How to Fix iPhone Camera Roll Crash and Photos Turned to ‘Other’ in iTunes


My 32GB iPhone 4 is more than just my phone, it is also my go to camera when I don’t want to ‘lug’ around my Panasonic GF2. So when my Camera Roll and Camera apps mysteriously started to crash upon launch, I was slightly worried. Not only that, my photos became inaccessible as iTunes no longer recognized my Photos–the space used was just known as ‘Other’.

I did a fresh restore and synced from my recent backup but that did not fix the problem. My last resort was to do a fresh restore and setup as a new iPhone, which I did not want to do. Luckily, I finally stumbled upon a solution that fixed everything with no photos or videos lost. It will also work to fix corrupt Camera Roll thumbnails.

Here’s how I solved my Camera Roll and Camera crash situation–this is a slightly advanced method so I urge you to proceed with caution. This method requires you to view your iPhone’s internal files. Do not attempt this as deleting incorrect files could ‘wreck’ your iPhone. You’ve been warned.

1. I used PhoneView to connect to my iPhone (a free Mac/PC alternative is iPhone Explorer). I then transferred off all of my photos and videos to my Mac to back them up. Highlight the “DCIM” folder (which contains all your photos) and select ‘Copy from iPhone’ (just save them to a new folder on your desktop to make it easy):

2. Next, I navigated to the PhotoData folder, backed up (just copy them to your desktop to make it easy) and then deleted the following three files (or just delete ANY of the ones you see in this list):

  • Photos.sqlite
  • PhotosAux.sqlite
(this image below is just to highlight the PhotoData folder)

You will be warned against deleting these files, but if you have them backed up proceed.

Note: In the Windows version of iPhone Explorer, you’ll have to ‘right click’ and delete.

3. Restart your iPhone. Afterwards, my Camera Roll actually launched–but no photos were shown. Be patient, as the photo library will rebuild itself and all your images should appear minutes later.

The above method worked for my situation, and enabled me to recover my photos without restoring my iPhone. If you are running into Camera Roll crashes, I would highly recommend trying the above before attempting to ‘nuke’ your iPhone.

Have you ever encountered a similar Camera Roll crash/corruption situation? How did you fix it? Let us know if this worked for you!

PS – I’ve received so many emails thanking me for this solution and you have requested to add a donation button so you can “buy me a beer”. You can do so below if you wish! Cheers.



  • Have had the problem where the Camera Roll would be pushed up so that is was covered by the “Albums” title bar.  This was fixed by force closing the Photos app in the app switcher and opening Photos again.  I’ve never run into your issue before.

  • Have had the problem where the Camera Roll would be pushed up so that is was covered by the “Albums” title bar.  This was fixed by force closing the Photos app in the app switcher and opening Photos again.  I’ve never run into your issue before.

  • You saved my life! Had exactly that problem. Was in Vienna and made lots of photos and couldn’t get them. I tried iPhoto, Image Capture and Windows. Didn’t show up anywhere. Thanks a lot.

  • You saved my life! Had exactly that problem. Was in Vienna and made lots of photos and couldn’t get them. I tried iPhoto, Image Capture and Windows. Didn’t show up anywhere. Thanks a lot.

  • Cheers! 🙂

  • jer e me from orlando

    This worked for me, not very complicated like he said. Thanks

  • Cheers

  • Josh

    It worked! Thanks for the helpful write-up.

  • Jerem Magid

    Worked like a charm thanks!

  • Sweet!

  • Politicus One

    Just wanted to give you a huge thumbs up!  Just unboxed and restored a my brand new 64gb iPhone 4S.  Same exact issues and symptoms with a few exceptions.  Tried everything under the sun but your simple fix has got me back up and running.  Only issue is that it caused me to lose my “folders” out of iphoto, but hell I can deal with that.  Huge thanks once again!

  • Politicus One

    Just wanted to give you a huge thumbs up!  Just unboxed and restored a my brand new 64gb iPhone 4S.  Same exact issues and symptoms with a few exceptions.  Tried everything under the sun but your simple fix has got me back up and running.  Only issue is that it caused me to lose my “folders” out of iphoto, but hell I can deal with that.  Huge thanks once again!

  • 🙂

  • Steve Kehlet

    Thank you so much. Your steps got me working again.

  • SDyar

    Worked GREAT!! Thanks!!

  • Siri

    iPhone 4S camera crashed while on a field trip, only 3 days old, could not take a photo without it crashing and couldn’t access camera roll at all. This fixed it, so thank you very much 😀 too bad I didn’t have my laptop with me on the field trip, would have been good to fix it sooner.

  • Marshall

    This cured my problems! I was having very similar issues. It was much easier than I thought it was going to be. I was nervous about deleting system files from the phone.
    I’ve posted a link to this in the Apple Support community in reply to a topic very similar.

    Thank you!!!

  • Thanks!

    Sent from my iPad

  • Crobar99

    Does this limit the phone’s restoring/updating capabilities in anyway?

  • Johnnygrasp

    Thank you soooo much! As Marshall said, it was much easier than originally thought. I’m grateful to you that I didn’t have to restore my iPhone, again.
    I will spread this link to all topics with the same problem!

  • Marshall

    No, not a jailbreak or anything. It removes & rebuilds corrupted files. I’ve synced, and done everything normally since doing this

  • Chrisf89

    Awesome fix!!!  Worked as described, enough said.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks you saved my day!

  • tfawbush

    I’m actually sitting in the Apple Store waiting for my Genius to return from his break so I can show him that your solution fixed the problem he couldn’t. 

    Nice work! Thank you! I had my baby’s first ultrasound on my phone and hadn’t had a chance to back it up before the library became corrupt. 

    Thanks again! 

  • You’re welcome! Spread the word!

  • Lj3692

    Perfect fix….thank you so much….really scared me when this happened on vacation with my iPhone 4…thank you!

  • Crobar99

    Ok thanks alot!

  • Canuckdaneh

    I wanna try this but these instructions are quite vague in terms of how and where I’m transferring and backing up these files to my mac.  
    In step one, it says to highlight everything to the left and copy from iPhone but the photo shows only the DCIM folder highlighted.  I’m assuming I highlight from fseventsd to vibrations. To what location exactly on my mac do you copy these files from your iPhone?  Does it give you a choice?In step 2, it says to back up what’s in the PhotoData folder, but where do I back it up to?  Do I highlight every folder from AlbumsMetadata to Videos and then back those highlighted items to somewhere on my mac?

    Once those three files are deleted and you restart your phone, I’m assuming you connect it to your mac and iTunes opens up and somehow it knows where are the things you transferred/backed up are located on my mac and put everything back in place?  If I somehow wreck my phone (which wouldn’t surprised me lol), can I still restore it and have it working again (if I lose the photos, not the end of the world)

    Do yopu think that this is something that Apple can somehow restore through a future update to iOS5 and make the phone recognize that the data that shows up as other is actually your photos?

    I’m really hating iOS5 now, thanks Apple!!!!!

  • JUSE

    Thanks a Billion, you saved me…..

  • JUSE

    Thanks a Billion, you saved me…..

  • lw8

    I had the same problem. Glad I found this blog. Worked great!

  • lw8

    I had the same problem. Glad I found this blog. Worked great!

  • Gys

    Who the man!! Excellent solution., Question of course: how did this occur in the first place, and will it happen again?

  • Gys

    Who the man!! Excellent solution., Question of course: how did this occur in the first place, and will it happen again?

  • Nicole

    Hooray!  I can see my camera roll and photo stream again! And the photos app isn’t crashing!  Thanks so much for writing this up!

    What do those files do, out of curiosity?  I actually couldn’t find but just deleting the other ones worked for me.

