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 Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

xxray Avatar
16 weeks ago
Oh for ****'s sake. This has to be Apple's most botched iOS release ever.
Score: 82 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macar00n Avatar
16 weeks ago
Did they hire a bunch of Android devs
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GMShadow Avatar
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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
16 weeks 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)

Related Stories

imazing header purple

MacRumors Giveaway: Win an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max From iMazing

Friday September 17, 2021 11:05 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with iMazing to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max with up to 1TB of storage and a copy of the iMazing software, which is ideal for iPhone backups and management. If you're unfamiliar with iMazing, it's Mac and Windows software that provides a range of handy tools for iOS device management, and it offers...
iOS 15 Messages Feature

Your iPhone May Be Sending Message Read Receipts Even If You Turned Them Off

Friday January 7, 2022 1:59 am PST by
A recurring iOS bug that makes Apple's Messages app send read receipts despite the setting being disabled appears to be on the upswing again, based on reports from users running iOS 15. In iOS, with read receipts enabled (Settings -> Messages -> Send Read Receipts), the "Delivered" text that a person sees under an iMessage they have sent you turns to "Read" when you've viewed it in the...
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Apple Releases iOS 15.0.2 With Messages Photo Bug Fix, Security Update and More

Monday October 11, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.0.2, the second update to the iOS 15 operating system that was released in September. iOS 15.0.2 comes a week and a half after the launch of iOS 15.0.1, a bug fix update. The iOS 15.0.2 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General >...
pixelmator photo iphone

Pixelmator Photo Now Available on iPhone

Thursday December 16, 2021 7:43 am PST by
Pixelmator today announced that its Pixelmator Photo app is now available on the iPhone. Previously limited to the iPad, the photo editing app features over 30 desktop-class color adjustment options, support for over 600 RAW image formats like Apple ProRAW, integration with the Photos app and iCloud Photos, and several AI-powered editing tools. Pixelmator Photo for iPhone also includes batch ...
time machine initial backup error

Initial Time Machine Backup Failures Increasingly Being Reported by Mac Users

Wednesday December 8, 2021 3:30 am PST by
Apple's built-in Time Machine backup solution for macOS appears to be causing problems for some Mac users running the latest versions of Monterey and Big Sur, based on a steady trickle of reports on both the MacRumors Forums and Reddit. While some users are complaining of different issues with Time Machine on different Macs and versions of macOS that are hard to replicate, one common...
Whatsapp E2EE Backups

WhatsApp's End-to-End Encrypted Chat Backups Feature Now Rolling Out

Friday October 15, 2021 1:09 am PDT by
WhatsApp end-to-end encrypted backups are now rolling out for iPhone users, Facebook has announced. Until now, WhatsApp let users back up their chat history to ‌‌iCloud‌‌, but the messages and media contained in the backups weren't protected by WhatsApp's end-to-end encryption while in ‌‌Apple's cloud servers‌. Since Apple holds the encryption keys for ‌iCloud‌ Backup, a...
iCloud General Feature

Apple Confirms Detection of Child Sexual Abuse Material is Disabled When iCloud Photos is Turned Off

Thursday August 5, 2021 2:16 pm PDT by
Apple today announced that iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 will see the introduction of a new method for detecting child sexual abuse material (CSAM) on iPhones and iPads in the United States. User devices will download an unreadable database of known CSAM image hashes and will do an on-device comparison to the user's own photos, flagging them for known CSAM material before they're uploaded to iCloud...
google photos locked folder

Google Photos 'Locked Folder' Feature for Pixel Phones Coming to iOS

Friday October 29, 2021 3:16 am PDT by
Google Photos users on iPhone and iPad will soon be able to lock their most sensitive images in a special passcode-protected folder, thanks to a new feature coming to the iOS app (via The Verge). Currently exclusive to Pixel phones, the privacy-oriented Locked Folder feature allows users to save photos and videos in the app within a separate space that requires a passcode or fingerprint to...

Popular Stories

safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time [Updated]

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
iphone se 2020 top

iPhone SE With Larger 5.7-Inch Display May Launch in 2023, 'iPhone SE+ 5G' Also Rumored

Monday January 17, 2022 6:46 am PST by
Apple is planning to release a fourth-generation iPhone SE with a larger 5.7-inch display as early as 2023, according to display industry consultant Ross Young, who has proven to be a reliable source of information for future Apple products. The fourth-generation iPhone SE has until now been rumored to launch in 2024, but Young now says a 2023 release is looking more likely....
tesla carplay solution

Developer Showcases Apple CarPlay Workaround for Teslas

Monday January 17, 2022 7:24 am PST by
A Tesla Model 3 owner has resorted to a workaround to implement Apple CarPlay in his vehicle, amid no sign of official support from Tesla (via Tesla North). Apple CarPlay and Apple Music support are among the most-requested Tesla features, but with no indication that Tesla is willing to implement Apple CarPlay in its vehicles, Polish developer Michał Gapiński took matters into his own...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...