What to Do if Your Photos Disappeared

Every iOS update receives a mix-bag of reactions; some people love it while others hate it. Most iPhone users, however, get excited about the new features that iOS update brings. It also improves the functionality and minimizes the bugs within the OS. The main reason behind iOS updates is to constantly improve the OS and it usually delivers.

On the flip side of the things, an iOS update sometimes could bring trouble instead of improvement. For example, some iPhone users have been found complaining that they lost all their photos when they updated their iOS. Photos have users’ sentiments attached to them, and users are bound to infuriate if these photos go missing without their consent.

Well, if you have faced the same issue then do not panic. First of all, you are not alone in this and secondly, these photos haven’t disappeared permanently. You can always recover them back given that you back up your iPhone on iCloud with consistency. Also, it could just be a simple glitch that can be undone with a simple restart. Have a look at the options you can use to recover your photos that disappeared after an update.

Force Restart:

Before opting for technical methods, try a force restart and see if it helps. A force restart is different for different iPhone models. Here is how to force restart different iPhones.

For iPhone 8 or Later:

Quickly press-release the volume up button, then press-release the volume down button in quick succession. Once done, press-hold the sleep/wake button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 7 & 7 Plus:

Press-hold the sleep/wake button in tandem with volume down button for at least 7-10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

For iPhone 6 Plus & Previous Models:

Press-hold the home and side/top button (as per the model) for 10 seconds. Do not release them until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Once done, check if the photos have been restored back or not.

Reset iCloud Photos Library:

Your photos get synced across different devices and iCloud through the iCloud Photo Library feature. Retrieving the disappeared photos could be as simple as disabling this feature off and enabling it back. You will need to:

1. Go to the Settings.

2. Tap on your Apple ID.

3. Hit the option iCloud.
tap on the option Photos

4. Now tap on the option Photos.
Disable the option iCloud Photos

5. Disable the option iCloud Photos. Upon disabling, you will see a pop-up asking your confirmation. Tap the option Remove from iPhone.

6. Wait a few seconds and then enable the feature back on.

7. Go to the photos and your disappeared photos would likely be restored in the albums.

Note: This process may take some time (depending on the photos) so make sure your iPhone has enough battery and keep it connected to the Wi-Fi as well.

Sign Out from your Apple ID and Sign In Back:

If resetting iCloud Photos doesn’t help the cause then you can consider signing out from the Apple ID and sign in back. Sometimes, this simple on/off method can do wonders, and therefore it is worth a try. You can do that by:

1. Go to the Settings.
Tap on the option iTunes and App Store

2. Tap on the option iTunes and App Store.

3. Locate your Apple ID and tap on it.

4. Now choose the option Sign Out.

5. Restart your iPhone and then sign in back with your Apple ID.

6. Go to the Photos and see if the method has worked or not.

Recently Delete Folder:

What if you are looking for methods to retrieve the missing photos but they already are on your iPhone? Yes, that is another possibility. Sometimes, the photos temporarily get deleted when you update, but you can still find them and recover them in the Photos app. To check that:

1. Launch the Photos app.

2. Look for the folder Recently Deleted.

3. If you see the photos that are presumably missing from the All Photos album then you can restore them back.

4. Select the photos you want to retrieve and hit the option Recover.

5. Go back to the album All Photos and your missing photos would be back in the folder.

Beware, Recently Deleted folder only keep photos for 30 days. After that, these photos get permanently deleted and you cannot recover them.

From iCloud’ Website:

If disabling iCloud Photos doesn’t help then you may have to visit iCloud’ website via a browser on PC or iPhone. You will be able to download the missing photos on your PC or directly on the device. To do that:

1. Open the web browser and search www.icloud.com.

2. Provide your login details.

3. Now hit the option Photos.

4. Select the photos you want to get back on your device and download them.

5. If you are using a PC then you will have to transfer them to your device via iTunes. If you are using a browser on your iPhone then download the pictures directly on it.

iTunes:

iTunes is always there to help you, isn’t it? you would be wondering why iTunes’ option has been mentioned last on the list. The reason why iTunes’ method is last on the list is the fact that it will erase all your iPhone’ data to accommodate the new backup restore. Some people do not want this and therefore, they prefer the alternatives.

Restoring iPhone via iTunes is quite simple and it will likely restore the missing photos on your iPhone. However, it is recommended that you use iTunes’ back up paired with some reputable third-party tool. Doing this will let you restore selective back up e.g. Messages, Photos, or files and you won’t have to erase all your data from the iPhone. There are many good tools for this purpose and they all are quite easy to use.