  • Nicole

    Hooray!  I can see my camera roll and photo stream again! And the photos app isn’t crashing!  Thanks so much for writing this up!

    What do those files do, out of curiosity?  I actually couldn’t find but just deleting the other ones worked for me.

  • Sarah Apke

    Thank you so much! I hadn’t backed up the new photos I took since I updated to ios5 and my iphone camera roll would crash whenever I tried to go into it. It showed it had 730 photos listed but wouldn’t let me in and my computer (itunes and iphoto) claimed I had no photos at all on my phone. This fixed it perfectly! THANK YOU!

  • Tiffany

    thank you sooo much!!

  • Littlblackangel

    Hi! Thank you so much! After so many days of trying to fix this to no avail I finally was able to restore my iPhone photos! But Apple should really fix this! I don’t want to pay $20 just for this! But I guess I can use some of the nice features of this app so not too bad. Thanks again!

  • Ozzcar83

    Thanks, you are a lifesaver! Me and my bro filmed a concert, but when i got home shit got f****d up. But this guide helped. Thanks again!

  • Guest

    You’re a genius!! Thanks!!!!!!!

  • Rallan72

    Iexplorer does not have the option to copy from iPhone or back up?? I would love to do this process but I am afraid I will do it wrong.. Please help

  • Daouneizh

    I had the same problem after upgrade to iOS5. Your tip worked fine for me, thanks !

  • Fred Landreville

    Yeah! that did the trick for me as well, but I reloated my phone BEFORE finding this solution… I agree, this is a bug that I did not see with the Beta of IOS5…

  • Apple Support Sucks.

    you sir are a fucking genius. thank you. apple support, all they said was you have to restore the phone.. its the only way. If you want to edit your post, here is an update on how to do it for iPhone 4S. My folders look a little different than you described and I only had to delete one file for it to work. On the left, I clicked PhotoData like you said, and just deleted the 1 file called Photos.sqlite because I did not have any of the other ones. So I restarted my phone and it worked!

  • xray2020vision

    Just delete the files indicated….no need to back up. Worked perfectly!

  • Les Winter

    Heh, ok the first I did it, it didn’t work. I almost gave up. Second time lucky! Thanks very much. Useful information! We all seem to be learning to be iphone DIY mechanics. We know how to fix our iphones better than we know how to fix our cars, certainly seem to be better at it than the guys at the store…(restore duhh…) OK, thats my 5cents. Thanks for the help….

  • Dmsg99

    I also had this problem. I went to apple store and they gave e a new one. I’m sure I will have to use this method from you. Thank you.

  • Dan Ellingson

    This really worked. The software changed its name to iExplorer due to copyright issues. And moving the photos over as a backup took me hours but I did have a lot of photos.

    In the end everything came back in the camera roll and photostream.

    Thanks much

  • Brilliant solution!! No data lost. Camera crashes gone. 
    Thanks v much! 🙂

  • John

    This worked great! Thank you so much!

  • Thank you soooo much! I had the photoroll-crash… and deleted the three files, booted.. a couple of minutes later it had restored the photos – and I could save my photos again.. fantastic! 🙂 Thanks :)! 

  • Arsondog31

    Wow, thanks very much.  Sqlite was the only one I had to delete for my 4GS..

  • ipvcpro

    what a star you are mate!
    I phoned apple last week and after 40 mins gave up as they clearly had no clue what to do.
    phoned vodafone today and after another 40 mins with their “iphone specialist” 😉 still no better.
    Just tried your method and it worked straight away, did as the last poster did, just deleted one file called photos.sqlite and after a restart my messed up camera roll first was empty then started to restore all my photos back to normal.

  • Matt

    Woohoo. Best advice ever. I have an iPhone 4, all worked until I upgraded to iOS 5. Then it went to Hell. Your blog sorted it out in 10 mins.


  • copytobbe

    Thank you so much! This fixed it all for me!

  • linrimae

    Thank you sooooo much! I followed all your instructions for my iPhone 4, found all 3 files & deleted them and boom! my camera & camera roll works’re an absolute genius! the guys at apple had no clue what to do…told me to restore & it didn’t do anything for me..they asked me to make an appointment at their Genius Bar thing but said most prob i’d need a new phone 😛 luckily i stumbled across your page..thanks a million!

  • Gavin

    Worked perfectly. iphone 4 with iOS 5. Would not save photos and other pics that I had taken were pixelated.  I used this program to get into the file structure and deleted one file photos.sqlite. Camera back working now, savings pics and all my pics still there and those that were pixelated are now perfect.
    Thank you!

  • Ryan

    By restart, do you mean a typical off/on, or a HARD reset? Does it matter?

  • Goblingrenade80

    You saved my life mister.

  • Ryan

    Update: I did the hard reset, and all appears fine! THANKS!
    I would assume Apple will release a bug fix for this via 5.0.1.

  • Ppride

    I love you. Just had my daughters first Halloween and panicked when the photos were missing! This fixed it all! A-MAZE-ING!!!!!

  • Alex


  • Andrew Hartwig

    How didn’t it work? Because mine got messed up REALLY bad the first time as well, I just had to restore to a backup a few days back! I was freaking out though the phone was in bad shape 😛 haha I’m just glad I have all my stuff back from the previous restore!

  • Andrew Hartwig1

    You just have to click and drag the file to a folder

  • Andrew Hartwig1

    It *might* be a recurring problem as a result of that file that you deleted, but it will be that simple fix every time! (until iOS5.0.1)

  • ace

    yep…did it for me.  Camera and Camera Roll were crashing.  Camera Roll only showed 5 of 200+ images.
    Followed the instructions here and all is good.

  • Scott

    My wife’s phone did this exact same thing and I had no idea how to fix it. This tutorial worked like a charm! Thanks! 

    Also … what did people do without the internet? How in the HECK did they fix things! 🙂

  • Terri Pike

    Thank you, another camera roll saved!!!

  • Cheers! 😉

  • Goccards2006

    This worked perfectly!! Only thing I will add is all you have to do is a soft reset. Did a home/lock reset first and brought 3 files back in. Thank you!!!

  • Brad

    Thank You!  It worked perfectly for me.

  • Dude, you saved the day! Kudos to you.

  • Didi

    I did this fix and it worked great!  trouble is, now my portrait videos are copying to iPhoto with only audio and a black screen.  I had to remove all three sketchy files from my phone – could this have something to do with the video problems?  The landscape videos are fine – just the portrait videos aren’t transferring properly…


  • Thanks just delete Photos.sqlite file (the other ones are not present on my folder) reboot and all my files are back.
    It save my week-end 🙂

  • Gdm369

    I had the same problem and tried your fix. It was easy and worked.



  • Hoyboy

    Worked a treat. I was nervous at first but there was nothing to it. Plus remember you have all your photos backed up in iCloud and on the computer as extra protection.

    Great help thanks

  • Faris Yusry
  • Faris Yusry

    sory.. wrong thread.. 😛

  • 12345

    It worked.  Thank you very much!!!

  • Gabberboy

    Thanks you very much! It helped!

  • Grateful11

    This worked like a charm. Thanks for this awesome info.

  • Waters99

    Amazing…these things never work for me, but this did.

  • Canuckdaneh

    Was gonna use PhoneView but you have to pay to access all the files 🙁  With iExplorer, when you highlight the folders you wanna back up, do you right click them and then click Export to Folder?  Which folder would it go to?  

  • Any folder on your computer.

  • Andrew

    DUDE! Double dude!!!!!!!!!

  • TP

    Thanks for the advice, but this didn’t seem to work for me. Had the camera app frozen on a closed shutter, though I can access the camera from all other means (texting or using another camera app etc) and no issues with the Camera roll. My problem must be different! I’ve restored my phone too, and that doesn’t seem to work either. I’m going to try the option of going to the Apple Store to see if they can give me a new one!

