iOS 17.5 is allegedly resurfacing pictures that were deleted years age [Update: It gets worse]

A bug in iOS 17.5 would cause photos deleted years ago to resurface for some iPhone users, according to posts on Reddit. Affected iPhone users claim that after the update to iOS 17.5 – released on Monday – a number of images in the Photos app were deleted years ago.

May 17, 2024 update below…

iOS 17.5 has a pretty big problem with the Photos app

The images in question would appear as the most recent images in the Photos app after installing iOS 17.5. A user says:

During a conversation with my partner, I went to send a photo and saw that the last few photos were NSFW material we made years ago when we lived apart. It was permanently deleted years ago, but magically it’s back?

I checked my iPad and it also has photos (artwork I made years ago). I feel so uncomfortable.

“Same here. I have four photos from 2010 that reappear as the last photos uploaded to iCloud. I’ve deleted them several times,” another user wrote in the Reddit thread.

There are a number of reports of similar situations in the Reddit thread. Some users are seeing deleted images from years ago reappear in their libraries, while others are seeing images from earlier this year.

By default, the Photos app has a “Recently Deleted” feature that keeps deleted images for 30 days. That’s not what’s happening here, since most of the images in question are months or years old, not days old.

Apple hasn’t commented on the issue, but it naturally arises innumerable concerns and questions regarding privacy and data retention. Some Reddit users believe that iOS 17.5 may have made changes to the Photos app that required the app to reindex photo libraries.

Still, even if the Photos app undergoes some sort of reindexing process in iOS 17.5, there’s no excuse for images that users thought were deleted to reappear.

Have you noticed older images reappearing in your Photos app after updating to iOS 17.5? Let us know in the comments.

Updated May 17, 2024:

A Reddit user claims his old photos resurfaced on an iPad he sold. In this situation, the user says they sold their iPad to a friend, factory reset the device, and now their old photos have surfaced on that same iPad:

I erased the iPad using the official Apple guides before selling it. I never signed in to this iPad with my Apple ID after erasing the iPad. I sold my iPad to a friend in September 2023, they called me today after updating to iPad OS 17.5 and told me my old photos were showing up in their Photos app…HUGE PRIVACY VIOLATION . I see other reports about this. How many people will get other people’s photos on devices they bought from other people?

Apple has yet to comment on these reports. We will update this story as more details emerge.

H/t MacRumors

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