iOS 15 Messages bug secretly deletes backed up photos

iOS 15 Messages bug secretly deletes backed up photos

iOS 15 was released to the public less than a month ago, and some complaints have already started surfacing online. It’s common for new major software releases to have some bugs, even after months of beta testing. However, major bugs usually don’t make it through to the public builds. Unfortunately, a critical bug has been discovered in iOS 15. Several users have reported that their backed-up iCloud photos are getting deleted due to this bug.

According to MacRumors, by deleting a thread from the Messages app and performing an iCloud backup afterward, all photos saved from the deleted thread are removed from the users’ photo libraries. This occurs despite the images having been safely backed up in iCloud originally. The bug causes major concern because it could permanently delete certain moments from people’s lives without them even noticing.


To replicate this bug, MacRumors states the following steps:

  • Save a photo from a Messages conversation to your Camera Roll.

  • Check to see that the photo has been saved.

  • Delete the Messages conversation the photo came from. The photo will still be in your ‌iCloud Photo Library‌ at this point.

  • Perform an ‌iCloud‌ Backup, and the photo disappears.

So any average user that deletes Messages threads may end up losing photos that had been shared with them.

It’s worth mentioning that Apple hasn’t patched this bug in iOS 15.1 beta 2. Some users have shared that it’s still present in the beta release. It’s likely Apple will fix it in a future iOS 15.1 beta, and they might even include a patch in a potential iOS 15.0.1 update to get it out as soon as possible. iOS 15.1 could be weeks away from a public release, and a bug like this one requires immediate attention.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.