  • Lovedoris

    Legend! Worked like a charm on an iPhone 4S 🙂 Thanks so much!!

  • Lad747lhr

    Thank you so much. Just had the same problem with my iPhone 4S. Was panicking as I had just taken a load of photos during the day on holiday around Bangkok. Followed your instructions and its back to normal now.

    You are a lifesaver.

  • Guest

    Thank You so much!!! I had the exact same issue and wasted tons of frustrating time trying to use other methods before finally finding and following your suggestions. Everything went exactly as you said! Finally something just worked. And mine was on a the iPod Touch, 4th gen. ???

  • Keyue

    Thank you very much!!! it worked perfectly. you are my iphone 4 saver! 🙂

  • Loek!

    You saved my day… It took 1 photo to mess up my camera roll … 2 billion photo’s + it ended up believing where there.  Used the windows iexplorer, just as you said.  Thanks again !

  • Tord

    Just wanted to add my thanks to the list. This was very easy and worked like a charm. 

  • ethan

    you are a true champion. 

    i am amazed at how well this worked; i was minutes away from killing all the data and starting from scratch. thank you, really.

  • Redfish Bluefish

    Adding to the chorus of “You rock!” I had restored, rebooted, etc. Nothing worked –this worked like a charm. Thanks so much!

  • Victoriaguillerault

    I know I’m useless but I’m not sure about how I go and back up the files I’m about to delete? Any help would be appreciated. sorry not super tech savvy here :-/

  • Tk

    omg thankyou so much saved my life 🙂

  • ms77

    AMAZING! THANK YOU!  I never would have figured this out, and the Apple Store wanted to wipe my phone out.  THANK YOU!!!
    PS – what are the odds of this happening again?  What causes this to happen??

  • donttellpapa

    Awesome! It work!

  • Seger

    Thanks! This is working very well! Any backup is not needed 🙂

  • Brilliant! thank you!

  • Hd883v21

    Awesome was having a very similar problem! Camera would be stuck on saving photo and my photo count was 2,147,483,647 just like i had found another person on another forum. I have a ppc mac and downloaded the older ppc version of the freeware and did exactly as you said here andit works great! Thanks

  • RC

    It worked with no glitches.  
    Many thanks.

  • Krieger

    Muchisimas gracias. Indeed you are a genius!

  • Charlieack83

    Thank you sooooo much it worked perfectly and I got all my photos back of my little boy ! Thanks again your a star

  • Shannonrigsby

    When you say to back up the three files before deleting them….how do you do that?

  • Guest

    Freaking BRILLIANT!!  After updating my iPhone 4 to OS5 the Camera & Photo basically crapped out completely!  I could take photos but they didn’t show up in the Camera Roll, Photo Stream…nothing, UNLESS I looked at it from the Camera.  It also stopped syncing with iPhoto.  I deleted all three files, restarted the phone and TA DA!!!  Working perfectly now…..THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Dan

    You deserve a standing ovation from Italy!

  • U2hanks2

    It worked!! Thanks a bunch!

  • Ledi51

    Had to add my thanks as well, I’ve restored my phone from backup 4 times now today because of apple support and I was afraid I’d have to start from scratch.. but I tried this as a last resort and it worked perfectly!!! Thanks so much!

  • Geo

    thanks so much!!!!

  • Geo

    OH, and as someone has mentioned in a previous comment “i went to the apple store and got a new one” this was not a solution for me, as someone stole my iPhone last week and the pixelation issue had been occurring since i updated to ios5, even when i bought a brand new phone today, i restored it to previous backup and obviously the bug was transferred to the brand new iPhone 4S so i did as you say and everything is fine. GOOD MAN!!

  • nik

    Thank you! Thank you!

  • Alan

    You are a champion.  Worked like a charm.  Thanks.

  • Alex Martin


  • Greatfulofaustralia

    Worked a treat! Thank you sooooooo much!

  • Jess

    AWESOME! Thanks!

  • Shannonrigsby

    How do you backup the files you mentioned in step 2?

  • Steve

    Fantastic – this fix worked so well… a big thank you!

  • Derek

    Last week I had to take a work trip to France and Germany (from Ireland). On this trip I took about 1000+ photos of prospective sites for our business. It took 2 days. Then this crash happened and I thought I’d lost them all.

    THANK YOU Sir for posting this fix. I thought I had lost everything and would have to spend another two nights and 4 flights to do it all again.

  • Kudos to you – had this exact issue. Your fix worked like a charm and I have all my photos (plus ones taken since Camera Roll started playing up) all back in my Camera Roll (and transferred to my Mac too.
    After trawling the internet a possible cause may be this:
    one guy mentioned that the save image function in Safari may be causing the camera roll to corrupt.
    This makes sense as I had been doing quite a lot of this recently and I reckon I must have saved a pic format the iPhone just didn’t agree with. The suggestion was to bypass this function and use the phones’ screen capture function instead. Pity cuz i liked the simplicity of the “Save Image” function. No idea if any of this is relevant to your issue or was the cause of mine but hopefully it’ll help someone.


  • frankism

    downloaded and install but not running, prompted to send error report, im using my old laptop running on windows xp

  • Frankism

    downloaded and installed but not running, prompted to send error report, im using my old laptop running on windows xp

  • Moonandantarctica420

    I cannot get iexplorer to work. Why? I have iTunes installed.

  • David

    Fabulous worked to restore library thumbnails. Does delete the synched photo folder on rebuild but no issues to restore

  • Rick

    Thanks a million. It worked as advertised. After reading the comments  decided to not worry about backing up my photos/videos.  All I did was find the file named photos.sqlite using iPhone Explorer, right click it and delete it.  After restarting my iPhone, both the camera and camera roll App worked fine.

  • MMB

    Simple… GENIUS! Thanks bro…

  • 🙁 it didn’t work for me… when i try opening the photos app it just crashes 🙁
    oh well…. 5 months of photos gone… :'(

  • Vmontao

    Excellent, i was desperate, it’s incredible, thank’s

  • Miann

    You are a super genius! Thank you so much for figuring this all out!

  • Nugget_girl19

    Thank you so much! I actually did a full restore and it didnt fix the issue. My next stop was the Apple Store in the rich part of town. I had fears of being run over by giant SUVs driven by tiny rich old ladies! This saved me the trip. I used iExplorer on a windows system and only had to delete the Photos.sqlite file. My photo library rebuilt itself and voila!! There were all my photos! You rock.

  • Yuk from NY

    I don’t know how you “stumbled” upon this solution.  However, I’m sure glad to have “stumbled” upon your web page.  Thank you so much.  I was really frustrated when the photo and camera apps crashed and a number of restore attempts didn’t work.  This worked like magic.   Don’t know what caused the crash.  I sure hope iOS 5 updates will fix it.  Thanks again!

  • Malmaguerv

    thank you you just saved me!

  • Ellen

    Thanks!!!! I am so happy now!

  • flopski

    I could make sweet sweet love to your face right about now. Thanks for posting this information, i love you man.x
    Big Phil

  • *blushes*

  • Terrence

    Hi Gary!

    Just wanted you to know that your solution just saved my vacation in Paris. 

    Like many, I was hesitant about trying this out and was on the verge of restoring my new phone on vacation but I’m so glad I came across your page and now I can continue to snap away. Much appreciated!

    Terrence from Singapore

  • Awesome! Glad I could help you and everyone else here. 🙂

  • mjb

    You are a genius.  THIS WAS AWESOME!!

  • Fanja

    Wow!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!! Even I could do it! I am so happy! Thank you!

