Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries.

iOS 17
After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. 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." More reports have been trickling in overnight. One said: "I had a random photo from a concert taken on my Canon camera reappear in my phone library, and it showed up as if it was added today."

It's not clear what's happening, but given that some of the photos were apparently taken years ago, this cannot be an issue with recently deleted photos being undeleted. In Apple's Photos app, deleted photos and videos are kept in the Recently Deleted album for 30 days, so that users can recover or permanently remove them from all devices.

The reports could be down to an indexing bug, photo library corruption, or a syncing issue between local devices and iCloud Photos. Another possibility is that in attempting to fix a photo syncing bug that occurred in iOS 17.3, Apple has inadvertently caused a new syncing issue to occur that may involve iCloud backups. Some users running iOS 17.5 developer beta 4 earlier reported similar experiences. We'll update this article when we learn more.

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Top Rated Comments

therunningman Avatar
1 week ago
This tells me that your deleted photos are never really deleted.
Score: 187 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lyrics23 Avatar
1 week ago
This is extremely worrying if this is an iCloud bug; it’s one thing for on-device photos to be accidentally retained somehow, but if Apple are keeping copies of everyone’s deleted images for years on their servers, that’s a big problem.
Score: 119 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacProFCP Avatar
1 week ago
WOW.

This is a MAJOR breach. “Deleted” must mean “DELETED”! If the photos are resurfacing that means that Apple is somehow storing these photos illegally.

I hope this elicits a congressional inquiry. I’d like to know what other “deleted” data Big Tech is storing.
Score: 119 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrayFlannel Avatar
1 week ago
This type of issue should raise all sorts of questions related to Apple storage maintenance and security aside from merely a bug that reattaches years old deleted photos back to the original user.
Score: 83 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abatabia Avatar
1 week ago

This tells me that your deleted photos are never really deleted.
Kinda scary.
Score: 81 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dricci Avatar
1 week ago
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the state of Apple Software QC (or complete lack thereof) in 2024. So much for that "security" paying the premium price and living in a walled garden gets you.
Score: 74 Votes (Like | Disagree)