How to fix Apple iPhone XS problem on photos that went missing after updating iOS [Troubleshooting Guide]

Installing a firmware update on a smartphone can yield to either positive or negative outcomes. Although software updates are primarily aimed at offering benefits, there are many factors that can trigger the opposite. Thus, post-update issues are emerging.

Tackled in this post is one of the post-update issues faced by some owners of the new iPhone XS handset following the most recent iOS update rollout. If you own the same iOS device and ended up missing some important photos after installing the latest update to iOS, then you can refer to these subsequent walkthroughs to fix the problem and get your precious photos back into the camera roll. Read on and learn what to do if your iPhone XS photos went missing after update iOS to the latest version.

If however, you are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting guide for we have already addressed the most common issues with this phone. Find problems that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you need more help, then feel free to contact us through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: Check your Recently Deleted album then recover missing photos.

There are times when missing photos on your iPhone are just residing in the Recently Deleted album in the Photos app. This can happen if the new update tends to automatically delete the photos. Deleted photos from the phone stay on the Recently Deleted folder for a specific number of days unless you delete them manually. This allows you to recover any of them whenever you change your mind. Thus, you should start finding your missing photos by accessing this folder on your iPhone XS. Here’s how to get there:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Then tap on the Albums tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Scroll down to Other Albums.
  4. Then tap to open the Recently Deleted folder.
  5. A list of all recently deleted photos will then populate.
  6. Find your missing photos then tap to select the ones you wanted to restore.
  7. Once you’re done selecting all missing photos, tap the option to Restore or Recover.

The selected photos will then be restored and place back to the active albums under Photos.

Aside from Recently Deleted folder, also check and see if there are any other folders from the Album directory like a folder/album named Hidden.

Photos that are not showing up in the Camera Roll on your iPhone may also just be stored in the Hidden album. Photos saved in this album won’t appear in the Camera Roll. Should the update somehow routes your missing photos to this album, then you can recover them by accessing the folder. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Tap on the Albums tab.
  3. Scroll down and then tap Hidden.
  4. A list of hidden photos will then show up. Find your missing photos from there and if you found them, tap to select the ones you’d like to recover.
  5. After selecting the photos to recover, tap the Share button.
  6. Then tap Unhide.

All selected photos will then appear in your Camera Roll.

Second solution: Restart your iPhone XS (soft reset).

If you haven’t yet restarted your iPhone after installing the new iOS update, then the Photos app or your phone system could be just glitching. The simplest solution to minor post-update system glitches would be device restart or soft reset. For starters, a soft reset on the iPhone XS is carried out this way:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Alternatively, you can force restart your iPhone XS to abruptly quits all suspended apps and to clear out corrupted services that caused atypical symptoms. To force restart an iPhone XS, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

Both these restarts don’t affect any saved information on the internal storage, so you won’t lose any critical data in the process. That being said, creating backups won’t be necessary. Check your Camera Roll and Photos album after your phone reboots to see if your missing photos are already restored. If not, then continue to troubleshoot and rule out other factors.

Third solution: Enable iCloud Photo Library on your phone.

You can make use of your phone’s iCloud Photo Library to enable automatic upload and store your entire library to iCloud in order to access photos and videos from all your devices. Enabling this feature will therefore allow you to locate your missing photos.  To access and manage this feature on your iPhone XS, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Apple ID header or Apple ID:[your name] at the top of the screen.
  3. Select iCloud.
  4. Then tap Photos.
  5. Make sure that the iCloud Photo Library switch is turned ON. The switch appears green if the feature is enabled. If it’s not, then toggle it to turn ON and enable the feature.
  6. Once you’re enabled iCloud Photo Library, head back to the Settings menu the tap on Wi-Fi. Make sure that Wi-Fi is turned on.

Let your device sync up with iCloud then after it synced open the Photos folder on your iPhone and then search for the missing photos again.

Fourth solution: Sign out and back into iCloud.

Apple services including those that are associated with your iCloud account can also glitch from an update. To make sure this isn’t causing you this trouble, performing the following tweak can help. Follow these steps to sign out of iCloud and then sign back into your account with your Apple credentials:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select your Apple ID [your name].
  3. Scroll down and tap Sign Out.
  4. Enter your Apple ID password and tap the option to Turn Off.

After signing out completely, restart your iPhone then head back to your iCloud settings menu and Sign In to iCloud using the correct Apple ID and password.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your phone.

Some system updates automatically override your iPhone settings and these overrides can bring either good or bad outcome. In this case, you can consider that the override yields a bad outcome since you’ve lost your important photos. To rule this out, performing this reset can help:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to proceed.

After the reset, your device should restart automatically and then loads the default values and original configurations. All customized settings and recent settings changes are therefore cleared out. And that would include the recent system overrides. To use the features that are disabled by default, you will need to re-enable them individually on your phone.

Seek more help

For other options and more advanced solutions, contact Apple customer care and report the issue. Be sure to let them know of what exactly had transpired and how you ended up missing some photos. Should this be proven to be an iOS bug, a fix patch would be necessary. And reporting the problem to Apple Support is the first phase to creating the required patch code.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!


Leave a Comment