Many readers report that since they updated to iOS 11 (or minor versions of it like 11.1 & 11.2,) their photos disappeared. This terrible thing is a problem that sometimes happens following an upgrade to your iPhone or iPad. Users find that their Photos disappear after iPhone update with some or even all of their saved photos missing. And when you go to Photos > Albums > All Photos, you are unable to find the last picture you saved before the iOS update.
Any chance to get your photos back?
If this is a problem that you are seeing on your iPhone, you can fix this with the help of your iCloud. We are assuming that you have been backing up your device to your iCloud regularly. It is always a good idea to perform a backup of your iPhone or iPad before you do an update on the device.
Before proceeding with the fix, please make sure that your iPhone photos were backed up to your iCloud account. Log into your iCloud account using your computer’s browser and select Photos after you have entered your credentials.
Verify that your latest photos are available on your iCloud account. This process should also include the images that are missing from your iPhone. Once you have verified the pictures in your iCloud account only then proceed with the steps below.
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Photos Disappeared After iPhone Update, Steps To Fix
To fix this issue on your device, make sure that you connect to a wi-fi network with a strong and stable signal.
First, check if there is an update to your iOS. Often, Apple releases a minor update shortly after a major release to fix issues that come up after that major iOS release. So, even though it may feel counter-intuitive, it often does help to update to that minor version.
If there isn’t an update available or if you’re not ready to take that step, continue to these next steps.
To Fix Your Missing Photos, follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings and Tap on your Apple ID at the Top of the Screen and then choose iCloud on the next screen.
- Next Tap on Photos (Should show ON next to photos)
- On the next screen, turn off the ‘iCloud Photo Library.’ Choose Remove from iPhone when you see the choices. This removes the photos and media from your iPhone.
- Now that your iPhone is clear, turn on the iCloud Photo Library and wait for all the photos to download back into your iPhone from iCloud.
Depending upon the number of Photos that you had, it will take some time to download them all back into your iPhone. If your iPhone is running low on charge, you may want to connect your iPhone to a power source while the photos are downloading.
In the case you never saved your photos in the iCloud before the update but instead saved them as an iTunes backup, you can restore from your iTunes backup using a USB cable.
Need Another Option?
Some readers report they don’t see ANY message when toggling off iCloud Photo Library. If that’s your situation, try this alternative solution–the bad news is this option takes a lot of time, especially if you have many photos.
Try Download Your Missing Photos from iCloud’s Website
- Go toiCloud’s website on a computer and log in with your Apple ID
- If you don’t have a computer, use your browser’s Desktop Mode
- Check for ANY missing photo(s) on iCloud’s site
- If you locate any missing photos, tap it to select the photo and press the download icon (cloud with down-facing arrow)
- Download to your computer or download directly to your iDevice
- At this time, iCloud’s website only allows individual photo downloads, you cannot select a group of photos to download in one shot
See this article for more information on downloading photos from the iCloud website to your computer or to an external drive.
- This process is what I did, and it worked for me!
- Sign out of iCloud
- Go to Photos and delete all pictures that are still on the phone, including albums and remember to remove all the photos in the Recently Deleted Folder as well
- Close the Photos App (double press home and swipe up)
- Then restart your device
- And finally, sign back into iCloud
- All your photos should come back! It might take a lot of time, depending on how many images you have
- I had to toggle iCloud Photos Library On and Off a couple of times before it worked. SO if it doesn’t work the first time, try again!
- My iCloud Photo syncing was not completed after my update to iOS 11.1, on BOTH my Phone 8+ and my iPad Air 2. I finally solved these problems when completely reset BOTH devices using iTunes Restore and then connecting to my backups and to iCloud Photo Library
We hope that these relatively simple tips worked for you. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.