How does Apple explain the serious problem with iPhone running iOS 17.5?

 Some iPhone owners have discovered a very strange bug that causes old, long-deleted iPhone photos to reappear on devices running iOS 17.5.

This raises speculation as to what might have caused the error, as it is a very serious problem. Imagine sensitive content that users thought was deleted years ago suddenly reappearing.

iOS 17.5 causes serious problems for some iPhone users.

Apple fixed the photo deletion bug with the iOS 17.5.1 update a few days ago, without immediately explaining in detail what caused the problem. Now, the answer to the problem has been released and shows that the problem is not as serious as we expected. This is not a type of iCloud error that can affect other data but a rare occurrence involving corrupted files on the iPhone.

When the error appeared, some people speculated that a mysterious corruption could be affecting the Photos library. Apple confirmed in the release notes from iOS 17.5.1 that “photos with corrupted databases may reappear in the Photos library even if they have been deleted.”

The company further explained the error in a statement to 9to5Mac explaining why old photos that may have been deleted since 2010 reappeared on the iPhone.

Apple says this is not an iCloud Photos issue and that Apple does not save deleted user photos. Instead, it involves a corrupt database entry in the device's file system. Chances are you won't be carrying a 2010 iPhone in 2024, but if you're restoring your old data for every new iPhone you buy, that database corruption could last well into 2024. Undeleted photos don't sync to iCloud Photos at all, and the issue doesn't affect iCloud in any way. That's certainly good news and should reassure anyone who's experiencing photo deletion errors on their iPhone.

Apple's explanation shows that the error is not as serious as we think.

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As a reminder, when users delete photos and videos on their iPhone or iPad, they are not deleted immediately but give the user 30 days to change their mind unless the trash folder is emptied before then. The same deletion process applies to other content on your iPhone or iPad.

Apple also said that if users erase their iPhone or iPad to factory settings, they will also delete corrupted files. Deleted old photos won't show up again on a device that no longer belongs to the user, so they don't have to worry about that.

According to Apple, this is a rare issue affecting a small number of users. It's unclear whether it will reappear now that Apple has fixed it. While Apple may have fixed the issue through the iOS 17.5.1 update, the fix will not automatically delete any hidden iPhone photos that have been restored. Users will have to manually delete them again on their device.

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