Fixing Photos Not Showing up on iPhone Camera Roll

If certain photos aren’t showing up on your iPhone’s Camera Roll, there are 4 things you can try in order to fix it. You can check the Recently Deleted folder, look in your Hidden album, check whether iCloud Photos is on, and restart/update your iPhone.

Having photos on my iPhone is a great way to relive old memories, keep important information on hand, and share things with others in seconds. However, there have been times when photos I was sure I had on my device are mysteriously gone.

Depending on the photos, this can be an incredibly worrying and frustrating time. Thankfully, there are some ways to fix this issue of photos not showing up on your device. Keep reading to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • The first thing to do is to check your recently deleted folder and Hidden album to see if the missing photos are there. It is easy to accidentally delete or move a photo, and this method only takes a few seconds to try.
  • You should also check if iCloud Photos is on or off. If you usually use iCloud and turn it off (or vice versa), your photos may not be present on your device.
  • If the previous methods don’t work, you can try to restart and/or update your device. This can often deal with any glitches or bugs that could be causing the photos not to show up as they should.

1. Look in Your Hidden Album

One of the first places you should look for photos that have mysteriously gone missing in your Camera Roll is your Hidden album. This is a password-protected album where iPhone users can store sensitive or private photos.

Pictures in this album will not show up in the regular Camera Roll and thus, accidentally hiding a photo could make it look like it is gone entirely from your device. To find your Hidden album, simply go to Photos > Albums, and scroll to the bottom.

If the photo you’re missing is located in your Hidden album, you can bring it back by tapping the photo, hitting the icon with the three circles, and then selecting Unhide. After doing so, the photo should be back in your regular Camera Roll.

2. Check Your “Recently Deleted” Folder

Another place where the photo could be is in your Recently Deleted folder. It is easy to accidentally delete photos without knowing, especially when mass-deleting multiple photos. 

The good news is that they will not be fully deleted instantly, and will sit in the Recently Deleted folder for up to 30 days. Finding this folder is easy, as it sits just below the Hidden album which I explained how to reach in the last section.

Photos can be brought back from the Recently Deleted folder by clicking on the photo, and then pressing Recover on the bottom right side of the screen. But if you waited too long, there is a chance the photo could have been permanently deleted, so act quickly if at all possible.

3. Is iCloud Photos on?

If you have seemingly lost photos out of nowhere, another good thing to try is to check if iCloud Photos is on. If you have consistently used iCloud Photos, it stores your photos in the cloud so they can be accessed on all of your devices.

If you had iCloud Photos on, but disabled it (either accidentally or on purpose and then forgot), the photos that are saved to the cloud will not show up on your device. Simply turning iCloud Photos back on could lead to all of your photos returning to your device from the cloud.

Also, if you haven’t used iCloud on your current iPhone, but have photos in the cloud from your use of an iPad or Macbook, then accidentally turning it on could populate your phone with all the photos from the cloud, while potentially losing the ones that you had only on your phone.

To see whether iCloud Photos is off or on, go to Settings > Photos, and then look for the iCloud Photos slider.

Whatever your situation with iCloud Photos, turning it both off and on to see if it brings your photos back can be a good thing to try. Of course, if you’ve never used iCloud Photos at all in the first place on any device, then this likely isn’t the reason for your photos not showing up.

4. Restart and/Or Update Your iPhone

If photos you have just taken are not showing up, or you cannot locate the missing photos using any of the previous methods, your best bet is to restart or update your iPhone.

To restart an iPhone, simply hold down the side power button and the volume down button for a few seconds until the Power slider appears on the screen. Simply slide it to the right to power off your device. Once it is off, simply hold the side power button to turn it back on.

Doing this can help your device start from a clean slate, and force all processes to stop and reset the system. This can work out any strange things or interactions happening behind the scenes that could be causing the issue.

If the pictures are still gone after the restart, then consider updating your device to the newest version of iOS. To do this, you need to go to Settings > General > Software Update > Download and Install.

Older versions of an operating system often can have strange bugs or glitches present that get fixed in future updates, so it is a good idea to keep your device current to lower the chances of random issues and problems occurring.

Final Thoughts

The ability to take and keep photos on an iPhone is one of its best features. While most of these will remain safe on your device, there are some times when a photo or multiple photos will seemingly vanish out of nowhere.

I hope this guide has helped you learn why these photos may not have been showing up, and how you can fix it to bring them back.

Is there anything else that you feel I should have mentioned in this guide but didn’t? If so, I’d love to hear from you in a comment below.

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