Technology

Google Photos Bug Randomly Changes Dates On Older Photos

Google Photos Bug 2
Image Source: Google Play Store (screenshot)

Google Photos is one of the most popular apps from Google. In the last few years, the search engine giant has deeply integrated machine learning, computer vision, and AI technologies into Google Photos to offer you an intuitive experience. It does a great job for the most part. But many users have been screaming about a Google Photos bug that randomly changes the dates on older photos.

PiunikaWeb reports that the newly discovered Google Photos bug changes the ordering of the old photos, especially the ones with date and time set before 1979. The photos no longer appear in correct slots in the Google Photos library. Users are freaking out that their old pictures have gone missing with no fault of their own. According to PiunikaWeb, the problem only affects pictures with edited timestamp metadata.

Since only the older pictures are affected by the bug, most of the affected users are those who scanned physical images and uploaded them to Google Photos. The bug affects users on Android, iOS, as well as desktop. One user said in Google’s support forum that all their Google Photos from prior to 1978 have “suddenly disappeared.” Many of the missing photos were still showing in different albums, but dates for all of them had been changed to “random dates in 2017.”

Another user complained that they had spent hundreds of hours dating tons of family photo scans going back to the late 1890s. All of that is gone now. The photos were reverted to the dates they were scanned or the dates they were uploaded to Google Photos. “All of my years of cataloging GONE!’ said the user. Many experts on Google’s product forums confirmed the Google Photos bug.

Mary Witkowski, a product support manager for Google Photos, confirmed the issue. Witkowski said the bug causes the edited timestamps to be reset to a file’s creation date. It has messed up the order of appearance in the app’s library. She assured users that the company was working on a fix, which could be rolled out in the next few days. Mary Witkowski has also urged users not to manually change the timestamp again.

Google Photos Bug
Image Source: Google Product Forums (screenshot)

The search engine giant has promised to provide an update on the issue on Wednesday, February 14. We expect the fix to arrive by the end of this week.

In October last year, another Google Photos bug prevented users from viewing their image and video backups made after a specific time. It affected users from around the world on Android, iOS, as well as the browser version of Google Photos. Though the app continued to take backups, people couldn’t view them. Users still had the option to see their backups in Google Drive, which is integrated into Google Photos.

Many claimed at the time that the only workaround was to allow Google Drive files to appear in Google Photos from the Drive’s Settings page. However, it also syncs all your photos and videos with the app. However, Android Headlines claimed that it didn’t always work.