  • hi you are a life saver. my iPhone has been on the blink for the last 2 days and i had 300 holiday photos saved on it.  the only think i would add to your instruction is you need to go into settings and activate the “show entire disk” option to see the files you are talking about. i have an iPhone 4S as well but the 3 file to delete were there not just the 1 that the other comments were saying.

    thanks so much for your help

  • This fix worked great. Not sure if it’s been mentioned but once you try to backup your Camera Roll to iCloud it will state that the Camera Roll is twice the twice that it really is. You need to turn off Camera Roll backup and accept deleting them from iCloud. Then turn it back on and the Camera Roll size will be accurate.

  • Lior

    This post not only does the job but it is written great, simple yet doesn’t leave you with questions (even gives the free alternative tools that work on both platforms).
    I’m glad we have a good community, as Apple support sucks…


  • Pmaldona7

    Holy Crap! that worked like a charm! THANK YOU! Saved my trip to San Diego.

  • Winter1028

    Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

  • Rollie

    Thank you very much!  This was all I needed to do.

  • Rollie

    Thank you very much! Your advice has helped many people.  I recently upgraded my iPhone4 operating system, then when I used the camera app from the Lock screen, followed by the (+) volume button for the shutter, it caused my camera roll to fail as everyone else has experienced.  I have a PC so I downloaded iExplorer (PC).  Connected my phone.  It wouldn’t let me copy any files so I just went to the file named photos.sqlite, right click it and deleted it. I did not have to delete  or PhotosAux.sqlite. After restarting my iPhone, both the camera and camera roll App worked fine. All of my pictures were still there.

  • lisalam

    I was having the same dilemma and this helped me solve the problem. Thanks so much, what a relief!!

  • Yat_z

    oh no… it doesn’t help with my ipad 2… 🙁 i got it 2 weeks ago , every other camera apps work fine but the default camera app doesn’t… it really bothers me. Do you have alternate solution for ipad 2? 🙁

  • A N Baggetta

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I got the 4S the day it came out.  The camera was working completely fine, and then one day it just stopped working!! I went to the Apple Store and after trying to completely swipe my phone and restore it (with no luck) I was given a new one.  Of course, as others have written below, I was still having the same problem.  I really did not want to have to go back for yet another phone that was still not going to work.  THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!!!!!

  • Thanks a bunch! It supa worked and am now able to view the camera roll and photo app as well without crashing!
    Am re tweeting this solution ASAP!


  • alan zinetti

    Thank You very much! you saved me a lot of time!

  • Roland

    Fantastic ,  I wasted an hour on the phone with apple only to be told I had to nuke my phone. This solution worked perfectly!

  • Rstunna1

    Mannnnnn…..Apple needs to hire you as a tech!!!  Your the man!!

  • Patrick

    You’re a genius, Gary!  Deleting that one file did rebuild my photo library upon restart.  And my iPhone Camera now works!

  • BenzeDK

    Amazing – this really works! My girlfriend had the same problem during our stay in Egypt. Now I could simply make her camera work and get all the pictures back – in just 30 mins. You just saved my day!!

  • Bronson J

    Great fix, works on iPhone 4s. After shooting a couple videos on my iPhone, the camera suddenly stopped working and the photo app just kept crashing everytime I tried opening it. Did what’s told here ( I only found Photos.sqlite in mine) and everything’s back to normal. Thanks heaps, again.

  • Diego

    MUITO OBRIGADO! That’s how we say “Thank you very much” here in Brazil. I’ve lost 50 pictures this afternoon with the camera roll crash and I just got them all back with your help! 😉

  • Matt

    Thank you for this solution!

  • Aaron

    I believe upgrading to iOS 5 is what caused this problem. Thank you VERY much for the solution! You saved the day!

  • Melly

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou! I was using my iphone 4 as a camera for my trip to Czech republic/Germany. It carked it one day, and I fixed by resetting it (although I lost the photos from that day- which I was not too concerned about, as I had only taken 5 or so pics!) when it happened a second time, I was in the middle of a trip up to one of the  castles, and lost around 200 photos. Not happy! Decided to wait til I got home and try this- so glad I did, as now all of my photos are showing, yay!

  • Tradeshowguy

    This was a life saver. Photo would instantly crash on open after the 5.0.1 upgrade I did last week… Everything works now and I can see all of my photos. Thanks for addressing this…

  • Jess

    I lost all my pictures to front row Katy Perry last night which were once in a lifetime pictures and this worked wonders! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

  • Riley1994

    I F**KING LOVE YOU MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks sooo much this solved my problem first time, F**k Apple Support!

  • pete

    I downloaded iphone explorer 2.1 4.1.  I plugged my iphone 4gs to my computer using the supplied usb cord. I want to backup my pictures and to backup the files that I should delete (all three were present), but I don’t know how to proceed.  There is no icon at the top that says “copy from iphone”, so I’m afraid to delete the three things that I should delete without backing them up.  Please tell me how to proceed. 
    Signed….Pictures stuck in limbo land  

  • Peterbh

    I just tried this, and it appears to be working!  Thanks!

  • Jon5alive

    wow, thanks so much for this! i used my camera to take pictures on my honeymoon and lost about half of them with this glitch.  recovered every single one with this fix, and i can take pictures again!

  • dumb dumb

    After being to dumb to figure all this out. I found the easiest way ever to fix this problem. All you have to do is go into itunes with phone connected. Go to your photos tab and un check your folders with the photos in them. Sync your phone. All photos will be deleted from your phone. Then re check all your folders and sync again. All photos will be back on phone crystal clear.

  • Shickrsn

    You have icloud. I just deleted and then turned my phone off. When I turned it back on a waited and opened the after a few times and the pictures populated from icloud.

  • Ramon

    Worked for me on my iPhone 3GS !

  • Emilyelisee

    I really, REALLY appreciate tech savvy people like you. You just saved me. I was so worried I was going to lose all my photos of my boys that hadn’t been backed up since my Mac logic board died.


  • Matte

    Thanks alot worked great on my 4S only deleted Photos.sqlite. Thank you thank you!

  • I V O

    THANK YOU!!!!

  • Nadej

    Thank you so much. This had been happening to me recently and I got really down when some of my favorite memories turned into grey boxes. Your fix worked like a charm. xoxo

  • SM

    wow……you’re a fudging genius sir, i mean, so simple and so efficient….thank you so much!

  • 4S fix

    Worked perfectly.  I even tried to explain this article to apple support.  They still recommended I fry my phone.  Thanks a million!  I had two files: photos.sqlite, and one very similar: photos.sqlite(aside), but only deleted the photos.sqlite as the other comments suggested.  Worked exactly as stated.

  • Wephillips3491

    Simply genius.  Thank you very much!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Garrett

    Seriously thank you!  It’s so irritating that apple can’t fix their own bugs.  It’s one thing to have bugs and admit to them and be open minded about fixing them… but apple’s policy has always been to discourage 3rd party software, jailbreaking, etc – because it can supposedly tarnish their precious user experience… well sadly that’s not the case.  When the only way to actually fix a problem without losing everything that matters to you, is to use a third party software, or to hack it yourself then they really ought to be ashamed of themselves. 

    I feel like more and more, Apple is making decisions for us because they think they “know what’s best” for us, and many other companies are following suit, because – well.. it’s Apple.  It’s frustrating because often I end up losing files, settings or song ratings and such simply because there aren’t any options anymore… they just do what they want with my data.  Ugh

  • Glad we could help! 🙂

  • Markic

    OMG, God bless u, saved me hours of hard work!!!!

