I want to transfer the low-resolution images on an old iPhone to my Photos app but the app does not list the 4,000 photos for import. The images are no longer available via iCloud, only as low resolution images on the phone.

How do I extract them, either into Photos or some other way?

Over the course if the last year I've been dealing with someone hacking into my network, my neighbor it looks like. At one point they secured my iCloud password and seem to have processed all of my photos through a program that has buried weird shit below the surface. Steganography, I think its called. Anyway...

I have low resolution images saved on an iPhone 5s that have not been edited - the phone had been in airplane mode for a a year or so, so they are pre-bullshit. I want to import these photos into my laptop however none of the low-res images appear in Photos for import. I've checked the package contents of the Photos app and they are not stored there either. Any ideas?

I don't think they are in my local phone backup either, as the backup is 6GB smaller than the phone's used storage, but perhaps they are.

1 Answer 1


The camera roll thumbnails are usually stored in the backup, so it's definitely worth taking a backup and seeing if you can save the thumbnails (or possibly even some full-size photos if they are available) out of the backup.

There are several third party apps available for reading backups and saving files out of them. I'm a developer for one named Decipher Backup Browser https://deciphertools.com/decipher-backup-browser.html - in Decipher Backup Browser at least, there's an option to look at/save just the camera roll thumbnail files, and an option to look at/save just the camera roll photos (in case there are any there which would be a pleasant development :)) The thumbnails option is a bit down the list in the center column when you select a backup, since it's a "less popular" choice ;)

(Note: As I mentioned, I am the author of the software I'm recommending above, so I stand to benefit from my recommendations. I definitely stand behind our software :) but I like to put a little note like this anyway!)

  • 1
    Thanks Kelly. I've downloaded your app and will give it a go ASAP. Nov 12, 2023 at 19:03
  • 1
    Great work with the self disclosure and detailed answer to the specific problem at hand
    – bmike
    Feb 26 at 16:30

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