iPhone users have started to notice yet another bug with the latest version of iOS 15. Depending on your priorities, this bug could actually be quite serious since it can permanently delete saved photos.
To be more specific, if you decide to save any photos from a conversation in the Messages app and then delete that conversation, the next time iCloud backs up, that photo will disappear from the gallery as well.
Usually, when you download a photo from a messaging thread to your iPhone’s gallery, it should be able to exist in your storage separately from the app that it got downloaded from. The only reason for the file to disappear should be when you decide to delete it manually.
Apple has not come out with an explanation of the problem or when and if it will get fixed. However, given the number of complaints, it is safe to assume that it will be fixed sooner rather than later.
If you feel adventurous and daring, you can try to replicate the bug by following these steps that MacRumors has conveniently described:
- Save a photo from an iMessage thread to your Camera Roll
- Go to Camera Roll and check that the photo is there
- Delete the thread from which you downloaded the photo (this alone will not delete it from the gallery)
- Do a manual iCloud Backup and check again—the photo should have disappeared
If you don’t want to lose any photos from your iMessage threads by mistake, then make sure that your iCloud Backup is turned off for now. Backups are performed automatically when the feature is turned on, so for now, the best course of action is to do that manually.
Your other option is to just not delete the conversations you are having for the time being or save those photos to a different cloud storage application like Google Photos.