What should I do if my iPhone with iOS 17.5 revive my deleted NSFW pictures?

Apple has yet to release a patch

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Key notes

  • Apple launched the iOS 17.5 update earlier this week.
  • The update introduces a few bug and security improvements here and there.
  • But now, users are also complaining that their old deleted pictures have showed up.

iOS 17.5, the latest update of iPhone and iPad’s operating systems, has just arrived a little while ago. It boasts a few documented changes, like a revamp on the Apple News department and a new lock screen wallpaper, but it allegedly comes with an oddly weird bug. It shows unwanted pictures that you’ve deleted a long, long time ago.

Folks on Reddit, which MacRumors first spotted, have been voicing their concerns. Some expressed shock upon discovering that nude photos they had permanently deleted years ago on a different iPhone had reappeared on their phones. One user mentioned, “I checked my iPad and it also has pictures (some artwork I did years ago). I feel so uncomfortable.”

So, what should you do? Well, the best bet is to wait until a patch arrives and not panic, as, we believe, that it may only affect a small subset of users. We tried it ourselves on an iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB and the issue does not seem to exist.

Apple hasn’t confirmed an investigation, but the issue does seem serious. Users also report old photos reappearing in iCloud despite being deleted repeatedly. Many feel frustrated and uncomfortable, and the Cupertino tech giant has yet to launch a fix or iOS 17.5.1 to patch things up.

The best, most logical guess is that iOS 17.5 contains a photo library bug. This bug might cause deleted photos to remain on the device but hidden from view. An OS update could re-index the files, mistakenly restoring them as recent additions. This could explain why old photos are suddenly reappearing in the Photos app.

iOS 17.5 arrived for folks with iPhone XS and later, as well as certain generations of iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini. The update is not all bad: it introduces support for unwanted tracking alerts in iOS and Android in a joint effort with Google (Android 6.0+).

“With this new capability, users will now get an “[Item] Found Moving With You” alert on their device if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is seen moving with them over time, regardless of the platform the device is paired with,” Apple said earlier in blog post.