iPhone deleted photos reappeared: Apple explains


By delivering iOS 17.5.1 this week, Apple put an end to a particularly problematic bug in its Photos application. Images deleted, sometimes many years ago, have reappeared as if by (black) magic. If this update fixes the problem, we were waiting for explanations from the manufacturer because this bug raises a privacy issue.

How is it that photos deleted years ago could suddenly reappear in the app Pictures ? For a company that prides itself on respecting the privacy of its users, surfacing images of what should be missing bodies and property is strange and disturbing, to say the least. Does it mean thatApple holds, somewhere in his cloud iCloudthese famous deleted photos?

A corrupted database

The manufacturer provided details of this error on 9to5Mac. iCloud Photo Library, which syncs photos and videos so they can be viewed on all devices connected to the same account, is not the fault. The problem is based on a corrupted local database: certain images that are normally deleted actually remained stored on the device in this famous database.

According to Apple, photos that were not completely deleted on a device were not synced to iCloud. However, photos could remain from one device to another after restoring from a backup, after a device-to-device transfer, or even restoring from an iCloud backup (without using iCloud Photos), for good reason: the database was always present locally and in backups, and was thus transmitted between terminals.

iOS 17.5.1 fixes this bug. After installing the update, the images that reappeared are placed in the “Recently Deleted” folder, where we can restore them if we want, otherwise they will disappear completely (and for real this time), in 30 days . It is also possible to delete them now.

Apple assures that the problem only affected a very small number of users and images. The manufacturer also insists that it does not have access to users’ photos and videos.

Read Apple fixes bug where deleted photos reappear in Photos app

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