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Apple has just fixed one of the weirder iPhone bugs

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max's camera module.
Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Apple has squashed a bug on the iPhone and iPad that caused deleted photos to reappear on the devices.

As smartphone bugs go, this was surely one of the more bizarre ones. Reports of the strange issue began to surface following Apple’s rollout of iOS 17.5 last week.

While Apple never made any public comment about the issue, its engineers moved quickly to work out what was going on and to put things right.

The fix came in the form of update 17.5.1, which was rolled out to iPhones and iPads on Monday. Head to Settings > General > Software Update to grab it.

Apple’s release notes for the update said: “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.”

Users delete photos from their mobile devices for a whole host of reasons. They might choose the best image from a series of similar shots and discard the rest, and who wants to keep a photo with camera shake or awful lighting? But according to some forum posts on Apple’s latest bug, deleted NSFW images were also reappearing, in some cases years after they’d been removed from the Apple device.

One person posting about the issue on Reddit said: “I have four pics from 2010 that keep reappearing as the latest pics uploaded to iCloud. I have deleted them repeatedly.” Another said: “Same thing happened to me. Six photos from different times, all I have deleted. Some I had deleted in 2023.”

MacRumors suggested the bug could’ve been the result of “an indexing bug, photo library corruption, or a syncing issue between local devices and iCloud Photos,” but also said that in trying to resolve a syncing issue with iOS 17.3, Apple might have “inadvertently caused a new syncing issue to occur that may involve iCloud backups.”

Digital Trends has contacted Apple to ask for more information about this strange issue, and we will update this story when they get in touch.

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