Photos Missing On iPhone? Here’s Why & The Real Fix!

You can’t find some of your iPhone photos and you’re not quite sure where they could’ve went. You’ve scrolled through your entire photo library, but the one you’re looking for simply isn’t there. In this article, I’ll explain why photos are missing on your iPhone and show you how to find them!

Check Your Recently Deleted Album

Sometimes, the photos missing on your iPhone are just in the Recently Deleted album in the Photos app. To check your Recently Deleted album, open Photos and tap on the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen. Then, scroll all the way down to Recently Deleted under the Other Albums heading.

recently deleted album on iphone

Tap on Recently Deleted and see if your missing iPhone photos are here. You can recover any photo from your Recently Deleted album by tapping on it and tapping Recover.

recover recently deleted photos on iphone

Check Your Hidden Album

If you’ve ever hidden photos on your iPhone, they won’t show up in the Camera Roll on your iPhone. They’ll only be accessible in the Hidden album.

So, go to the Photos app and tap on the Albums tab. Then, scroll all the way down and tap Hidden. Are your missing iPhone photos here?

tap on iphone hidden folder

If so, tap on a photo you’d like to recover, then tap the Share button. Finally, tap Unhide. Now these photos will appear in your Camera Roll.

how to unhide photos on iphone

Turn On iCloud Photo Library

If the your missing iPhone photos weren’t in the Recently Deleted album, head to Settings and tap on your name at the top of the screen. Then, tap iCloud.

Next, tap Photos and make sure the switch next to iCloud Photo Library is turned on. You’ll know it’s on when the switch is green!

turn on icloud photo library

It’s important to turn on iCloud Photo Library because this feature will save and store all of your photos in iCloud so you can access them on any of your iCloud-connected devices. If iCloud Photo Library is on, you may not see the photo on your iPhone, but you’ll be able to access it in iCloud!

Once you’ve turned on iCloud Photo Library, go back to the main page in Settings and tap Wi-Fi. Make sure Wi-Fi is turned on.

Give your iPhone a few minutes to sync up with iCloud, then go back to Photos on your iPhone and search for your pictures again.

Make Sure You’re Signed In With The Right Apple ID

If you’re still missing photos on your iPhone after turning on iCloud Photo Library, quickly make sure that you’re logged into the correct Apple ID. If you’re logged into the incorrect Apple ID, you could run into problems when saving your photos to iCloud and syncing your photos between devices.

To check the Apple ID you’re logged in with, open Settings and tap on your name at the very top of the screen. The email address you see under your name is the Apple ID you’re currently logged in with. If it’s the wrong Apple ID, scroll all the way down and tap Sign Out.

check apple id and sign out

If you’re logged into the correct Apple ID, try signing out and back in anyway — a minor glitch could be causing the problem.

A Photo Finish!

You’ve found those lost pictures on your iPhone! Next time there are some photos missing on your iPhone, you’ll know exactly how to fix the problem. If you have any questions about your iPhone, feel free to ask them below in the comments section.

Thanks for reading,
David L.

About Author

I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

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Taylor S
1 hour ago

I set up iCloud and backed up all my photos to it. I confirmed they were all there on iCloud. Then I went into just my phone photos app and deleted all the pictures I didn’t want stored on my phone, somehow it appears they deleted in iCloud too! How can I fix this? It’s showing the only photos I have in iCloud are those that I have on my actual phone storage. But I should have thousands more on iCloud.

Chris
15 days ago

Technology has moved so fast toward having computers in our hands, the everyday user is uninformed of using them properly. The number one rule for using any computer no matter if it’s a smart phone, computer or tablet is to do a proper data back. Do you have a backup offline and a backup in the cloud??? Also it’s good to have a backup to your backup offline. I’m in IT school and I hope to push this narrative even more in the coming years after I’m done and have an IT job. Believe me it will save companies countless… Read more »

Sam Jones
20 days ago

looking back through my photos on iCloud I see small groups of photos missing here and there. Luckily I also use google photos, and Amazon photos when I remember to open the app and let it upload for a bit.
Rather frustrating considering I pay for iCloud storage. Seems it’s convenient on iPhone and I take a lot of photos.

Angel
27 days ago

About 3 weeks ago I tried to update my phone and it was basically a bad update. I had my phone stuck on the apple logo, but I fixed it through iTunes and everything was fine. I noticed that my photos and videos from February, March, and April are gone but everything else is still there. I didn’t delete anything and I checked my iCloud and Google photos. Is there any way I can get it back ?

aneesah
1 month ago

Photos and videos that I know have been backed up won’t show on my backups. Most websites say they’re gone as I deleted the originals. Anyone know what to do?

Fatima
2 months ago

Hi, I cant find my older pictures from 2017,2018.2019 and some 2020. Please help.

