Although Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps like Photosmith to permanently delete photos on your iPad, there are a number of ways to do it. The most tedious way is to do so with Apple's built-in Photos app. Far easier ways require plugging your iPad into your Mac or PC, which we'll discuss later in this article.
We call this method the tethered delete.
For all the options listed below, please use with care. This is a one-way trip and will permanently delete photos on your iPad.
If you would like to be able to delete photos from within third-party apps like Photosmith, please let Apple know at http://www.apple.com/feedback/ipad.html - The key request we’re asking customer to make is: Please give developers the ability to delete photos from the iPad’s photo library directly from within third-party apps.
VERY IMPORTANT: There a critical bug in the photos API that will usually make the photo database unreadable by 3rd party apps until the iPad has been totally rebooted. After deleting photos this way please power off your iPad, restart it, and open up Photos app and open some albums. This will force Photos app to refresh its own database.
To use Apple's built-in Photos app on your iPad to permanently delete photos:
- Make sure you're in the Photos view.
- Tap the "send to" icon (box with an arrow coming out of it)
- Tap to select each photo you want to permanently delete from your iPad. Selected photos will have a blue circle checkmark on each. Tapping on a selected photo a second time will deselect. Camera RAW+JPG combos will be selected as a group.
- Once you have selected the photos you want to permanently delete from your iPad, tap the delete button. You may receive a confirmation if one or more of your photos are in other albums.
If you are able to to connect your iPad to a Mac, permanently deleting images from your iPad is quick and easy:
- Launch the Mac application Image Capture, which is found in your Applications folder, or you can spotlight search.
- You will see a listing of all the photos on your iPad. Using the shift key, you can select a range of photos, or press Command-A to select all images.
- Press the delete button to permanently delete the images on your iPad.
Hat tip to Larry Miller for the tip!
Permanently deleting photos from your iPad using your PC is a piece of cake:
Launch Windows Explorer and look at the DCIM folder located on your iPad. You may see a bunch of folders with system generated names, but I could look at the files in the folders to figure out what was in the Albums on the iPad. Although you can’t delete the folder itself, you can highlight the list of files in the folder (Ctrl-A to select all) and then delete them
Hat tip to Bart Smith for the tip!