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How to weed out your Nokia Lumia 1020 high resolution image files

Question. How do you go about deleting the high resolution image files from you Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone without deleting the 5MP, lower resolution copies?

That's a question Windows Phone Central reader Binson#WP has tossed out over in the WPCentral Forums (opens in new tab). There's no way to sync just the low resolution images and you can't see the high res image file from your phone. So what's the solution?

When you connect your Lumia 1020 to a computer, you can view your Lumia 1020 image folders through your computer's File Explorer. Just look under your computer's drives and you'll see your Windows Phone listed. Go to the Phone folder then Pictures then Camera Roll. Both your low and high resolution images will be listed here.

The high resolution file names will end in "_highres.jpg" and will not have an image thumbnail. For example, image file WP_20130813_13_11_28_Pro_highres.jpg is the high resolution file for the low resolution file WP_20130813_13_11_28_Pro.jpg.  You can always sift through these image files and delete only those with "_highres.jpg" in the file name but that can be awfully tedious.

One suggested solution comes from TheCrazySwede who suggests viewing your image files in File Explorer and sort them by file size. The larger high-res files should be grouped together making it easier to select the group as a whole and delete them from your Windows Phone (and copy them to your computer's hard disk drive).

Just be careful that video files don't sneak into the files you're deleting. They will be listed at the upper end due the larger file size as well.

If you've got an easier way to delete only the high resolution image files from the Nokia Lumia 1020, head on over to this forums discussion (opens in new tab) and share your methods.

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

60 Comments
  • Nice article! Thanks. I'll let my Grandpa know. He has a 1020.
  • That's one super cool Grandpa there!
  • I got him to get the dvp, and now the 1020. :)
  • What's dvp?
  • Dell venue pro.
  • Lol, I do the exact opposite, kill the low res files.
  • congratulations...
  • .....
  • Thank you, I'm impressed I know how to use the sort function too.
  • Love tour grandpa.... A guy with taste :))
  • If you are replying to me, then I'll say "Thanks!". :D
  • No he loves to tour grandpa. Kinda sick.
  • ...
  • ROFL
  • You can also use the search box in the top right corner and just type "*highres.jpg". Then you can guarantee you won't delete videos.
  • I was about to suggest that. That seems to be the easiest solution.
  • I was going to suggest that as well. That will ensure that you don't delete videos as well.
  • I've tried that before.  Apparently you can't delete from search queries.
  • I've done this many times without issues. Are you getting an error message?
  • I was about to suggest that too, alwyas good to use the search bar. :)
  • Awesome, I got mentioned! (although my name is missing an "n" in the middle :P) Thanks for all the responses from everyone and the article, George!
  • Sorry about that. Fixed.
  • No problem. Thanks Dan!
  • Search for highres. Delete/copy the hits.
  • I don't have a 1020, but there has to be a better way? For a non-techie a type (not me of course!), this could be difficult.
  • yeah so hard...
    plug your phone in your computer, searchbox (because its file explorer in the end), search = "highres" "highres.jpg" or something like that. select all and delete... or whatever you want to do with those pics. wow too hard /s if thats too hard for a "non-techie" then anything will be hard for that person, not just this.
  • Friendly fellow as always. Must beat his mother.
  • I open the pics folder, search for "_highres", select all, and delete. Easy peasy!
  • Wait...what! This is news? I know what you are going to say Daniel, but this is basic stuff.
  • Del *_highres.jpg
  • Won't work. That would require being at the command prompt for starters. Not a big deal but very few people will be comfortable with that, even a lot of techies these days. Bigger problem is that the phone doesn't get assigned a drive letter and therefore there's no way to access it from the command prompt that I'm aware of.
  • ya of course it gets a drive letter usually, E or F, anytime you can access something from file explorer it gets a drive letter, and yes cmd prompt is probably the fastest way of all.
  • I hope that this can be done from the phone itself as well in the future.
  • What about for a Mac?! The Windows Phone Application for Mac isn't great just yet :(
  • Use the Nokia Transfer app, its awesome
  • Really?! I'll try that today.. :) Thanks!
  • I was thinking about this the other day. Nokia needs to come up with a better way to delete photos on the phone. Just 5mp, just Hi Res, or both.
  • Create a batch file or powershell script that you can execute when phone is connected. Or make it autorun when connected. Cake :)
    Having that said, guess a cleanup app would be available soon...
  • Not sure why you can't upload the high res to Skydrive, if you are on wifi, shouldn't be an issue, who knows. 
     
    I know the ATT locker app is a total mess to use, very annoying 
     
    I just sorty by name in the view files when i plug into my pc, all the high rest file names go together. 
  • Wow, that matte black Lumia 1020 is just solid and gorgeous!
  • Don't have the 1020, but that's a smart idea. It would be nice if there was a way to auto delete just the higher resolution photos after uploading to SkyDrive.
  • Just type highres in the search box and Windows will filter the images for you
  • There is a search box there where you can type highres and all images with that file name will appear.
  • The biggest issue for the solution proposed above is that it's indiscriminant. It's possible but just very tedious to delete only the ones I want to delete and keep the ones I want to save in my phone.
  • Thanks. My 1020 should be here in a few days.
  • In Windows Explorer, search for highres. CTRL+A, DEL. Done
  • What if I have a lot of photos and want to be selective?
  • I this is exactly the reason that this is a microsoft responsibility. I consider this an ecosystem problem. They really need to do something about this. They have had a track record of a diverse range of file sharing programs such as windows mobile device center and Zune. Its high time they got to work and get a file syncing software up and running. They also have a massive bucket list of tips in the suggestion box. The have the software experience, they now certainly have the manpower. Get it done.
  • I am actually shocked to see so much discussion over this...
    A lot of Apple users may not know these basic things, but I think other smartphone users should know better.
    For Chrissake, not knowing how to use Command Prompt or how to batch delete (or rename or whatever)is kinda dissapointing.
  • I'm sure even an Apple user can even type in the search box at the top of the window! It is pretty similar :)
  • I use Robocopy and move *highres* to large hard drive.
  • Search for *_highresjpg
     
    This will return all JPG files with _highres in the name.
     
    Can them CTRL + A and then hit delete.
  • What if I want to be selective? I want to keep some of the highres photos on my phone.
  • Sort by date.
  • Many photos are taken on the same day though. Traveling and touristing sometimes, maybe an event. Within that same day, I'll want to save some as hi res in my phone so I can zoom in. Regular pictures of people, I'll usually want to delete the high RES version.
  • If you want to be picky about the photos you keep, you have to pick them yourself 1by1, all I provided was a solution to remove ALL hi-res photos
  • If you want to be selective, then be selective.
    Simply hold down the Ctrl button as you left click on the icons for the highres files you don't want anymore.
    (View the folder in "Large Icon" mode for best results)
     
  • Open up command prompt, change directory to the folder where the pictures are. Type in delete *highres* press enter. Boom , gone.
  • I want to chime in on this post, albeit quite some time after original posting, to warn against the reverse of what's being talked about here. My wife (pro photographer) recently got her Lumia Icon. She opened it up in Windows Explorer, and deleted all the non __highres images from her Camera roll. All the sudden she couldn't open the highres ones! Sure enough, if you delete the low resolution version of your images, the high resolution ones are deleted as well, AUTOMATICALLY. So beware!
  • A similar thing happened to me. I cut and pasted all of my phone pictures to my computer, but it wouldn't let me move the high resolution copies. I later realized that, as my computer copied the low resolution photos, the corresponding high-res ones were deleted. I guess I should've stuck with copy-paste, but I really wasn't expecting the high-res photos to be automatically deleted.