Dani
2 months ago

Hi. I have just got off the phone to Apple Technical Support and they say they cannot help me and they have done everything they can. I can’t believe they can just do that. All my photos in my folders are gone. I know I haven’t deleted them. They have no explanation as to why this is. Can they do that? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks Dani.

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Dani

Hi Dani! Did you store your photos on iCloud in addition to your iPhone? If so, have you already tried viewing your photos from your iCloud account?

Dani
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin Boyd

They were all on the iCloud. One minute they were there, then gone. All the photos on my shared albums are still there. Only to normal album photos are gone. The albums are there with 0 photos in them. Really strange and Apple say they cant help. Can you help please?

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Dani

Hi Dani, thanks for getting back to me! Did you already check your iCloud Photo’s Recently Deleted folder? It might be possible to recover your photos from there if you can see them.

If that doesn’t work, it might be worth it to go to the Apple Store in person to have a technician take a look at the issue in person. It’s possible they might be able to find a solution Apple’s remote support team might not be able to — just make sure to make a Genius Bar appointment before you make the trip! I hope this helps!

Dani Cassar
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin Boyd

Hi. Yes checked all that. And good call I will do that and let you know. Thanks. Dani

Dawn
2 months ago

I found this site after having similar problems with missing photos/videos after getting a new phone. If it helps anyone else, I found that the ‘upload’ of my photos was on pause, and I simply had to press ‘resume’ (located under photo album)…. an hour later, all were back. Good luck ?

Steve G
2 months ago

iPhone 12 Pro Max and photos go missing a lot. My photos and vids keep disappearing and never last past 48 hours. Again I went to review my pics last week and 0 were available. I checked iCloud, iCloud folders on my Windows 10 PC, checked my MacBook Pro, checked for any recently deleted and nothing. Now, I opened my iPad Pro to Photos and was excited to see there they were BUT not even 20 seconds after I opened Photos, as I was staring right at the mosaic of pics, POOF! They all disappeared at once. My better half… Read more »

Admin
David Payette
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve G

Hi Steve! It sounds to me like there’s some sort of software problem with the image database that’s causing your Photos to “disappear.” When we open the Photos app on an iPhone or iPad, the mosaic of photos we see is a collection of thumbnails that are married to a database. I bet your files are all still there, but the database itself is corrupted. I’m assuming you have iCloud Photos turned on. Have you tried going to https://www.icloud.com/photos/ to see if they’re there? This is kind of a tricky problem to solve remotely so you might want to make… Read more »

Annie
3 months ago

Has anyone found the solution in recovering their missing photos? Whole lot of my photos/videos from 2019 just vanished and it’s not even in the recently deleted folder either. If anyone has found any solution please help me!

Dawn
2 months ago
Reply to  Annie

Hi, just had same problems with my new phone. The upload had simply paused, so I pressed ‘resume’ (under albums) and they have all returned ? good luck ?

Tanya
3 months ago

I had so many pictures of my daughter when she was really young! Now all of my pictures from 2007-2015 are gone, and I have tried everything in this article… Please someone help!

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Tanya

Hi Tanya, I’m so sorry to hear about your photos! Did you upload any of your missing images to iCloud? If so, they should not be gone forever!

Head to iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID, you should be able to see any photos you’ve uploaded to iCloud there. Here’s an article Apple published about iCloud photos with some more information: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204264

Dawn
2 months ago
Reply to  Tanya

Hi, is there a ‘resume upload’ message under your albums? I’ve just got mine back after noticing it! Good luck ?

Pamm
3 months ago

Hi, for my old iPhone 6s, I forgot the password, so I had to restart the iPhone. When I went back on it the old pictures were gone, and some from my new phone were in it. I can’t find the pictures anywhere, and I’m not sure if their in iCloud. Can you help? Thanks.

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Pamm

Hi Pamm, I’d suggest checking your iCloud account. Visit icloud.com and login with your Apple ID. You should be able to see any pictures you’ve uploaded to iCloud stored here.

If you’d like more information about iCloud photo storage, here’s an Apple Support article with some more tips: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204264

Duygu
3 months ago

Some of my photos are deleted and I can’t get them back what should I do

Editor
Colin Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Duygu

Hi Duygu, did you upload them to iCloud? If so, they should be available on iCloud.com. Just log in with your Apple ID and you should be able to view any images you’ve saved to your iCloud account.

If you’d like more information about iCloud Photos, here’s an Apple Support article with some great tips: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204264

Sharon Dale
3 months ago

i had over 5000 pictures on my iPhone 11 and they all have disappeared except 700 and theyre all prior to February that are missing. How can I get these back I had iCloud set up and they used to be there but now they’re all gone lost memories I’m so devastated!!! Apple support told be I must have deleted them, NO I DID NOT!!!! 5000 pictures and over 400 videos gone!!! Help I can get them back? Wonder if there’s a virus as I keep getting weird text too!!! When I buy another phone I won’t be buying a… Read more »

Admin
David Payette
2 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Dale

Hi Sharon, sorry to hear you’re going through that! Have you gone to icloud.com to see if you can access your photos through Apple’s website?

