iOS 15 Messages Bug Causes Saved Photos to Be Deleted

A serious bug in the iOS 15 Messages app can cause some saved photos to be deleted, according to multiple complaints we've heard from MacRumors readers and Twitter users.

iOs 15 Photos Feature
If you save a photo from a Messages thread and then go on to delete that thread, the next time an iCloud Backup is performed, the photo will disappear.

Even though the image is saved to your personal iCloud Photo Library, it appears to still be linked to the Messages app in iOS 15, and saving it does not persist through the deletion of the thread and an ‌iCloud‌ backup.

To replicate this bug, the following steps must be taken:

  1. Save a photo from a Messages conversation to your Camera Roll.
  2. Check to see that the photo has been saved.
  3. Delete the Messages conversation the photo came from. The photo will still be in your ‌iCloud Photo Library‌ at this point.
  4. Perform an ‌iCloud‌ Backup, and the photo disappears.

This is a concern because most users keep the ‌iCloud‌ Backup feature enabled and it's something that happens automatically. If you're someone who regularly deletes message threads, if there's a photo that you want to keep, you won't be able to keep it with ‌iCloud‌ Backup turned on. We tested this bug on an iPhone running iOS 15.1 beta 2 and had our photo deleted after deleting the Messages thread and performing an ‌iCloud‌ Backup, so the issue has not been addressed in the current beta as of yet.


Until this bug is fixed, if you've downloaded photos from the Messages app, you'll want to make sure to keep those Messages conversations and not delete them to prevent them from being automatically removed from your devices.

(Thanks, Chad!)

Related Roundup: iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

xxray Avatar
15 months ago
Oh for ****'s sake. This has to be Apple's most botched iOS release ever.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macar00n Avatar
15 months ago
Did they hire a bunch of Android devs
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GMShadow Avatar
15 months ago
Is this the real reason Apple made it so easy to stay on 14 this year? They knew 15 was likely to be a disaster?
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamlbiscuit Avatar
15 months ago
iOS 15 needs polishing up asap in my opinion. It's not unexpected for the initial release to have bugs of course, but iOS 15 is particularly buggy and unpolished in my experience of it so far.

It's issues such as this, which could very easily happen to anyone and are easily reproduced, that make you wonder if the software devs actually use their own software on their personal devices.

This cross with the bodged implementation of Widgets on iPad OS, and Safari 15's questionable design choices make me inclined to steer clear of Monterey when it releases.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Canyonero Avatar
15 months ago
We all love Craig Federighi but apart from his charisma, does he actually foster a culture where details matter? Apparently not. Apple’s software quality has never been great but it’s getting to the point of being ridiculous.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Acidsplat Avatar
15 months ago
Getting very 90s Apple vibes with everything going wrong this year.
They need a quality assurance team again instead of relying on public testers.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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