No, you’re not having an identity crisis – there could be strangers in your iCloud photos

iCloud for Windows app users are reporting some fairly bizarre glitches with photo and video content when accessing the platform on a PC.

Numerous complaints on the MacRumours forum detail users’ purported experiences of photos and even videos of strangers appearing in their library on the iCloud app for Windows. Also, videos apparently shot with the iPhone 13 Pro and 14 Pro are glitched when synced with the platform, with blank screens and scan lines being all that remain.

The problem appears isolated to Windows machines, and specifically with the iCloud for Windows app, not the recent iCloud Photos integration with Windows 11. It also seems to be an issue related to Apple’s servers rather than a problem on Microsoft’s end.

Under certain conditions

There is plenty of speculation as to what is causing the issue and how. Apparently, incidences of iCloud for Windows running on both Windows 10 and 11 are affected, but only certain devices may be causing the problem, such as those with HDR and HEVC options turned on, pointing towards a rendering issue. 

The complaints mainly stem from users of the latest iPhone 13 Pro and 14 Pro. One of the more bizarre incidents recounted by the original poster on the MacRumors forum was the apparent insertion of other user’s photos into frames of their own video. Only when they downloaded the video onto their PC from the iCloud app did the glitch occur.

The user claims they were able to reproduce this issue on three different machines, one using Windows 10 Pro and the other two using Windows 11 Pro. The video in question was filmed on an iPhone Pro 14 Max with HDR and HEVC enabled, but they reported no issues with videos from an iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, other users did have the same bug with this model. 

The issue has yet to be officially confirmed, although many users have reported the problem to Apple already.

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