  • Sachikko

    it worked!!!
    i was taking pix using the quick camera function and then it got stuck and couldnt save anymore photos, and it was the last day of my christmas holiday trip. nearly freaked out and wanted to get retore to factory settings.
    thank you genius
    i got my pix back!!!

  • Charlotte

    Thanks Matte! Deleted Photos.sqlite and it worked almost immediately! 🙂

  • Durbie1

    Your my Hero!
    I tryed everything, only this worked.

    Easyer for ppl; Use IFile (Same thing)
    (remember to totally shut down your iPhone afterwards, just respringing was not enough for me..)

    Thanks again!

  • Garrett

    good advice, except a lot of people don’t have jailbroken phones, and this works even on those phones that aren’t. FYI

  • Dv0rsky

    Many thanks! It worked for me, even though my issue was other – i transferred all pictures to pc and deleted them from iphone, but the deleted images were still showing up in camera roll.

  • Aaa

    Thanks mate

  • Christof

    Mate you are a fucking god.. i had pictures and videos that i couldnt afford to loose they got blacked and i couldnt do anything to get them back.. just like everyone else i tried through apple and all they said was sorry im to busy sucking my own cock to help you.. thank you so much !

  • Glad we could help! 🙂

  • krystal182

    yay it worked!!!!!!!!!!! ur a gem

  • Patty

    New iPhone 4S 32GB.  Pictures from my Camera Roll not showing!  Fortunately, I found this fabulous conversation.

    I purchased PhoneView and located iPhone pictures from the Camera Roll !!  These have been transferred to iPhoto successfully.The problem now – though – is I can’t locate the folders in PhoneView.  No DCIM, PhotoData, PhotoStreamsData, etc.  There are NO individual folders.  Can anyone HELP, please?!

  • SkinnyHippo

    Ok so I got your idea, but didn’t have the time to get on my PC. I noticed the similarities of the iPhone explorer/Phoneview with an app I use called iFile. I got it from Cydia, since my phone is jailbroken. If you are jailbroken, then this is the most convenient way to deal with the camera roll problem.

    First, I opened my iFile and clicked the Home button (it looks like a house), then selected the Media folder. As soon as I opened the Media folder, I saw the DCIM folder. I selected it and I had 3 folders. I checked the 1st folder and it only had a video, the 2nd folder had 1 photo, and the 3rd folder had all the photos in my camera roll, which I haven’t synced to my PC. I decided to delete the last photos that I saved on folder 3 and it didn’t make a difference. I tried to delete Folder 1 & 2 since it basically had nothing in it. I closed the iFile app immediately and clicked on my camera roll. Viola! It started up and updated. It’s working now and I can take pictures & videos. IFile also gives you the option to email a file or bluetooth files.

    Thanks for the idea Gary Ang!

  • Asae Ivory

    Thank you so much for posting this! =) 

  • lu84

    hi, I’m having problem with my photos it crashes when im going to send it as email, mms etc… I already deleted, i cant find PhotosAux.sqlite under photo data and lastly I kept deleting
    Photos.sqlite but it keeps showing up after my photos are restored…

    hope anyone could help me with this prob…

  • Lu84

    by the way, I’m using Ifile…


  • Asdf

    It worked for me! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  • Wiggleywoo

    Thank you, thank you so much. 

  • Anonymous

    brilliant.  many thanks

  • Craig

    amazing.. Worked a treat.. Tried loads of things and this worked perfect.. I just used Ifunbox for this issue 

  • Thomas van Dantzig

    Your gracious sharing of this information has me feeling humbled. I feel nothing but gratitude towards you after all others had failed to resolve this problem without taking drastic measures to my phone.

  • Hindsenator

    If this works, I would buy you afew beers. My friend has this problem on iPhone 3gs & potentially lost nearly 800 photos. I will update when tried.

  • stella

    i dont know you, but i love you! it worked!!!

  • Thanks! 🙂

  • JRS

    Awesome-worked like a charm. Thank you sir.

  • Mary Castillo

    Thank you so much!!! I had this issue for days and this was so simple!

  • Binting_bin

    Hi, my concern was after taking a picture, the Thumbnail and the actual picture is not the same 🙁 I tried doing what you did, didn’t worked for me 🙁 any other ideas?

  • Sarah

    You are a star. Thanks so much for saving all my photos. Was rather worried about the process but you  described it perfectly and everything was restored.  Thanks so much!

  • Rospa

    Great. Thanks so much.

  • Frustrated

    Okay, so I did this. And my camera roll restored, but I have like 200+ photos in other albums that didn’t restore automatically.

    Is there another metadata file I need to delete or something to get my phone to restore all of those other pictures?

    Like I said, my camera roll had 200+ pictures in it, but only 39 were restored.

  • SharanR

    Thank you SO much! My photos seemed like they were all gone and I didn’t know why. But your fix worked like a charm! 🙂

  • Bjlotfi

    Thank u!!! U saved me!! 🙂 I will always be greatfull. 🙂

  • Thank-you so much! This, plus the commenter who explained how to do this with iFile did the trick. My phone is still showing 6.6GB used for “Other”, but I’m going to keep reading to see how I can fix that. Just wanted to say thanks for getting my camera and photos working again!

  • Thanks, Skinny Hippo. I was having a hard time with iExploer and Phoneview, but since I have a jailbroken phone, your explanation here helped me out! Thanks so much!

  • JJ

    YAY! It worked for me! Thank you SO much! You are da bomb!

  • JessieOwl

    Restored 649 photos and 21 videos by deleting four of these pesky files.

    Fantastic! Thank you so much!

    TIP: if like me, you are finding iExplorer (aka iPhoneExplorer) a little temperamental, DiskAid allowed me to access and delete these files for free.

    Good luck to anyone trying this fix- it worked for me, so have faith!

  • 00storz

    I love you so much !
    THANKS !

  • mikejp

    thanks worked like a charm

  • Glarus

    Did you ever find out how to get the 6.6GB out of Other?  I’m having the same problems, but with 2.1GB stuck.  Now I have no idea how to recover that space!

  • Ugh, no! I read up about it after I posted here and it sounds like it’s a known bug where cache files or something just takes up all that space. I had a little space taken up with “other” before but it ballooned to 6.6GB  after I fixed the camera roll bug this post is about. I’m glad to have the camera working again, but the loss of space sucks! 

    I took it to an iPhone repair guy, explained all that I had read up on it and it turned out after wasting three and half hours of my time he wasn’t really listening to what I told him and wasn’t at all familiar with what I was talking about. I was so mad, but you can’t get nasty with the guy holding your life (phone) in his hands! From what I’ve read a full restore can get rid of the problem but not always. Since my phone is jailbroken and unlocked I am scared to do that on my own and risk losing my unlock, but if you don’t have those things to worry about, it sounds like that could be your best bet. I read someone say that restoring to backup afterwards puts the “other” data right back on there. It sounds like Apple is doing nothing to fix it though. Good luck!

  • Chris

    Worked for me too, cheers!

  • Lizzie

    For some reason I wasn’t able to “copy from iphone” to my PC so after reading comments on here, I realized that iCloud should have all of my photos saved. So I decided to delete all three of the files you listed and see what happens. I was freaking out about none of my photos or videos showing up but after a couple minutes they were all restored! Thank you SO much for posting this! 🙂

  • Cheers 🙂

  • Bored Life

    I can only see the photos.sqlite one on mine. Not the others. Can’t even find the others in the pic he put up. Whatever it worked. Sort of. Only half (not even half acutally) rebuilt. When I was downloading pictures, only half went as well. I don’t know whats wrong with the other half. Is there any way I can get it back now, or UN-delete photos.sqlite so  all of them will go back to how they were before with my other pics as well? 

