Apple finally explains the controversial iPhone bug that revived deleted photos

Apple has finally addressed the controversial iPhone bug that involved deleted photos reappearing on the device, even permanently deleted photos.

1 minute & 34 seconds read time

Apple recently released iOS 17.5 to all of its users, and one bug that some users were reporting was concerning to many as it revived long-deleted photos on devices, leading owners to believe Apple has kept all of their deleted photos.

Apple finally explains the controversial iPhone bug that revived deleted photos 2156651

The bug quickly became controversial as users were reporting seeing images reappear in the Photos app that were deleted and even permanently deleted. Apple described this issue as "rare" and issued an iOS 17.5.1 update, which addressed the bug but didn't provide an explanation as to what caused it in the first place, with the company writing it was related to photos experiencing "database corruption," enabling them to reappear in the Photos library despite being deleted.

Now, Apple has given a proper explanation as to what is behind the bug, with the Cupertino company explaining to 9to5Mac, the bug has nothing to do with iCloud Photos and the problem can be traced to the "corrupt database entry that existed on the device's file system" and that a photo reappearing on a device from years ago (some cases as old as 2010) can be explained by the new device restoring from an old backup.

"According to Apple, the photos that did not fully delete from a user's device were not synced to iCloud Photos. Those files were only on the device itself. However, the files could have persisted from one device to another when restoring from a backup, performing a device-to-device transfer, or when restoring from an iCloud Backup but not using iCloud Photos," writes 9to5Mac

Apple further iterated to the publication that to remove all data from a device, a user should navigate the following steps:

  1. Open "Settings"
  2. Choose "General"
  3. Choose "Transfer or Reset"
  4. Choose "Erase All Content and Settings"
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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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