Well, I've been running low space for a long time and this led to a sudden disappearing of old photos (actually 5000 of them - the oldest ones) in camera roll. I don't know how how that worked - maybe iOS tried to free up some space by removing the thumbnails (without asking me???).

The main advice is to remove the photos.sqlite and other similar files from PhotoData directory. That did nothing - the restored base is lacking my OLD ones. Still you can find them all in DCIM folder.

How can I add them back to sqlite??? Thanks a lot!!

upd. ios 9.1

  • Are they in iCloud? check on the website via a computer. Thumbnails should not be removed. Only quality is downgraded. Please check the number of photos at the end of the moments tab in photos app. imyfone.com/ios-data-recovery/…
    – anki
    Jul 13, 2019 at 11:10
  • no icloud sync is off and has always been. i think this somehow is correlated with free space but no there's LOT OF FREE SPACE. where're my photos?? Jul 13, 2019 at 11:18
  • Please post the version of your iPhone so we can see what the hardware spec is in relation to RAM-
    – F1Linux
    Jul 13, 2019 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


To free space in iPhotos ("Camera Roll"), on your iPhone (or iPad) go to:

Albums > Recently Deleted and then select the photos for permanent deletion. I'll bet you have tons of photos there gobbing up space. That should take a lot of pressure off on your available space for photos. Myself, well I didn't know that was there for ages ... ;-)

Update: After further details from the OP, sounds like he CAN take pictures and they are stored on the device, but these pics are just not appearing in "Camera Roll". I suspect "Camera Roll" is an alias to the DCIM storage location. Could be something wrong with how the thumbnails linking to the DCIM storage folder you reference are added. Thus, the advice you were receiving on removing the SQL-lite db.

Camera Roll itself must be an alias to that DCIM folder. It would make no logical sense to have pictures stored in BOTH the DCIM folder and also Camera Roll. How these things interact would appear to be where the problem exists.

I remember with Outlook .pst folders there was a (2) GB limit (I believe) that buggered everything once the file hit 2GB. I just checked this for you and the max SQL Lite file size is 140 TB, so this can't be the problem. HOWEVER, the size of the query as to what's retrievable in memory from a huge SQL Lite DB CAN be a limiting factor:


The upper limit as to the SQL query to the SQL Lite DB required to display the pics in "Camera Roll" looks a likely candidate if your pictures store is huge and the query size required to display them in Camera Roll is limited in memory

  • this folder is emply. my photos are missing in camera roll and moments but i can find them in DCIM folder. i don't know why iOS doesnt sync all that files ((( after removing photos.sqlite Jul 13, 2019 at 11:20
  • Hmmm, that's probably not a space issue but a different sort of a problem. So the photos aren't "missing" per se, but just not appearing in Camera Roll! If the camera is taking pictures and they are being stored on the device, then the problem really is something to do with how those pics end-up in camera roll sounds a more accurate description of your problem. Does that sound more like what you're experiencing?
    – F1Linux
    Jul 13, 2019 at 11:25
  • on the other forum i found a solution that iOS may not show old photos to save some space. they advised to free up some space and reboot the phone and that should've done the drick but it didn't. that's why i was digging with photos.sqlite and so on. the problem is that the photos cannot SOMEHOW be indexed by iOS in photos.sqlite but appear in DCIM. what can i do?? Jul 13, 2019 at 11:39
  • Read the update to my answer: looks like the indexing has to happen from an SQL query and this could be limited in memory from the link I referenced in the update. That would all appear to approximate the shape of your problem
    – F1Linux
    Jul 13, 2019 at 11:51
  • that didn't help me at all. now i got stuck at a point when even deleting all those sqlite bases doesn't force ios to reindex photos - luckily i backed up all files before doing so. still i don't have my HALF (5000) of my library and no one gave me even a hint how to do it. Jul 13, 2019 at 18:57

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