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Apple fixes iPhone and iPad bug that brings back old photos deleted years ago

A picture of the new iPhone 15 pro lineup

Apple has released new software updates for iOS and iPadOS to address a bizarre bug that brings back old photos in the Photos app deleted years ago by their owners. These respective updates, iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, are now available to download.

The updates have arrived almost a week after Apple released iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. Several user reports popped up on social media platforms such as Reddit, claiming that the new updates brought back old photos on iPhones and iPads that were deleted years ago.

One Reddit user claimed that multiple photos from 2010 reappeared as the latest pictures on iCloud. Surprised by how deleted photos from years ago resurfaced, some users raised privacy concerns regarding Apple's handling of user data.

iOS 1751 changelog

In the release notes for the latest updates, Apple said that the problem occurred due to a data corruption issue:

This update provides important bug fixes and addresses a rare issue where photos that experienced database corruption could reappear in the Photos library even if they were deleted.

Affected users are recommended to install the update as soon as possible by going to Settings > General > Software Update. iOS 17.5.1 update is compatible with iPhone XS and above. Meanwhile, iPadOS 17.5.1 is compatible with iPad mini 5 and newer, iPad 6 and newer, iPad Air 3 and newer, 10.5-inch iPad Pro and newer, and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation) and newer.

For reference, these updates are follow-ups to iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5, which were released earlier this month, with support for an offline mode in Apple News+, a new Pride Radiance wallpaper, and a puzzle game.

A highlight of the update is the privacy feature called Cross-Platform Tracking Protection, which is a joint effort between Apple and Google. The feature allows iPhone and Android to alert users about unknown Bluetooth-enabled tags following them.

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