New iOS 15 Feature Is Deleting User Photos from iCloud

Ios 15 Photos Featured

New versions of an operating system are always a big deal. They’re highly anticipated so that you can check out all the new features – features that are supposed to help you. But sometimes these photos don’t end up helping as much as they should. Sometimes they even do more harm than good. This is the case with iOS 15 that was just released last month. A new iOS 15 feature that saves photos sent to you through iMessage does so, but if you delete the message thread that sent the photos, the photos get deleted from iCloud.

Deleting an iOS 15 iMessage Thread Deletes Saved Photos from iCloud

It’s such a great feature – in theory. You don’t need to manually save your photos from your text messages, as iOS 15 will automatically save them to your iCloud. However, if you delete the iMessage thread in iOS 15 that sent the photos, later when an iCloud Backup is performed, the photos will be deleted from iCloud.

Unfortunately, your iCloud photos are removed after you delete a message thread, even if you manually save the photos. It’s not only happening when you use the new iOS 15 feature and can be extremely frustrating.

Ios 15 Photos Recent

To be clear, if you save a photo from a message thread or if iOS 15 automatically saves the photos, and you trust this process, you can check the Photos app and feel safe, as you see the saved photos in the app.

But because you don’t want to keep a bunch of message threads on your device or a conversation may be extremely private or sensitive, you delete the message thread, and when you do the right thing and perform an iCloud backup, the photos are then gone forever from your phone.

Known iOS 15 Photos Bug Not Fixed in iOS 15.1 Beta 2

It seems it may take some time before this issue is fixed. Users who have already employed iOS 15.1 beta 2 have reported that the issue is still happening. This should rightfully be sending panic through you – that is, unless you don’t do iCloud backups or don’t delete message threads.

Ios 15 Photos 15.1

The workarounds for this issue are obvious. Either turn off automatic iCloud backups and don’t do a manual backup either until the issue is fixed, or don’t delete your message threads. Not backing up your phone, however, puts you in certain danger should the unthinkable happen.

To me, the obvious solution is to not delete your messages, but that’s because I don’t delete my messages – ever. I have never deleted any message thread other than spam or someone I never want to hear from again. I can go back close to 10 years and re-read messages. I like keeping them around for historical purposes. Sure, it could take a while to find something that was said eight years ago, but it can be done. It can also be fun to flip through them … like old photos.

Ios 15 Photos Imessage

But my daughter deletes any message that was sent longer than 24 hours ago. Not doing so to preserve her photos for now is going to be difficult for her. But the cost of doing so until this iOS 15 Photos bug is fixed will be catastrophic.

Apple previously fixed a security flaw just before iOS 15 was released. While it’s unknown if Apple will find a fix for the new bug before 15.1 is released to the public, it does carry an added benefit of allowing you to save your vaccine card to your wallet.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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