iOS Update Somehow Resurrects Deleted Photos on iPhone


Some iOS users were a bit surprised to see that their permanently deleted photos reappeared in their albums after an update.

Apple logo during daytime
Apple logo during daytime. Photo by Andy Wang

And you can imagine the surprise on some people who purchased units secondhand had when these same allegedly “wiped” photos reappeared on their device, The Verge reports.

As the website explains, data isn’t deleted until it is overwritten with new data. When data is “deleted,” references to it are removed although it still exists in some form, The Verge notes.

While that might be a great technical explanation, it is probably little consolation for people who have sold their devices to strangers who now might have gotten more than they bargained for in terms of legacy photos.

It’s not just photos, either, as The Verge reports old voicemails and other things are reappearing after the iOS 17.5 update.

Some people have speculated that it could be a cloud issue with devices syncing up to older photos still stored on Apple’s cloud service. But that doesn’t seem to be the case as some users who aren’t even syncing their photos with the cloud are reporting the same issue with reappearing deleted photos. As of writing, Apple still hasn’t responded to The Verge article about this whole ordeal which is probably not the most heartening news to read.

We’re sure they’re probably looking for a fix as we speak and will update the world accordingly. In the meantime, this serves as yet another example of how digital information and security is so important with modern devices.

Any thoughts that you might have on permanently deleted photos “reappearing” after an update are welcome in the comments.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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