  • Joey_daniel

    IT worked! I used iexplorer for PC , and it didn’t have the “copy files” option, so I just went straight to the photodata folder and deleted photos.sqlite without even doing a back-up (which is not recommended). I didn’t delete any of the other 2 files that you mentioned. I then reset and voila!!! so apparently all u have to do is delete the Photos.sqlite file. 

  • phuco


  • Zwaxl

    Have you found an answer for this?
    My thumbnail is the New pic but the Full Photo is a still from a Video that had been ‘deleted’ in a Crash…

  • Glarus, I was on holiday when I replied last time. While I was away I was down to 12 meg of space left and was panicking! I don’t know how it happened but the DCIM folders were full all over again with photos from before I followed the steps in this post to delete them and restore the Photos app. I just deleted them again and got 5.3 GB back! Actually, I got a little back by clearing the cache, cookies, and history in Safari’s setting and the rest by deleting the photos. Such a relief! I hope this helps! I can’t believe I figured it out while jetlagged.

  • Tarek

    Thanks for the help man, thank you.

  • dirkuijt

    Thanks man! 
    I lost all my photos after jail breaking, but deleting only Photos.sqlite made my device rebuild my camera roll! 
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Michael

    I went to the AT&T store, nothing.  I went to the Apple store and talked with a tech, nothing.I found your page and I have pictures and movies.  Thanks for posting this fix.

  • Daddy

    i did what you told me to do, i went into my phone using Winscp and i deleted the three files ( when i deleted them i rebooted my iphone and went to my pictures, it has the “camera roll” but when i go on it, it says that i have no pictures/videos , and i understand you told me to wait a bit and be patient, ..well its been over 6 hours and still nothing. can someone help me ?

  • Nathan Westfall

    Dude you freaking rule.  Thank you.  I have a jailbroken iPhone 4S running 5.1.1 and after I jailbroken it the photos would no longer save.  You are a lifesaver.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Cheers! 🙂

  • Maarouf

    thank you 

  • Vinhlong7

    didnt work for me, and itunes doesnt recognize my files.. they deleted by themselves, HORRIBLE, now what can i do ?

  • Fred


  • Margaret Rynne

    Many thanks, outstanding support and description of the issue. made myself and my auntie very happy 🙂

  • i deleted 
    Photos.sqlite, but only the photos in my photo stream were restored. my photos in my camera roll were never restored. anyone else encountered this problem? my “Others” folder which has all my images in them is 10.2gb.

  • taso

    same happened to me 🙁 im just restoring from an old back up hopefully it’ll have it

  • Pellet

    Omg I deleted that Photos.sqlite file, rebooted my iPhone 4s, but it didn’t work. It says no photos or videos. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve tried restoring and everything, but it still doesn’t work. Please help me!

  • I tried to save my photos to my computer, but instead of taking them off my phone to store on the computer, it seems to have corrupted them… So if I try to view them on my phone, they’re pixelated, and I can’t send them to anyone or email them to myself. I don’t know how to save them… There are like three years of saved photos on there, including some special moments that I really don’t want to lose… Help!!! 🙁

  • Doris

    thank you so much!

  • jjp

    i have the same problem here. i’m using windows, so i downloaded iExplorer. the problem is, it doesn’t have any “copy from iPhone”. what do i have to do now? ^^

  • Rune

    i am using iExplorer, i tried to delete photos sqlite, but it said “iPhone Explorer can’t delete that file or directory”. what am i supposed to do now? please help

  • Rune


  • Irshad Ahamed

    i did so, i have deleted n see all possible files, still it shows other files no photos in Camera Roll, but this is helpful as i could copy photos to my hard drive from phone

  • thank you so much, this just worked perfectly for me.

    you saved me to do a whole restore.

  • Joan

    YAY!!!!!!! this was amazing. my phone rebuilt the library and ended up deleting over 1000 photos that i hadn’t backed up yet. deleting the newest sqlite totally worked!!!!!!!! i’m so happy! thanks!

  • Cheers!

  • FTNZ

    You guys are awesome. FAR better than apple. I’m running 4s with 5.1.1 jailbroken. I tried both the iFile method and the iExplore one, but neither worked for me. To start with!
    In frustration I deleted the entire DCIM folder and bingo, success.

  • Cheers! Share this with your friends 🙂

  • applebees

    god!!! genius!!!

  • Butch

    Hi, ahm can you teach mi how to use this in Windows? badly to say i don’t have a Mac PC 🙂 thank you

  • i only deleted the photos.sqlite (this was the only one i had from the list provided) and it restored pics that i had already deleted myself, but not my missing pics, and new pics that i take are still not showing up in my camera roll. there were quite a few other squlite files that i noticed in my photo area, as well as in a download area there was a file called photos.sqlite.b wondering if i should delete this one as well or if it will cause more damage than good. i miss my iphone camera, it so much easier to take pics of my kids as it is always close by! help please!

  • i deleted it and now i cant save photos and my camera roll thanks a lot for the help

  • Ashley

    It won’t let me delete the Photos.sqlite files. I right click, then I click delete, then it asks me if i want to permanently delete, I click continue, but the file remains. Anyone know what I am doing wrong? I would really appreciate any help anyone could give.

  • scoffinice

    This fix has worked great for me, thanks a million for posting it! The only thing is, this happens to me every few weeks. Is anyone else having this problem consistently? If so, any ideas on how to fix it for good?

  • MnM

    YOU ARE MY HERO! You saved all my pics :). Thank You.

  • Cheers

  • Fuck Apple

    love you ! #NoHomo
    I’ve looked for the solution during five months on our french website
    You are so fucking great
    I will be able to use my phone to one hundred percent of its capacity
    I’ve never let thanks on the internet
    thanks a lot

  • jjuujj

    apple tech support failed so hard on this one

  • WTF! I used 5 hours to find solution! Now I found!!! You are Genius!

  • Cheers! Share this with your friends or on twitter 🙂

  • kobe

    awesome! I have the 4S and just needed to delete Photos.sqlite and it worked!

  • Moses

    Thank you for this great solution – I second the positive responses here – you are a genius and have saved me a lot of trouble of going into restore (which would have then upgraded my iPhone 4 to ios6 which I didn’t want) etc etc. Brilliant!

  • Pradeep

    Millions of thanks sir, you are great, its works forme

  • DJ W

    My good Sir, I dont know how you thought of this solution, but you are indeed a genius. iPhoneview and iPhonexplorer keeps on crashing but downloaded iFunbox and followed the same steps, worked like a charm.

  • Cheers! 🙂

  • Elipsis V.

    So question: Would this work with my iPod Touch? It started doing the rebuilding thing and deleted half my photo’s. Really upset.

  • AlaaKhaled

    Thank You! IT WORKED!


    Saved my day!! Tks for share your knowledge.

  • Heath

    Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much! The iPhone 4S does indeed only have the photos.sqlite file. Worked great! So happy; saved me 3GB and a lot more time I would have continued wasting.

  • rayjay

    I love you!!!!!!

  • Mamma 1988

    I had to replace my LCD screen and now my camera roll isn’t showing anything but in usage it shows camera roll 6.6gb and I downloaded iphone backup extractor and it is showing the files but I can’t view them. Do you think this would work ?

  • 1. Just highlight the DCIM folder as that contains all your photos. You can save them to anywhere on your Mac, choose the desktop to make it easy.

    2. As for backing up the PhotoData folder and its contents, again just save it to your desktop.

    3. Once you delete the files, and you restart your iPhone, the photo library will start rebuilding. You don’t need to connect to iTunes.

  • Awesome 🙂

  • Cheers!

  • Thanks

  • Great news 🙂

  • #winning

  • Shirel

    I’ve done all the steps you explained, deleted only the one file as I have an iPhone 4S, but now the camera roll is still empty, and it’s been over half an hour.. Does it take much longer to come back?