Pauletta
8 months ago

iCloud says I have over 4000 photos but when I try to transfer from my iPhone to my pc it only transferred only 677. I am trying to transfer photos from my iPhone to an external hard drive connected to my pc. Can you help? The photos all show on my phone and iPad. Also in iCloud some pics are showing but I cannot page down. I can only see what comes up when I first go to iCloud photos.

Jay
9 months ago

Same here- but this first happened over a year ago- and now it happened AGAIN several months ago
luckily My camera was also saving them to Google photos

Sue
9 months ago

I took two pics with my iPhone last night and now they are nowhere to be found. Can you help me?

Will
9 months ago

Help! I’ve lost my most cherished photos and none of this tips or any I’ve seen are helping. What happened was: The photos were on my old iPhone 5S. They had been backed up to my iCloud account associated with that phone AND my newer devices, however I recently accidentally wiped the photos from iCloud. I booted up the old iPhone and the photos were all there. However, the photos all had the symbol of the exclamation point inside a circle, which I’ve learned means that those photos weren’t the originals, but rather compressed versions (whereas the originals had uploaded… Read more »

Marc
3 months ago
Reply to  Will

I have the exact same problem as you…did you figure anything out?

paul
9 months ago

i’ve lost a whole year of photos and tried everything here to retrieve them nothing please help

Diana
3 months ago
Reply to  paul

Hi did you find them?
I seem to have the same exact problem

Samskruthi
10 months ago

Hi I still can’t access some of my lost images

Bob Stephenson
10 months ago

I’m reluctant to leave a comment since it appears David is not monitoring or answering anyone.

Liam Shotwell
10 months ago
Reply to  Bob Stephenson

My name’s not David, but maybe I can help? What’s up?

ebarch
11 months ago

I actually have a slightly different problem, and I haven’t found a solution to it. I have an Uploads folder on my PC mapped to my iCloud photos. Some of the photos sync, but some don’t. For example, I drop a folder into Uploads that has 18 photos, but only 11 actually upload. I tried a larger amount last night; there had to be well over 500 photos in several folders and I placed in Uploads. Overnight only 126 photos actually uploaded. It doesn’t appear to be an issue with a specific subfolder since some photos from each are uploading.

Jaymz
11 months ago

same thing happened to me just 30 minutes ago i watched them vanish. i was looking at a picture and then i backed out and they shuffled as if i was deleting some of them and it deleted all but 25 out of 1700 pics and videos.. if anyone knows how to get them back please lmk..

Brelynn
9 months ago
Reply to  Jaymz

Same happened to me

Theresa
11 months ago

i just purchased the IPhone 12 and some of my photos disapeared into thin air! They are not in the deleted photos, icloud photos is on. Where are they? I really want them back!

Sharon Dale
3 months ago
Reply to  Theresa

Did you find out how to recover you pics I saw this forum I have iPhone 11 and my pics are gone not on iCloud I don’t have iTunes they’re nowhere to be found just wondering if you found yours and how?

sharon

Matt
1 year ago

Nope. This wasn’t the fix. This was all already done.

Kemar gayle
1 year ago

Had over 4000 photos and check earlier and most if not all is not there except 900 could you please help me out

Kaylee
1 year ago

I went to Delete photos and videos I don’t need because my storage ran out. I had over 10000 photos and videos and all of them disappeared I only have 164 now from 2017. What the hell happened none of this helps how can I get them back???

Anika Ali
1 year ago
Reply to  Kaylee

Hi, ive had the exact same problem just now, so far apple support haven’t found any solution. Did u manage to retrieve the photos back, if so could you please let me know what u did.

Justin
11 months ago
Reply to  Anika Ali

Same exact issue here, seems like and iOS 14 bug. I had full storage and deleted about 5 gb of images/videos to try and free space with no change. Next morning I check my photos and 75% of them just disappeared. Storage still shows the same amount (full) so I think they’re on the phone, they’re just not showing in the app.

Justin
11 months ago
Reply to  Anika Ali

Same exact issue here. I had full storage and deleted about 5 gb of images/videos to try and free space with no change. Next morning I check my photos and 75% of them just disappeared. Storage still shows the same amount (full) so I think they’re still on the phone, they’re just not showing in the app. I need to get this fixed.

Sonja
9 months ago
Reply to  Justin

has anyone found a fix and this just happened to me as well i have 999 instead 4000 and i got extra storage and soon as i backed it up they all disappeared ..Not happy and worried i wont get them back

Laura
11 months ago
Reply to  Anika Ali

Same problem here! Are my photos just GONE? This is a terrifying thought. 🙁

maan
5 months ago
Reply to  Laura

sam here how did u guys resolve ur issue? was this an ios 14 bug?

