Epithelial tissues undergo cell turnover both during development and for homeostatic maintenance. Cells that are no longer needed are quickly removed without compromising the barrier function of the tissue. During metamorphosis, insects undergo developmentally programmed tissue remodeling. However, the mechanisms that regulate this rapid tissue remodeling are not precisely understood. Here, we show that the temporal dynamics of endocytosis modulate physiological cell properties to prime larval epidermal cells for cell elimination. Endocytic activity gradually reduces as tissue remodeling progresses. This reduced endocytic activity accelerates cell elimination through the regulation of Myosin II subcellular reorganization, junctional E-cadherin levels, and caspase activation. Whereas the increased Myosin II dynamics accelerates cell elimination, E-cadherin plays a protective role against cell elimination. Reduced E-cadherin is involved in the amplification of caspase activation by forming a positive-feedback loop with caspase. These findings reveal the role of endocytosis in preventing cell elimination and in the cell-property switching initiated by the temporal dynamics of endocytic activity to achieve rapid cell elimination during tissue remodeling.