deleted iPhone photos reappeared on some iOS devices – Here’s Why!

Thanks to Apple and a few other experts, we now know more about why long-deleted images started to surface on iOS 17.5 devices. Apple fixed the problem earlier this week with the iOS 17.5.1 update, blaming “database corruption” for the problem. The business did not, however, explain why previous files—including, in certain situations, deleted nudes—resurfaced on devices that had never held them.Apple explained to 9to5Mac that the issue was caused by a defective database entry in the file system of the device, which affected files stored locally on the devices instead of those synchronized with iCloud.

It’s possible that these files were transferred from one device to another or from an earlier backup. Prior to being removed, a Reddit user reported that an iPad that had been erased and sold to a friend had pictures on it that the iOS 17.5 bug had brought back. Apple contradicts this, saying that all information and content are permanently destroyed from a device once the data has been fully cleared. This was stated to 9to5Mac. Apple claims that either the user did not follow the proper reset instructions or they are making this up to gain Reddit credibility.

Apple also stressed that photo and video files on consumers’ devices are not under its control and that the database problem only impacted a limited percentage of people. By dissecting the iOS 17.5.1 upgrade, security experts from Synacktiv were able to give more details.  According to their research, a migration process was included in iOS 17.5, which is in charge of scanning and reimporting images from the filesystem. Old files were re-indexed and sent back into photo galleries as a result of this practice, which was later eliminated in the most recent upgrade.” We can say that the photos that reappeared were still present on the filesystems and were just found by the migration routine added in iOS 17.5,” Synacktiv said in reference to this code.

They continued by saying that it’s unclear how the pictures ended up staying on the filesystem at first. According to a Reddit remark, users may have saved photographs to both the Files and Photos apps, but only deleted them from the latter. This is a logical explanation that the Synacktiv article references.

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