  • mgarciaad

    You are THE MAN! Worked like a charm. I had backed up all my images already but couldn’t free up any space as I couldn’t get to the images to delete any. This restored about 2500 images now I can delete away. Thanks a ton!!!

  • David nelson

    please help! when i enter iphone explorer it doesnt give me the option to copy the DCIMto my desktop if i right click. Also I have more then those 3 folders that you said to delete.

    Photos sqlite
    Photos sqlite-shm
    Photos sqlite-wal
    Photos sqlite.aside
    Photos aux.sqilte

    Do i delete them all?

    Thank for your help.

  • Marry Banilow

    Worked a charm, sitting here watching my library rebuild itself. Thank you!

  • Marry Banilow

    Actually no it hasn’t, it’s just rebuilt again without the missing photos 🙁

  • RyCrow

    The same thing has just happened to my iPhone 4s. Corrupt backup, then all photos became ‘other’. I was wondering if I use this software to extract all of my photos, then reset my phone to factory settings, will this work? Im just worried about deleting the wrong files, so if I can avoid doing this but still recover my photos to my laptop will this work?

    Any help appreciated.

  • booga boogalaba

    it worked for about a minute but then it went back to crashing… 🙁

  • hellodafdfdsafsadf

    i can’t seem to find the files.

  • Lala

    You are brilliant thanks a lot xoxoxoxoxox

  • Madcowz7

    Genious Thats all I have to say

  • mizlover1

    i have an ipad. everytime i take a photo or video and go back to see it, its just a black blank nothing. i go to camera roll and all thats there are older vids n pics.for example, i take 5 pictures and 5 vids…i go to cam roll to view them nd theres only 10 black squares in place of what should be there. (make sense?) and when i click to watch one or share a photo to fb or something, it says saving! even if i try n delete it,itll say “saving” and it dont save. then it crashes. its so odd. i dont have much on the ipad. no music.. about 200 pics and vids…maaaaybe,15 apps. thats it. i tried to back it up on icloud to restart the ipad..but dont have enough GB it says. the ipad belongs to my 8 yrs old daughter who would be so sad if i got rid of her pics and fun games… (that i paid for) what can be wrong? help please.


  • AOK

    when I right click– it wont let me delete the files. what do I do?

  • AHappyGuyAgain

    I don’t know who you are or where you come from…but I want to find you…. and give you a damn handshake. Thanks a million! My photos disappeared after changing my 4s’s screen and this solved everything!

  • Cheers 🙂

  • Jordan

    I CANNOT THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR THIS POST! I dropped my iphone 4s and the screen broke, took it into a shop and they fixed the screen: my music, mail, notes etc were all fine – everything apart from my photos. The albums all showed up but had no photos inside, though on my usage it still showed up that 16GB was being used up by photo and video. After a lot of research online I came across your post – absolutely shat myself thinking I could be ruining everything on my phone – AND IT WORKED! I’m overjoyed thank you so much for your genius talents!

    NOTE: iPhone 4S users, you only need to delete the Photos.sqlite part!

    Once again – THANK YOU!
    Jordan x

  • Glad we could help!

  • R. Wesley

    I did the restore yesterday and i let my phone sit all night (while it was on) to let the pictures load up. In the morning i look and i have 24 pictures saved. WHen i exit to the camera roll list it says it is restoring 34 of 203. When I look at Photos it says restoring 34 of 203 also. HELP!!!!!

  • martyz

    Gary, thank you so much! it worked perfectly, today I bought two iPhones 4 for my wife and daughter, and after 4 hours of usage, my wife’s camera would not save or show any pictures, I tried fixing it for 3 hours until I got a major headache and couldn’t play with it any more, then I searched and read your article, WOW, it worked like magic, I followed your instructions to a T, , it is not as hard as it sounds, I downloaded the iPhone Explorer (demo) then deleted the photos.sqlite file, and that did it for me. Thank you again, Cheers!

  • Awesome! Glad we could help and well done.

  • lee

    What a legend!!! had to rename the photos.sqlite file as it would not let me delete it.
    But still worked a treat 🙂

  • lutin593

    Dear Gary,
    After copying new pictures on my iPad, I got stuck with the photoapp keeping crashing each time I was looking at pictures on my JB iPad. No clues on the web except your solution. It takes a little time when these files are deleted for the iPad to rebuild the pictures library but it really works great!
    Merci beaucoup form a French iPad user!
    Many thanks!

  • Cheers!

  • Spikefaery

    Thank you, worked perfectly.

  • A-

    hello, first of all i’d ilke to thank you for this, and also to let you know if i could have donated i definitely would have. it’s just that i’m only 9 and i live in istanbul. if you ever came to istanbul i show around.and again thank you

  • Roger

    Found this article today after my iPhone photos database got corrupted. Your solution to delete the files and have the phone rebuild the database worked perfectly – many thanks!

    However, after I had done this, iTunes was no longer able to backup my photos from my phone. iTunes didn’t report any problems or errors when running the backup of the phone with the new photos database. However, using iExplorer to examine the content of the backup, it was clear that newly taken photos were not being backed up.

    The solution to that problem was to delete the Device backup in the iTunes preferences window, and then have iTunes create a new backup of the device. The new backup contained the newly taken photos.

    Bottom line – check that iTunes is correctly backing up your photos after you have rebuilt the photos database on the phone.

  • Char016

    Hey my iPhone 4 got into the habit of rebuilding its photo library but up until now, every time it said ‘ rebuilding library please wait ‘ etc, all my photos and videos were there and now after its recent one, half of my photos went missing. I found only a few of the missing photos in the ‘ Places ‘ part of the Camera Roll but I have no idea where the rest are. Also, when I tap on the Camera app it says that its memory is full etc as it did before and the very small thumbnail on the lower left corner shows the previous picture I took, yet when I tap on the picture and the Camera Roll album opens up, it is nowhere to be found and the picture that appears is the picture that is the last one showing in the Camera Roll now after the other photos went missing ( these pictures used to be in the middle of the album before, not at the end ). Even when I check out the General Settings, the number of photos is decreased by half compared to the number of photos I had before and yet it still shows that the memory is full. I really need to get all the missing stuff back especially since they weren’t backed up. Do you think this method could possibly work in this case too? Your help would be highly appreciated, thank you so much in advance x

  • Hreich

    You can just select white photo, click on edit photo and re-save

  • knoby7

    hi this is very difficult for the Windows user. Can you help me in resolving this problem with my iphone? when i clicked photo data to look for those files you mentioned to be deleted, i can’t find any of them. here is a screen shot.what can i do next? appreciate anyone’s help. thank you

  • knoby7

    oh my goodness! you are an angel from heaven! thank you so much for this! i used the iExplorer and it worked fine! thank you so much! cheers bro!

  • Ruffian23

    This worked beautifully… BUT the problem came back only a few weeks later, worse than before, and now the demo version of iExplorer has expired so I will have to pay for it in order to fix my phone again. Not thrilled. =/

  • Christabel Smith

    After being in relationship with him for nine years,he broke up with me, I
    did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him
    back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with
    everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to
    someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell
    caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type
    that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the
    spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be
    okay before four days, that my ex will return to me before four days, he
    cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex
    called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that
    he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return
    to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was
    how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made
    promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of
    help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful
    spell caster, DR OJEFOR who helped me with my own problem and who is
    different from
    all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell
    caster, his email is ( }
    you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or
    anything he cast spells for different
    purposes like
    (1) If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3) You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4) You want women/men to run after you.
    (5) If you want a child.
    (6) You want to be rich.
    (7) You want to tie your husband/wife to be
    yours forever.
    (8) If you need financial assistance.
    (9) Herbal care
    (10) If you can be able to satisfy your wife
    sex desire due
    to low erraction.
    (11) if your menstruation refuse to come
    out the day it
    suppose or over flows.
    (12) if your work refuse to pay your, people
    owing you?.
    (13) solve a land issue and get it back.
    (14) Did your family Denny you of your
    (15) Let people obey my words and do my
    (16) Do you have a low sperm count?
    (17) bad lucks
    (18) people are jealous of you

  • sleepines

    After noticing over half of my pics in camera roll and photo stream had disappeared, i read the article and downloaded this(demo version). But it won’t let me click the ‘delete’ option… I can see my pics there, but can’t get them back to my phone ;__; this is killing me.