David Hench
1 year ago

What are the chances? I’m David Hench!

Choung
1 year ago

I lost all my photos memeory gone. How fix it I’m deaf please help me

SAM
1 year ago

I went looking for a video I took and photos that were taken at the same event. The video was still there but with no audio. And most of the pictures were gone, iCloud storage is on and I pay Apple for extra storage and now pictures are gone. ?

Kaylee
1 year ago
Reply to  SAM

Same thing happened to me

Nensi
1 year ago
Reply to  Kaylee

It happened to me too that all pictures disappeared

Dev
1 year ago

i have an iphone 6 and when i went to my photos they were randomly just gone.

Keara
1 year ago
Reply to  Dev

It was the same for me. Did you fixed it? let me know thanks

Sadaf
1 year ago
Reply to  Keara

Same issue. Please someone tell me ho to fix it

Ashley
1 year ago
Reply to  Keara

The same thing happened to me moments ago.

Tara
1 year ago
Reply to  Dev

This just happened to me today

Zainbossama
11 months ago
Reply to  Dev

Yess my too I have iPhone 6 too and my photos gone randomly

Recent Update screw up?
1 year ago

Weird, but all my photos appear in my Photos app on my laptop, but the majority of them are gone from my phone. None of the above suggestions worked and this morning I just did the most recent update. Not sure if that’s what screwed it up.

someone
1 year ago

my phone had a problem and i ahve to restore it. but im scared by doing so i will lose my data more precisely my photos. i checked i cloud and not all photos are on there.

Mario Balderrama
1 year ago

I lost a lot of fotos and videos, when I reach the free limit, I received warnings, then I sucribed, but old fotos are not appearing in my gallery, just form 2007, WHY?? Is it possible to revoer them?
 

Last edited 1 year ago by Mario Balderrama
Moon
1 year ago

None of the above worked for me… I lost a lot of my pictures on my iPhone… We should report this to Apple

M.Dombrowski
1 year ago
Reply to  Moon

I just spoke to Apple Support. Since the 13 IOS update, 50 photos are missing. The rep told me that I must have accidentally deleted then, (my fault), bull. Cant get them back.

someone
1 year ago

i literally just signed out of my apple id and signed back in and just lost all my photos. i don’t know what happened but i checked all the folders and they aren’t there. what am i supposed to do now?

Liam Shotwell
1 year ago
Reply to  someone

I’m wondering if your photos are missing on your iPhone because when you signed out of Apple ID, it removed all the photos that were on your iCloud. Now that you’re signed in again, try checking your photos settings to make sure iCloud Photo Library is turned on. I hope that helps.

idiot
1 year ago

i woke up and saw that all my photos were missing, they were on iCloud.com but not in my gallery. Does anybody know how to transfer all photos from iCloud.com to the gallery???

Rinad Nageeb
1 year ago
Reply to  idiot

I have the SAME problem I logged out of icloud id and when I signed in again a lot of photos were missing but they are in iCloud and now I don’t know how to return them to the album can someone please help me if they know?

rrrtttppp
1 year ago

i cant bring back my photos, i charged in 50gb and im not still paid for 2months is it the reason why my photos in my icloud are not in my phone?

Kiki
1 year ago

Most of my photos are just gone. I don’t know what the hell happened ??‍♀️

Melissa Mateo
1 year ago

So I wanted my pictures from my IPhone 4 so I don’t want those pictures to erase so I went on iCloud clicked photo library and everything disappeared I had around 1600 pictures and now it only has 179? I want all my pictures back

Jessica wheeler
1 year ago

I can’t remember my password. Someone was supposed to fix my screen, ended up tearing apart my whole phone! I brought it to the professionals to fix it and they said my whole memory board was missing. Idk what to do. All the pictures of my kids births through ages4-5 we’re on that phone. I’m beyond sad, upset, distraught and many other things. I don’t even remember if I was smart enough to turn on the cloud or sync at the time I got the phone. This was the 4S. I hope you can help me somehow. I do have… Read more »

Nickie
1 year ago

Omg this is my exact problem. All of my child’s pictures from date of birth to 6 months are gone and I can’t understand what happened.

filipe
1 year ago

Hello, i just did all that and they aren’t still on my iPhone and I know that they are on iCloud because i got to icloud.com and they were there btw.
thanks

gisselle
1 year ago

my phone updated on its own and once it went to the home page i went to the gallery it only had like 600 pictures and mind you i had around 2000 and the other’s are gone i got my old messages and my recent messages and my pictures are on gone it seems like it went back in time and i need a certain video that got deleted or didn’t update what can i do to get them back.

Sarah Spector
2 years ago

My Recently Deleted album has been AWOL for weeks now.