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iOS 17.5.1 update fixes bug resurrecting deleted photos

Apple has released iOS 17.5.1 to fix a bug that caused deleted photos to resurface after updating to iOS 17.5, and users are advised to update their devices as soon as possible.

The iOS 17 logo in purple background
Image: KnowTechie

Apple just pushed out iOS 17.5.1, an emergency update that tackles a seriously creepy bug: deleted photos coming back from the dead.

Yup, according to various reports, some users found their supposedly deleted pics resurfacing after upgrading to iOS 17.5. And in most cases, these images fell into the NSFW category.

The issue seemed to stem from database corruption, causing photos marked for deletion to reappear in the Photos app. Some users even reported deleted photos showing up on devices that had been wiped and handed over to different users – yikes.

Apple has kept mum on the specifics, but the iOS 17.5.1 update claims to fix the problem. It’s a rare issue, but one that understandably spooked folks.

But, um, we kind of need answers. The Verge puts it out bluntly in a recent headline, and frankly, I have to agree: “Apple needs to explain that bug that resurfaced deleted photos. When you delete a photo, you expect it to be gone for good.”

So, what’s the takeaway? If you haven’t already, update to iOS 17.5.1 ASAP. Your privacy (and potentially your sanity) will thank you. And if you need a quick refresher on how to update your iPhone, we have a handy guide here: How to update your iPhone.

iPadOS 17.5.1 update notification on screen.
Image: KnowTechie

To update your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Back Up Your iPhone:
    • iCloud Backup:
      1. Connect to a Wi-Fi network.
      2. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup.
      3. Tap Back Up Now.
    • iTunes Backup:
      1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
      2. Open iTunes and select your device.
      3. Click Back Up Now.

Make sure your device is charged or connected to power during the update process.

Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi.

  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Your iPhone will check for updates automatically. If an update is available, you’ll see a notification.

    Tap Download and Install.

    • Enter your passcode if prompted.
    • Agree to the terms and conditions.
    • The update will download, and then your iPhone will restart to install the update.

    And hey, Apple? Maybe you can be a bit more transparent next time a bug like this pops up. We get it—stuff happens. But keeping users in the loop goes a long way toward maintaining that trust you’re always on about.

    Were any of your pictures exposed? Please comment below or share the discussion on Twitter or Facebook.

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    Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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