refresh (27.09.2022 @ 01:51 ET): Google issued a statement on the issue. Scroll down for more information. Article published on September 26, 2022 is archived below.

Many Google Photos users have reported seeing artifacts in old backed-up photos over the past few days. The problem affects images uploaded five years ago that appear as lines, dots, deep cracks and water spots that were not present in the original uploads.

A support thread highlighting the issue includes various examples showing the extent of visible damage in older images, and users are reporting artifacts in Google Photos on all platforms.

User reports Reddit It suggests that artifacts persist even after taking photos directly from Google Photos or Google Takeout. But some say that clearing the cache solves the problem.

Artifacts in old backup image in Google Photos.

Credit: u/mundeth

Interestingly, several users report that opening affected photos in Google Photos editor removes artifacts. This suggests that the original downloads may not have artifacts after all. But we’ll have to wait for Google to release an official statement to be sure.

If you haven’t backed up your old Google Photos in a while, now would be a good time to do so. If you’re also seeing artifacts in old images, please leave a comment and let us know if clearing the cache fixed the problem.

We hope Google fixes this issue soon, as many Android users rely solely on Google Photos to back up their photos. If you’re facing this problem and want to switch to another service to avoid losing your precious photos, you should check out our top picks. the best Google Photos alternatives.

Source: Google Photo HelpReddit (1,2)
Via: 9 to 5 Google

Update: Google has started rolling out a fix

Google released the following statement on the issue:

“We are aware of the problem and are making corrections. Original photos are not affected.”

The company hasn’t provided an exact timeline for the rollout, but the affected photos should be restored to their original state within the next few days.

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