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Sometimes, you just need to select a whole bunch of photos on your phone. Maybe you need to select all of them. That’s your business. We don’t care why—we’re just here to give you tips. And boy, do we have tips.

How to select multiple photos on an iPhone

At first, selecting a group of photos on iOS may appear a little clunky, and figuring out how to select all the photos on your iPhone may seem downright impossible. But there is a way to do both.

The first thing you’ll need to do is open the Photos app and go to either the Library or Albums tab. If you’re trying to grab all the images on your phone, we recommend the former because it has an All Photos option that will display every picture on your device. Still, the following selection method will work in your albums, too.

[Related: Organize your catastrophic digital photo library]

Once you’re looking at the photos you want, tap Select in the top right corner of the screen. Then, quickly swipe your finger across the images you want to deal with in bulk, marking each selected photo with a blue check mark. We found that making an initial sideways swipe worked more consistently than going up or down, because moving vertically sometimes just resulted in scrolling. This method will select every photo between the first and last one you touched, and you can add others to your selection by dragging your finger across another batch or tapping individual images.

To select all the photos on your phone, enter selection mode and swipe left across the last row of images, but don’t lift your finger off the screen. Next, use another finger to tap the very top of the screen, activating an iOS function that quickly navigates you to the top of the page, selecting every photo along the way. To finish the job, you’ll have to drag your selection finger to the very first picture in the top left corner if it wasn’t there to begin with.

While this tap-and-drag method will work throughout your Photos app, there are a few places where you get a clear “select all” option. One is the Days group within the Library tab (tap Select, then Select All to grab every image from a given week), and the other is any album under the Albums tab except for “Recents” and “Imports” (open the album, tap Select, then Select All). For recent and imported photos, you’ll have to tap and drag.

How to select multiple photos on Android

Selecting all the photos saved locally on an Android phone is a lot easier than doing so on an iPhone: On stock Android, open the Files app and go to Images, tap the three dots in the top right corner of your screen, and hit Select all. To grab several at once, you can enter selection mode by long-pressing on one photo, and then tapping on other pictures or on a date. Doing the latter will automatically select all the images taken on a specific day. 

On Google Photos, the easiest way to grab a bunch of photos is to long press on one image until a blue check mark appears, but don’t lift your finger off the screen. Then drag your finger across the photos you want to select, lifting it only when the job is done.

If you want to select everything in Google Photos, pinch two fingers on your screen to zoom out to the month-level view (the farthest you can go), long press on a single image to enter selection mode, and tap the empty circle next to each month’s name to highlight every picture taken that month.

We’ll go back to minding our own business now.

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