Apple explains mysterious case of deleted iPhone photos reappearing

The recent release of iOS 17.5.1 took care of an alarming bug that reared with the previous iOS 17.5 update.

Many users reported seeing long-deleted photos reappear on their iPhone after installing iOS 17.5. In some circumstances, that could cause upset or other problems as those photos had likely been deleted for a reason.

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There had been speculation over whether the issue was related to an iCloud bug restoring older versions of libraries, or a bug with images not being fully removed from the device itself.

According to Apple, it’s the latter. The company told 9to5Mac that the issue is down to a corrupt database on the phone’s file system.

However, some Reddit users complained that photos from more than a decade ago had resurfaced on their phone. And we don’t know anyone who is using the same iPhone as they were 10 years ago.

Given Apple says none of the photos were even uploaded to iCloud in the first place, it seems more likely the files were transferred onto new devices while backups were restored.

Currently, it doesn’t appear that the issue was that widespread, although it could have wide reaching consequences for those who did experience the bug.

One user on social media claimed their photos had reappeared on an iPad that had been sold on to a friend, who said they had erased the iPad beforehand. Apple isn’t having this for a second and told 9to5Mac that claim was false.

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