Some Google Photos users find old photos that are corrupt

In recent days, users of Google Photos, browsing their library for several years, have found images that can best be described as “corrupted”.

Over the weekend, people started noticing that their old photos (more than five years ago, roughly) had deep lines and cracks running through them, as well as other blurry or distorted areas. White dots are also common. Some images are damaged more than others with no apparent pattern of what is affected or severity.

It’s rather strangely similar to physical damage caused by water, with reports across Google Photos for Android, iOS, and the web.

According to those affected, corruption persists when the image is downloaded. This seems to apply both to individual downloads and when using Google Takeout. The original versions of the photos don’t seem to be affected, but the modified versions are what appear in the Google Photos apps.

Examples 1, 2, 3 and 4

Dozens of reports and examples show near-identical cases of this problem. The problem seems to have settled for some in the last day, but others are still affected. As such, there is likely to be a solution on Google’s part for this.

Not all users seem to have this problem, but it seems to affect quite a few.

We’ll be reaching out to Google for more information about these damaged images, and hopefully an explanation.

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