How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library

Lost photos on iCloud? Don’t know how to get these lost photos back? Don’t worry. This guide will show you several possible solutions to fix the photos missing from iCloud photo library error and help you bring the photos back easily.

Joy Taylor Posted on: Dec. 19, 2018, Last Updated: Nov. 25, 2019

I seem to be missing several years of photos after deleting photos on a MacBook Air while trying to free up space. Evidently I incorrectly deleted some photos from the iCloud Photo Library, then these photos missing from iCloud. Is there any way to get them back, or how can I restore lost photos on iCloud?

Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library

Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library

Just like the user above, many iOS users have encountered the same situation that photos missing from iCloud after freeing up space, uploading photos or even updating iOS. But there’s no need to worry about that too much. In the following guide, some simple solutions will be shared to help you fix the photos missing from iCloud photo library error effortlessly, and bring back your lost photos in minutes.

Why Did the Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library

  1. Deleting photos on one synced device will delete the photos from iCloud as well.
  2. You have hidden photos on your device.
  3. Tapped on “Remove from iPhone” option while switch off the iCloud Photo Library.
  4. The iCloud Photos feature is disabled on one of your devices.
  5. You have logged in a different iCloud account.

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library

Solution 1. Stay Connected to A Stable Wi-Fi Network

The iCloud Photo Library would only work if your device has a strong Internet connection. So, make sure that you have your device connected to a stable Wi-Fi network.

Solution 2. Enough iCloud Storage

The photos in iCloud photos use your iCloud storage. But you only get 5GB for free. If you don’t have enough iCloud storage space for your photos on iCloud, iCloud Photo Library will stop synchronizing until space becomes available again.

You can go to your device’s Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage to view how much free space is there on your iCloud account.

How to Fix: Lost Photos on iCloud Error by Checking iCloud Storage

How to Fix: Lost Photos on iCloud Error by Checking iCloud Storage

If you are running out of available space, then you can buy more storage by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage > Change Storage Plan > Choose one plan to upgrade.

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library – Upgrade iCloud Storage

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud Photo Library – Upgrade iCloud Storage

Solution 3. Log in Another iCloud Account

When iCloud photos disappeared, the most likely reason is that you have logged in a different iCloud account from other devices. In this case, you just need to:

Go to Settings > [your name] > Scroll down and sign out the current account > Log in the right iCloud account.

Solution 4. Check Recently Deleted Folder

Apple added a Recently Deleted function in the photos app so that users can easily get back the photos and videos deleted no more than 30 days. After the time, items will be permanently deleted. So, if you accidentally deleted your photos, then go to Photos app on your device and see whether your photos are there.

To recover photos from Recently Deleted folder:

Open Photos app > Albums > Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and tap on Recently Deleted > Tap on the Select button on the upper right corner > Select the photos you prefer > Tap on the Recover button on the bottom right corner to get them back.

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud – Recently Deleted Folder

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud – Recently Deleted Folder

Solution 5. Unhide Photos

According to users feedback, sometimes may mistakenly hide photos without being noticed. So, you can go to the Hidden album in Photos app to have a check.

Open Photos app > Album > Scroll down and choose Hidden album > Select > “Add to”, choose an album to store the photos.

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud – Unhide Photos

How to Fix: Photos Missing from iCloud – Unhide Photos

Solution 6. Check iCloud.com

Go to iCloud.com and check whether the missing photos are still stored there. If so, just re-enable iCloud Photos feature on the device you would like to keep, and connect to a stable WI-Fi to sync the photos to the device. To enable iCloud Photos feature:

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch: Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud.
Tap Photos > Turn on iCloud Photos.

On your Mac: Go to System Preferences > iCloud > Next to Photos, click Options > Select iCloud Photos.

Solution 7. Recover Photos with PhoneRescue

If none of the solutions above has worked, the last solution to get your photos back is to take assistance of a safe and powerful photos recovery tool like PhoneRescue for iOS. PhoneRescue for iOS has helped over millions of users recover deleted or lost photos successfully, and highly recommended by these users for photos as well as other data recovery, like messages, contacts, videos, notes, etc.

3 different recovery modes: from iOS Device directly (without backup), from iTunes backup (selective recovery without erasing anything) and from iCloud backup (selective recovery without erasing anything). No matter you have backup or not, it helps you safely retrieve all your photos.

More than anything, unlike the traditional iTunes iCloud way, it not only allows you to check the backup files in advance, but also supports recovering only deleted photos. Also, you can select the photos you prefer to recover. And here we will take “Recover from iOS Device” for an example.

Step 1. Download PhoneRescue for iOS.

Free Download PhoneRescue for iOS on your computer (or click the Download button below) > Run it.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 2. Connect your iPhone and choose recovery mode.

Connect your device to the computer via a USB cable if you want to recover to your device > Choose Recover from iOS Device mode > Click on Right Arrow to continue.

How to Fix: iCloud Photos Disappeared – Step 2

How to Fix: iCloud Photos Disappeared – Step 2

Step 3. Scanning the deleted photos on your device.

Uncheck Select All box and check Photos only > Click on OK button to scan the lost photos.

How to Fix: iCloud Photos Disappeared – Step 3

How to Fix: iCloud Photos Disappeared – Step 3

Step 4. Select the photos to recover.

Preview and select the photos you want to recover > Click To iOS Device or To Computer button to get them back to Photos app or your computer.

How to Fix: iCloud Photos Disappeared – Step 4

How to Fix: iCloud Photos Disappeared – Step 4

If you have backed up your photos with iTunes or iCloud before, then the two guides below may be helpful to you.

How to Selectively Recover Photos from iCloud Backup without Erasing Data >

How to Selectively Recover Photos from iTunes Backup without Erasing Data >

The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to fix the photos missing from iCloud Photo Library error. Hope above solutions have helped you bring back your lost iCloud photos successfully. If you find this guide useful, just share it to help more users who lost photos on iCloud.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iPhone related issues.