  • Anugrah Tripathi


    I did exactly like you said…
    But i am unable to delete the photos.sqlite

  • Ryan

    Many memories saved. Thanks so much!

  • GaryIsAwesome

    Thanks Gary! My phone only had Photos.sqlite which iphone explorer did not let me delete. So, I renamed it to Photos.sqlite2 and restarted the phone. Voila! Photo library rebuilt successfully.

  • Cheers! Way to go.

  • definingsound

    I broke my PHOTOS database by renaming a photo in iFile (from .jpg to .gif). Subsequent to that, my PHOTOS app would freeze upon loading.

    Using iOS 7.1.2, I only saw “Photos.sqlite” as mentioned in the post. I renamed it to “Photos.sqlite.old”, rebooted the phone, opened PHOTOS, and all is well.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • definingsound

    Close all apps, and rename the file (don’t delete it). If the fix works, delete the renamed file.

  • DB

    Hello, I have a similar issue. All the photos on my phone are grey squares with the word JPG. I downloaded PhoneView, but when I click on “Disk” to try to copy the DCIM, I don’t see any folders. There’s just a pdf document. How can I located the DCIM files?

  • Screw Apple Support

    YOU ARE BRILLIANT. Just donated to buy you a beer. Not kidding.

  • cat

    Thanks a bunch. You made my day. cheers !

  • fertobaba

    God bless you man. You are awesome.

    Tip:If you are jailbroken iFile works just as well(Much faster than firing up the computer:)

  • Cinemais

    Unfortunately, my situation is more acute… the procedure to rebuild the thumbnails does indeed work as described. However, on my iPhone 4s with iOS 6 the problem is that some of the actual photos have become corrupted… that’s the reason for the missing thumbnails. I extracted the photos using the Phoneview utility and tried to recover the bad photos with a couple of JPEG repair utilities… but no such luck, the bad JPEG files appear badly corrupted.

    To make matters worst, the corrupted photos have propagated to my backups… my current iPhone 4s is a replacement for an earlier stolen 4s and restored with the last backup I had on iTunes. It is not clear to me when and how the corruption happened, my suspicion is that it took place when I did the restore… or worst, if it is something ongoing. My camera roll is on the order of 1700 photos, and about 100 photos are now showing damage. Uff!

  • Guia

    I just updated with iOS 8.3 which jumbled my camera roll and i found this tutorial. It really works!!! thank you so much! 😀

  • Guest

    I’m using iCloud’s photo sync and set my photos on my iPhone to be optimized for space saving. When I tried the tutorial, my photos list was rebuilt as expected however, half of my photos were missing. I think it’s because only half of my photos were full resolution so the iPhone detected those.

    So, as a warning for those using iCloud, this tutorial may not work for you but if you’re not using iCloud, it seems like it’s a good solution to the problem.

  • Methew

    Lost your photos by accident and really want them back from your iPhone?

  • Katie

    Hi! Just found this thread and wanted to verify that it works for the iPhone 5 as well?? Thanks! (:

  • confused

    i had a crash when importing pics 2 years ago, all thumbnails turned black i didn’t finish the import then i tapped a thumbnail and they all disappeared, i lost like 1000 photos. i had pics of a car accident i was in and i need those pics, are they gone forever? its been two years ? its iPhone 4

  • Face-Plants

    Excellent fix. I only had the photos.sqlite file out of the 3 but after deleting it and restarting my phone, my camera roll is fixed! Now if only I could figure out why the GD thumbnails folder is taking up 130MB and I only have 10MB of pictures on here currently.

  • iPhone5s users

    dude its work thanks bruhh

  • Natalie Rap

    Hi, thanks for your post. I followed all the instructions and turned on and off my phone. When I turned it back on the first time all the photos loaded back into the camera albums as they were supposed to. However the images that I had issues with being grey, were still grey. I saw someone else’s comment on here that when they went back into “PhoneView Demo” they noticed the Photos.sqlite file was still there. That’s exactly what happened to me. So again I decided to delete it, thinking that the reason I saw grey when I rebooted my phone was because it didn’t delete the first time properly, however I’ve gone through the process and it’s happened again and the photos are still grey boxes. Also when I go back into the program the Photos.sqlite file is still there. Any reason for why it’s not permanetely deleting as it’s supposed to?

  • Natalie Rap

    Which apps? And how can I rename the “Photos.sqlite” file when it won’t allow me to right click and do it? Thanks.

  • Evan Christian

    Thanks bro.. Works on my iphone 6 ios 9.2.1

  • Erin Talbot

    It didn’t work 🙁 . I followed all of the steps. I bought and used
    PhoneView, as the demo would not let me do all the steps. I currently
    have an iPhone 4 with iOS 7.1.2 on it. It didn’t restore approx 3000
    photos of approx 10 000 (corrupted and non corrupted photos). It’s been
    about 1 and a half years since my camera roll crashed and corrupted some
    of my camera roll photos. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    An update: I tried to get my phone back to normal (in terms of putting the saved DCIM and PhotoData folders (saved onto my computer) back onto my iPhone via PhoneView. Not much success there either. Could anyone help me out?

  • rebecca

    I think I love you. This just saved my LIFE.

  • Farah Labita

    hey id just like to know how long it took for your phone to rebuild its camera roll? mine has been on for 10 mins and its still empty

  • E.

    this is has happened to my iphone6 on ios 9.3.1 so many times and i’m unsure of what to do and it’s so frustrating! plus, i dont have a macbook or any apple related computers to carry this out. help?

  • Wulan

    My photos dont show after 1 day i try these

  • Shan

    I was very skeptical thinking I had already tried everything. Photo app would crash every time I opened after a few seconds. Following your tutorial fixed it! My phone is fully functional and I still have all of my photos! Thank you so much, you saved years of memories for me!!

  • Cheers!

  • David Martinez

    Great article, however I still have a few questions.
    1. I started with step 1 but It keeps saying this, “PhoneView was unable to download Contacts, Notes, Call Log, Messages, Bookmarks and Voicemails from the iPhone because because of an error while downloading data. Try rebooting the iPhone if the problem continues.” Any suggestion? By the way, I try rebooting plenty of times.
    2. Am I suppose to buy the program before doing all of the steps?
    3. Do you know of another possible way of fixing this error, if so can you share?


  • Ashleyy

    omgg i foundd this post!!! sooo goooood!!!!
    i tried this with iphone 6s plus (newest version of ios) and downaloded iexplorer (also newest version) and found the ‘Photos.sqlite’ file and then i deleted but when i restarted my phone, still the same; i followed all the steps! ive even saved all my photos but the camera roll crash is still there…i connected again with iexplorer and saw the same file still there so it came back :S i dont know what to do now, i dont want to do factory settings 🙁 pleaseeee help!!

  • Emily

    Hi Gary,

    I have what I guess is the latest PhoneView, and there’s no DCIM option, nor Phone Data file. Any suggestions?