Apple finally explains the bug of deleted photos reappearing with iOS 17.5

Apple finally explains the bug of deleted photos reappearing with iOS 17.5
Apple finally explains the bug of deleted photos reappearing with iOS 17.5

Apple has finally provided some clarification on this worrying bug which affected some users with iOS 17.5. Those concerned had the unpleasant surprise of finding images in the Photo app that had been deleted, sometimes for almost fifteen years. The company quickly released a patch, without explaining itself, so speculation had been rife since the bug appeared around ten days ago.

Picture iGeneration.

It is 9TB5 Mac who had the chance to speak officially with Apple about this bug. First crucial information: it is not linked to iCloud Photos, it is a strictly local problem, restricted to an iOS device. Photos or videos were not properly deleted as the user wanted at some point and the corresponding files remained on the iPhone or iPad, invisible until iOS 17.5. They were able to switch from one device to the next when restoring a local backup, transferring content between two devices over Wi-Fi or even when restoring an iCloud backup, only if iCloud Photos was disabled.

The photos incorrectly deleted following the bug were in fact never normally uploaded to Apple’s servers through iCloud Photos. When restoring an iCloud backup, the online photo library serves as the Source, thereby eliminating ghosting. On the other hand, those who transferred data directly between two iOS devices and those who used the mechanism built into macOS or Windows to restore a backup may be affected, even if they had iCloud Photos enabled.

Chance Miller also questioned Apple about a now-deleted testimony published on Reddit, where a user complained about finding his deleted photos on an iPad he had sold to a friend. The Cupertino company is categorical: this is not possible, unless the iOS device has not been properly erased before sale. By following the procedure to erase all contents and settings, the images incorrectly deleted by Photos would then have disappeared and their restoration is therefore technically impossible.

Finally, Apple stressed that the bug was rare and had only affected a small number of users and a small number of photos if applicable, without giving figures. It should also be noted that iOS 17.5.1 did not delete photos and videos that should have been deleted before, the update added them to the trash in the Photos app, making them invisible in the rest of the interface. However, they will remain there for thirty days, unless you choose to delete them before this period.

Ghosted images will be added to the Photos app’s Trash, where they will remain by default for another month before being deleted unless you do so first. Picture iGeneration.

To do this, open the Photos app, then “Recently Deleted” at the bottom of the album list. Tap the “Select” button at the top, then the affected images and finally in the menu hidden behind the three dots at the bottom right, choose the “Delete” option to get rid of them, this time for good.

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