today’s date. So, you could type January 26, and start the search. The app will pull up all of the photos taken on that date, spanning however many years you have in the app. Now, scroll through these images and delete the ones you no longer want. While there still could be a lot of photos here, chances are it’s a much more manageable number than your entire photos library, which makes the task much easier.
If you make this hack part of your daily routine, you’ll slowly comb through all of your photos and videos throughout the course of the year. By January 26, 2024, you should be able to scroll through your library and only see the content you want there — unless, of course, you added some more junk along the way.
To be fair, software developers are adding solutions to their apps to make photo management easier. Most photos apps now have a “Screenshots” folder, so you don’t need to scroll endlessly through your main library to delete old screenshots you don’t need. And last year, Apple made it easy for you to find and delete duplicates images in its Photos apps.
It’d be fun to see one of these developers add a feature like this into their apps. Maybe a “Today in Review,” where you look at all the photos from that date and flag the ones you want to delete. Until then, searching for today’s date is the next-best solution, and it works well.