I airdropped a folder of photos from my Macbook to iPhone. The photos are occupying the space (I confirmed from storage info) but they aren't showing up in Photos or in any other application. How can I retrieve them?
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There are two likely culprits:
Both cases, the primary way you can clean up is to power down the iPhone - slide to turn it off and let the cleanup / shutdown process run. Then at start, the library often will run a sanity check on next launch and show you what the library has received.
If you were sending hundreds of photos, it’s quite likely the transfer started and once you saw the visual indication that the transfer started, you closed the sending window before the send was complete. When training people to AirDrop, most seem to think they are done when the transfer is just getting started.