Why Are Old Photos Blurry on Your iPhone? (Solved)

Were you trying to access your old photos on your iPhone, but you found them blurry? If Yes, then don’t worry because, in this article, we will show you why the photos became blurry and what you can do to fix them.

Why Do Old Photos Become Blurry on iPhone?

When you enable iCloud for the Photos app, You have two options to store your photos in the cloud.

  1. Download and Keep Originals: Orignal high-resolution photos are kept in the cloud and on the iPhone.
  2. Optimize iPhone Storage: High-resolution pictures are saved in the cloud, but low and blurry pictures are kept on the device to save storage space. This option is selected by default when you enable iCloud for photos.

When you have the “Optimize iPhone Storage” option selected, iCloud optimizes your iPhone’s storage space by storing high-resolution versions of your photos in the cloud and lower-resolution versions on your device.

This is the reason your older photos appear blurry with an exclamation mark because the lower-resolution version is being displayed.

How to Fix Old Blurry iPhone Photos?

There are two ways to fix blurry iPhone photos.

1. Wait for The Photo to Download

If you have an active Wi-Fi connection, wait a few seconds after opening the blurry photo, and the iPhone will automatically download the high-resolution photo.

Also, make sure low power mode is disabled, as the iPhone will not download anything from iCloud as long as low power mode is enabled.

2. Turn off “Optimize iPhone Storage”

If you have enough storage space on your iPhone and don’t want your photos to appear blurry, turn off “Optimize iPhone Storage” as it is enabled by default. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on your iCloud ID.
  •  Next, click on iCloud and tap on Photos.
  •  Select the “Download and Keep Original” option.

Now, none of your older photos will appear blurry or with an exclamation mark, and you also do not have to download photos from iCloud. It’s important to note that this option will take up more storage space on your iPhone, so make sure you have enough storage available. 

What to Do if Blurry Photos Are Still Not Getting Fixed?

If your blurry photos on the iPhone are not getting fixed despite trying the solutions mentioned in the article, there could be several reasons for it. Here are some possible explanations:

1. Low Storage on Your iPhone

If your iPhone’s storage is almost full, it may not have enough space to download and save high-resolution versions of your photos from iCloud.

This can result in blurry photos remaining blurry. You can check your iPhone’s storage by going to Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage. If the storage is low, you can free up space by deleting unnecessary apps, photos, or files.

2. Low Power Mode Enabled

When your iPhone has low power mode enabled, it conserves battery by reducing performance and disabling certain features, such as downloading high-resolution photos from iCloud.

This means that if you have low power mode enabled, your blurry photos may not get fixed until you disable them.

3. Mobile Data Enabled

If you are not connected to Wi-Fi and have mobile data enabled, your iPhone will not download high-resolution photos from iCloud to conserve data usage. This means that your blurry photos may not get fixed until you connect to a Wi-Fi network or disable mobile data.

4. iCloud Photos are Disabled

If iCloud photos are not enabled on your iPhone, your photos may not be synced to iCloud, and you may not have access to high-resolution versions.

This can result in blurry photos remaining blurry. To enable iCloud photos, go to Settings ->Your iCloud account name-> iCloud -> Photos and toggle on “iCloud Photos.”

If none of these solutions work, there may be a more technical issue with your iPhone or iCloud account, and you may need to contact Apple support for further assistance.


In conclusion, blurry photos with an exclamation mark on an iPhone will appear when the “Optimize iPhone Storage” option is enabled, and low-resolution versions of photos are stored on the device to save storage space.

To fix blurry photos, you can either wait for the photo to download the high-resolution version automatically or turn off “Optimize iPhone Storage” in settings. However, if the photos are still blurry, it could be due to low storage on the iPhone, low power mode being enabled, or iCloud photos being disabled.

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