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Simoleon547

macrumors member
Original poster
May 25, 2014
83
51
I have seen throughout the years that my early photos have started disappearing and it has gotten to such a point that I know I had a photo of something, but I look back and it’s gone (I also see blacked-out corrupted photos) but not only is it gone, other photos are obviously gone. The idea that the first 2 years I had an iPhone are left with only 40 pictures left is insane. I had hundreds. Apple has been terrible with the photos app in the past. It took them around 5 years to fix the bug on the iPad that kept you from zooming in, rotating to another orientation and back, and resuming full screen without stalling and having to restart the photos app. The fact that they were that negligent about that bug for so many years is indicative of how they treated the photos app. It’s most likely that when there was very little free space they started corrupting the photo data or pushing it out without prioritizing it’s importance, and this has been going on for years. An app can be redownloaded (usually) a 10 year old photo can’t. Maybe Kodak should start a photo-backup cloud for iPhone users.
 
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fatTribble

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2018
1,529
4,082
Ohio
That’s very concerning! I’m not doubting anything that you said. For myself, I often offloaded my early photos because it was pre iCloud and storage was small. Just asking, is there any chance your early photos are on a hard drive somewhere?
 

Lee_Bo

Cancelled
Mar 26, 2017
606
877
Very interesting. I have not seen this, and I have several images on my current 14PM that I took with my 6 Plus that I took in April, 2015.

I also use a Lightning USB drive to back up my photos when I don't have cell service and don't want anything to happen to my phone and lose all my photos before they are synched with the cloud.
 

Simoleon547

macrumors member
Original poster
May 25, 2014
83
51
No I’m not synchronizing it or using icloud photo library. I doubt it would happen if I were because I think it relates to when there’s no more storage space. The photos that have been missing are from 2010-2012 and I have no idea when they disappeared. It could have been years ago. Normally SSD storage has an extra storage space that isn’t used but exists for when memory cells die from overuse. But I think that would be strange for it to be depleted. I know using an iPhone with virtually no storage space thrashes the same part of the SSD and can cause it to fail sooner but I would think that would take much longer than I had any of my phones at nearly full storage. It could have been an issue with older iOS versions. But the photos are just gone. I’ve known about it for a year or 2 and assumed it was happening when the memory was full. A big clue to it is that on my iPad some photos or videos (can’t tell what they were) are just black thumbnails.
 
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purplefuku

macrumors member
Jul 6, 2010
41
21
Osaka, Japan
+1. I’ve been having this happen for a couple of years now. I end up with so many black thumbnails near the beginning of my camera roll. The worst is not knowing which ones they are! Thankfully, I’ve been backing up photos elsewhere, too…
 

eoblaed

macrumors 68030
Apr 21, 2010
2,985
3,045
Are you sure you aren't using iCloud Photos to manage backups of your photos ... I'm pretty sure there's a setting to offload photos to the cloud periodically in the background to save space on your device. Perhaps in that case older photos might default to not being immediately accessible until you try to access them... at which point they might start to download? I dunno.

If not, this is clearly highly atypical behavior, or caused by some other activity on the part of the user. Otherwise, it'd be front page news, constantly.

I currently have 22,623 images on my phone going back to 2003 (the pre-iPhone photos were synced to my phone early on). That number has never gone down. I never have issues reviewing images ... searches will frequently take me back to those older years, etc.

I've never once had an issue of any photos just disappearing or becoming inaccessible. Same for my wife and kids (trust me, I'd hear about it) nor any of my extended family members for whom I'm the de facto tech support.

In fact, I don't think I've ever heard of this happening until coming across this thread.

Hope you figure it out. :-/
 
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ManuCH

macrumors 65816
May 7, 2009
1,406
1,048
Switzerland
I'm pretty sure this is due to some third party app messing with your pictures because of some bug. I use iCloud Photos for everything, and I have 65000 pictures and 1500 videos on my account, back from 2014. Never lost a single file (and still, I do back them up religiously to my NAS and then to a second cloud).
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,741
1,462
Tokyo, Japan
Odd. I have 20,550 photos and videos going back to my first iPhone in 2008, and tons of pre-2008 photos and videos from other cameras. Nothing missing. I sync with iCloud Photos (2TB plan) and my Mac mini pulls originals, which are then backed up offsite (Backblaze) plus on-site to a Synology NAS as well as monthly archive backups to external drives.

I'm sorry to hear that you're losing photos - I'm paranoid about that, which is why I maintain multiple backups at home and remotely (iCloud, Mac mini, NAS, Backblaze, monthly local archives - so four complete backups at all times plus one backup updated monthly) . Maybe you should think about investing in a similar backup solution so that you don't lose anything else.
 
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HDFan

Contributor
Jun 30, 2007
6,762
2,970
I'm sorry to hear that you're losing photos - I'm paranoid about that, which is why I maintain multiple backups at home and remotely (iCloud, Mac mini, NAS, Backblaze, monthly local archives - so four complete backups at all times plus one backup updated monthly) . Maybe you should think about investing in a similar backup solution so that you don't lose anything else.

Yes. It can also help if you encounter bit rot.
 
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