Apple Explains Rare iOS 17.5 Bug That Resurfaced Deleted Photos

Apple Explains Rare iOS 17.5 Bug

Earlier this week, Apple released iOS 17.5.1 to address a rare and perplexing problem where deleted photos would unexpectedly reappear on a user’s device after installing iOS 17.5. In the initial release notes, Apple attributed this anomaly to “database corruption.” To provide more clarity, Apple has now shared additional details that in iOS 17.5 Bug, shedding light on the root cause and addressing common concerns.

Understanding the Issue – iOS 17.5 Bug

The core of the problem lies in the device’s file system. Apple confirmed that the issue was not linked to iCloud Photos. Instead, it was caused by a corrupt database entry on the device itself. The resurfacing photos were not synced to iCloud but were remnants stored on the device. These files persisted through device-to-device transfers, restores from backups, and even iCloud Backup restorations where iCloud Photos was not used.

iCloud’s Involvement

A significant question was how images from as far back as 2010 could reappear on modern devices. Apple clarified that these images were not pulled from iCloud Photos. Instead, they were files that had not been fully deleted from the device’s storage. The persistence of these files could occur through several scenarios, such as restoring from a backup or a device-to-device transfer.

Debunking Myths

In a now-deleted Reddit post, a user claimed that photos reappeared on an iPad they had sold to a friend, despite erasing the device before selling it. Apple debunked this claim, confirming that once a device is completely erased using the proper steps, all files and content are permanently deleted. The steps include:

  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Choose “General”
  3. Choose “Transfer or Reset”
  4. Choose “Erase All Content and Settings”

By following these steps, users ensure that everything is permanently deleted from their device, preventing old photos from resurfacing. In the case of the Reddit user, Apple suggested that they either did not follow the correct steps when resetting their device or fabricated the situation.

The Rare Nature of the Problem

Apple emphasized that this issue was rare and affected a small number of users and photos. The company assured users that it does not access or view their photos or videos. Despite the unsettling nature of this problem, users can take comfort in knowing that the photos were not stored in iCloud and could not resurface on a properly erased device.

Addressing the Issue in iOS 17.5 Bug

While iOS 17.5.1 fixes the underlying issue, it does not automatically delete photos that reappeared after updating to iOS 17.5. Affected users will need to manually delete those images from the Photos app. Once deleted, the images will move to the “Recently Deleted” album, where they will remain for 30 days. Users can then choose to permanently delete these images by selecting “Delete from All Devices” in the “Recently Deleted” album.


The rare bug in iOS 17.5 that caused deleted photos to reappear highlights the complexities of software updates and data management. Apple’s swift response and detailed explanation provide reassurance to users, emphasizing the importance of proper device resetting procedures and the rare nature of this issue. As always, staying updated with the latest software versions and following recommended steps for device management can help prevent such anomalies.

By addressing these concerns and providing clear instructions, Apple continues to maintain user trust and transparency in its operations, ensuring a smoother experience for all iOS users.

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