Apple Explains iOS 17.5 Deleted Photos Reappearing Bug

Apple’s iOS 17.5 update has now been superseded with the release of iOS 17.5.1 and that update does one thing and one thing only — fix a bug that caused some people to report the return of photos that they had previously deleted.

The bug was thought to be related to iCloud with the photos reappearing often years after they were first deleted from iPhones and iPads. However, Apple has told 9to5Mac that the issue had nothing to do with iCloud but rather related to a bug on the device itself.

Apple says that the bug was related to a corrupt database entry that existed on the iPhones’ file system.

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.

Apple also confirmed that the problem was rare and that it only affected a small number of people and of those people, the issue only affected a small number of photos.

Apple was also quick to point out that it does not have access to a user’s photos or videos, regardless of what some may have feared after they reappeared on their devices.

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