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Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 – Brings Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 – Brings Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5.

According to Apple’s release notes, the iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 updates include a fix for an issue that could cause images to reappear in the Photos library even after being deleted.

This update provides important bug fixes and addresses a rare issue where photos that experienced database corruption could reappear in the Photos library even if they were deleted.

Users on Reddit reported that iOS 17.5 introduces a bug that causes old images that were deleted (in some cases years ago) to reappear in their photo libraries.

Other users have also chimed in with similar stories. “Same here,” said one Redditor. “I have four pics from 2010 that keep reappearing as the latest pics uploaded to iCloud. I have deleted them repeatedly.”

“Same thing happened to me,” replied another user. “Six photos from different times, all I have deleted. Some I had deleted in 2023.”

Apple’s release notes for today’s update indicate that a database corruption issue was responsible and that updating to iOS 17.5.1 should solve the problem.

A Reddit post from earlier today from someone who claims to know an Apple employee posted the following, which jibes with Apple’s explanation:

Hello everybody,

I may or may not know somebody who is a Private Contractor @ Apple, and they may have or may not have given me details regarding the current situation.

This glitch affects “deleted” photos, primarily causing them to reappear after a user updates their iPhone to iOS 17.5. Let’s clear up a few simple things first:

  1. No, Apple is NOT permanently saving all of your photos to a remote server without your knowledge. This also means they are NOT spying on you.
  2. No, this glitch more than likely isn’t a backdoor into iCloud/iPhones. Your device and cloud data is mostly secure.

Now how are the deleted photos “reappearing” after being deleted? This is because almost every case of this incident happening which Apple has investigated has been caused by the photo(s) being deleted from the “Photos” app but NOT the “Files” app. They are two separate apps with two copies of the photos.

When you download, share/receive, or take a screenshot (Mainly Safari screenshots) on your iPhone it sometimes (Depending on different factors) saved to both the “Files” and “Photos” app.

Now when you go to delete said photos from the “Photos” app a identical copy of it is still present within the “Files” app, this makes it appear as it is deleted from the “Photos” app.

But due to a rare bug within iOS 17.5 the system attempts to re-save all photos/media/files from the “Files” app into the “Photos” app, this happens during the re-indexing process which happens when you update your iPhone. Since the “Photos” app can’t display files but it can display media/photos, it appears as your “deleted” photos have reappeared ALTHOUGH they have been on your iPhone the whole time in the “Files” app.

And as for the photos reappearing after a factory reset of the device, Apple has not investigated ANY CASES OF THIS. It is a myth, your Apple devices are secure.