Deleting photos from your Facebook pages can be more complicated than it seems, since sometimes you're not truly deleting the picture from Facebook's computers, but rather, hiding its display from other people.
Facebook does, however, allow you to permanently delete photos, and it will remove them from its computers. If you want to restore those photos, you'll have to upload them again.
First, let's review the different types of photos on Facebook (consult this Facebook Photo Guide for more details) , including:
- Profile photos -- the small image you choose to represent yourself at the top of your timeline/profile page, which also appears as a small icon next to your status updates in your friends' news feeds. This Facebook profile pictures tutorial explains more.
- Cover photo for timeline -- The large horizontal banner image you can display on the top of your timeline/profile page. The smaller profile picture is inset into the bottom of the Cover photo.
- Photo Albums -- These are groupings of photos that you have created and are accessible from your Timeline/profile area. People can browse them when they visit your Timeline, provided you have given them access.
- Photos as updates -- Individual photos that you uploaded to Facebook and sometimes attached to a text status updates.
Let's review the rules for deleting these various types of photos.
- Profile pictures -- To change your profile picture, you can click on the picture on your timeline or profile page, and then select the "remove as Profile Picture" link. There will also be a "delete this photo" link if you want to remove the photo completely. "remove as" leaves the original photo online in case you want to display it again later as your profile image.
- Cover photo for Timeline -- It's easy to change your Timeline cover photo.
- Photo Albums -- To delete photo albums, go to your Timeline/profile page and click on the "photos" link. Then click on the "edit album" link next to the name of the album you want to delete. From the editing menu that appears, click the tiny trash can icon at the top of the page. Once you click to confirm deletion, you won't be able to restore it.
- Photos as updates -- To delete individual photos that you uploaded or attached to status updates, navigate through your Timeline to find the photo or photos in question. Click on the "Options" link from the menu below the picture and then click "delete this photo." If you click "delete" it will be removed entirely. Alternatively, you can click "remove" for either timeline or profile pictures, and those will be saved, but not displayed.
- Hiding Photos from Timeline -- You can also hide photos you've uploaded to keep other people from seeing them when they browse your Timeline. Just hover your mouse or pointer over the image, click the tiny pencil icon for editing, and then select "Hide from Timeline."
Deleting Photo Tags
You can also remove tags with your name from photos of you that other people have posted, in case you don't want a lot of people to see the photo or associate it with you. Removing tags with your name does not delete those photos, it just makes it a bit more difficult for your friends to find them.
Facebook Photo Help offers more details on how to delete tags from photos.