Has iOS 15 Photos deleted some of the images saved from your Messages chats?

Do certain images and videos saved in iOS 15’s Photos app disappear on a whim from your device? If so, chalk that up to another bug in iOS 15 that in certain conditions deletes images that you’ve previously saved to Apple’s Photos software from your Messages chats.

UPDATE October 11, 2021: A fix for this issue is included in Apple’s iOS 15.0.2 and iPadOS 15.0.2 updates


  • A bug in iOS 15 deletes images saved in Photos from other apps
  • Deleting a Messages thread seems to flag saved images for deletion
  • Saved images vanish from Photos after an iCloud backup is performed

Apple's marketing image showing a bunch of iPhone and iPod touch devices showcasing various iOS 15 features

iOS 15 makes saved photos disappear after a backup

Multiple people have reported this unwanted behavior for iOS 15’s Messages and Photos apps, with the iCloud Backup feature appearing to trigger image deletion. It seems to have something to do with a new “Saved from” feature on iOS 15 Photos’ image information screen.

Touch an image in Photos to open it fullscreen, then swipe up to bring up the info screen. If an image was saved from another app like WhatsApp, you’ll see it next to “Saved from”.

MacRumors has more on how to replicate this bug:

  1. Save a photo from a Messages chat to the Photos app
  2. After confirming the photo has been saved, delete the Messages chat where it came from
  3. Run an iCloud backup in Settings → iCloud → iCloud Backup, then hit Back Up Now.

As soon as you perform a backup, any iMessage attachments saved in Photos that are linked to deleted Messages chats also vanish from your ‌iCloud Photos library‌. Apple has not publicly acknowledged this bug. iOS 15 suffers from other launch bugs that the company promised to fix in a future update, including lack of the option to turn off Apple TV keyboard notifications.

iPhone screenshot showing the image information screen with the "Saved from" section in iOS 15 Photos
The Photos app on iOS 15 tells you if an image was saved from another app like WhatsApp

Other pressing issues, like error messages when trying to unlock an iPhone 13 while wearing a face mask and an Apple Watch, were recently fixed with the release of iOS 5.0.1.