Oops, your iCloud photos may appear on someone’s PC

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Some iCloud for Windows users are complaining about problems with Apple’s service. And rightly so: the iCloud Photo Library shows photos of strangers.

Here’s a bug that is especially annoying for iCloud users on Windows. Users are complaining on the MacRumors forums about it problems with the data synchronization service from Apple. The application, which is integrated with the Windows file explorer, normally allows you to find content such as photos, videos or files on a computer. A practical tool similar to other solutions such as Google Drive; specially designed to read data stored on an iPhone or iPad.

These users indicate that the synchronization is not working properly for a couple of days. Videos captured with iPhone and then synced to iCloud for Windows arrive damaged on their machines. A black screen or black bands make videos unplayable.

The bug only affects iCloud for Windows

More disturbing, some users end up with photos and videos that don’t belong to them. They sync across their Windows machines, which is unlikely to reassure iCloud’s followers. “I was shown family photos of other people I’ve never seen in my life, football games and other random photos. This is of course extremely worrying and doesn’t really make me feel like I’m using iCloud safely”says a user facing this bug.

The problem seems to mainly affect owners of iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro; which filmed in HDR and HEVC. Uninstalling and reinstalling the iCloud app doesn’t seem to fix the problem. This suggests that the bug has indeed been localized on Apple’s server sidewhich affects both Windows 10 and Windows 11. Be warned, Apple should investigate and resolve the issue soon.

In the meantime, there remains possible to disable synchronization from iCloud Photo Library. To do this, go to the settings of your iOS or iPadOS device (Settings -> click on your profile picture -> iCloud -> photos). FYI, this bug has nothing to do with the recent integration of iCloud into the Windows Photos application.

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