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iOS 17.5 Bug Causes Deleted Photos to Reappear on Wiped and Sold Devices

TL;DR: iOS 17.5 bug causing deleted photos to reappear on devices, even those wiped and sold. Apple has yet to address the issue, raising privacy concerns. Reddit user’s original post was deleted, casting doubt on the claim.

A peculiar bug in iOS 17.5 is causing deleted photos to resurface, even on iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold to other people.

Reddit User’s Experience

A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple’s guidelines in September 2023 before selling it to a friend. After updating the iPad to iPadOS 17.5, the friend began seeing the Reddit user’s old photos in the Photos app.

The user claims they never logged back into the iPad with their Apple ID after erasing it, raising concerns about a potential privacy violation.

Details of the Affected Device

The impacted device was a fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro that had been updated to the latest operating system. The Reddit user followed Apple’s instructions for erasing the device before selling it.

Other Reports of Deleted Photos Resurfacing

Earlier this week, several other users reported seeing deleted photos reappear on their devices after updating to iOS 17.5. However, those reports were from users who still owned their devices and were logged into their iCloud Photo Libraries and Apple IDs.

The latest report suggests that the erased and sold iPad is somehow restoring old photos from an Apple ID that is no longer signed in to it.

Timeline of Reappearing Photos

The Reddit user mentions that the reappearing photos are from 2017, which aligns with similar reports from other users who have seen photos as old as 2010 resurface suddenly, with no explanation.

The images were initially taken on an iPhone and synced to the iPad via iCloud Photo Library before the device was wiped and sold.

Apple’s Photo Retention Policy

Apple devices are designed to retain photos for 30 days in the Recently Deleted section of the Photos app. Images should be automatically deleted if a second delete procedure is carried out from the Recently Deleted interface.

Lack of Explanation from Apple

Apple has not yet provided any information on why some users may be experiencing this issue. The report of old photos appearing on a device that was wiped and sold is particularly concerning from a privacy standpoint.

Update: Original Post Deleted

As of May 19, the Reddit user who reported the issue has deleted the original post, casting doubt on the authenticity of the claim.


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