An image showing Google Photos on an Android smartphone

Note any photos that appear to be “waterlogged”.
Image: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

Seeing corrupted photos in your Google Photos library? This is ““problem that has been trending on Google support pages in recent days. Fortunately, Google knows this and plans to fix it.

It started with Google Photos support thread appeared over the weekend from a complaining user “water-stained” photos. “The matter looks like a water stain with massive discoloration,” they wrote. They go on to describe the problem in the next reply to the thread:

Most of the photos are from around 2014. These are the images that I know have uploaded and saved correctly. I saw the problem today at the photo return event. I have tried viewing in multiple browsers as well as downloading images to local storage. There seems to be no pattern as to which photos are corrupted and which are not.

Finally, more users have chimed in with the experience of seeing corrupted images on Google Photos. “Confirming that I have this problem, I was looking through some old photos of the family and noticed it in almost all of them,” he writes. another user, which posted additional sample photos. Lower handleGoogle support “Diamond Product Expert” writes dozens of links describing similar effects.

“I’m looking at anniversary photos from 8 years ago on Google photos and a lot of them are showing as corrupted,” the user writes. another thread. Virtually juicy photos began to appear Reddit and various Google related subredditsalso.

For fun, I tried to upload a handful of photos from 2014 uploaded to Google Photos a long time ago. I couldn’t reproduce the corruption described by other users, or maybe I just don’t recognize it, because the smartphone I was using at the time was already quite low resolution. But there are many examples shows that it’s a problem people are concerned about in various Google Support and Reddit threads.

When asked if the problem was on its radar, Google responded by confirming that it was aware of the problem and “provides an amendment”. This bug does not affect original photos stored in Google Photos, although you may encounter them when uploading images or viewing them on iOS, Android and in the browser. I asked Google for follow-up information on what might be wrong on the technical side, but there was nothing further to share.

Either way, it’s a warning about what can happen when we rely on the cloud and other services to archive our data. I have many backups of my digital photos on hard drives and in the cloud dating back to 2010, when I first received a smartphone. I strongly suggest that if you are not in the habit of doing this, you to start as soon as possible.

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