Lots of people are complaining about this issue on the Apple Support forums.

Some people have some work-arounds but there aren't any explanations of what's going on. I've checked out permissions of the file and they all seem fine. I haven't delved too deep yet but I was wondering if anyone over hear had any ideas.

I myself have suffered from the same problem since the iOS 5 beta on my iPhone 4.

  • iOS 5.1 (but I've been experiencing the issue begining with the iOS 5 beta)
  • iPhone 4s (but I've been experiencing the issue begining with iOS 5 beta on my iPhone 4)
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery (used for import and editing)

The problem seems to be getting slightly better since some of the photos are now imported with the correct orientation but some are not. In any case I can't edit ANY of the pictures regardless of the correct orientation or not.

Error received when attempting to rotate photo: error when rotating photo

Error received when attempting to crop photo: error when cropping photo


It looks like a complete description of the problem and how to avoid (but not remedy it) is given at Neowin.

Briefly, taking a picture with the new volume button shutter release sets a flag that Windows doesn't understand and so it just gives that vague error message and refuses to mess with the image.

It follows that the images you can manipulate were taken using the on-screen shutter release (?)

  • It would seem so yes but I haven't run tests so I can't be sure, I just know it's not all of them and I do tend to switch back and forth. – Randyaa Mar 23 '12 at 2:50
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    After a little digging... there's something truly going wrong here. The photos that have a problem have corrupted EXIF data not just missing EXIF data. I attempted to load a 'bad' photo into this webapp: pictureresizer.org/Get-exif-info.aspx and "an unexpected error occurred". Just to be sure, I tried several good pics and several bad pics. – Randyaa Mar 23 '12 at 3:06
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    Interesting - I wonder if that website is .Net? I don't know much about web technologies but it would make sense if the web code (or the underlying server) and Windows share code. – Adam Eberbach Mar 23 '12 at 3:08
  • Good point. It's ASPX (so ASP.NET) so provided there are no weird URL Mod Rewrite rules going on... it's .NET – Randyaa Mar 23 '12 at 3:12

The EXIF data is corrupted.

To attempt to obtain the EXIF data for the bad images, try this Get-EXIF-Info webapp.

The issue is whitespace at the end of the XMP section of the image files, which when parsed with any standard XML tool will throw a 'Content not allowed in trailing section' error.

I finally got around to writing a little utility that fixes this specific issue by trimming the XMP XML within the image and then writing the XMP block back to the image preserving all the data.

I've uploaded the source of my JPeg XMP XML Trimmer to Google Code so anyone can make use of it to fix this issue if they'd like. If there is any demand I may write a cleaned-up UI version but for now it's a simple Java Commandline utility.


I was having the same problem, but I was able to fix it by doing the following:

  1. Open your picture in Paint.
  2. Save it in .bmp format.
  3. Open your Windows Live Photo Gallery and there make a copy in .jpg format and save it.
  4. Open this in any photo editor software, and you should be able to edit it.

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