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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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my iPad mini photos opens with a garbage image, then will not

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my iPad mini photos opens with a garbage image, then will not respond to anything, on screen or any button!
Hello! My name isXXXXX will work diligently to provide accurate advice and information.

First, let’s attempt resolving this issue with your Apple device by trying a hard reset, then proceed from there if that does not resolve the problem:

Disconnect the device from it's cord, if plugged in.

Press and hold your Sleep/Wake button (on the top) and Home button (on the front) together for around 10 seconds.


When the Apple logo appears, release both buttons.

The next thing you should see are the Apple logo followed by the home screen a few minutes later.

Does the Photos app now work as expected?

If you still have concerns, please do not negatively rate my answer, simply reply back before rating so I may continue to assist you. I'll be more than happy to work with you further. Hopefully, this info will answer your question. When you are satisfied, please give my answers a positive rating. You are judging my personal service only (not this website or your issue) and high ratings assure I remain in good standing.

Thanks and good luck,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
As I said, it has already been through a hard reboot, three times! Also, this is an iPad, not an iPhone. Seems okay unless i access the photos app.
Hi Barbara.

Yes, you said it does a hard reboot on it's own when you are trying to sync - that's not quite the same as you physically inducing a hard reset manually. I understand it's an iPad. The illustration is merely to indicate what to press. Smile

Assuming you have tried the hard reset, can you tell me what version of iOS is installed on this mini? Also, is iCloud enabled or disabled?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I'm now using my iPad again. Not sure if my last reply got through. My iPad is running 7.0.2. It is model MD530LL/A. I have Cloud disabled. And yes, I tried twice, the hard reboot using two buttons. Both times it came up fine until I tried to open photos. I tried switching to my laptop, to avoid interfering with the reboots, but all it did was try to charge me $58!
No, I don't see an earlier reply from you.

Are you replying from the iPad itself? You should be able to respond from the laptop but you would need to sign in with the same ID and password XXXXX you used on JustAnswer via your IPad.

Can you tell me the general contents of the Photos library on the iPad? Is it only photos you've previously synced from the laptop, photos you've taken with the iPad, etc...

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The last additions to the iPad photos app were a few photos I took with my not-smart cell phone and sent from there to my email. From my email I 'forwarded' them to the iPad photo app. I had also tried to send the cell phone photos to 'album', which seems not to actually exist (gave me an error message). The cell phone really is ancient. I hadn't tried transferring photos from it to my email before. In desperation I even tried deleting the photos from the phone. No loss there, as they were poor quality. But that didn't make a difference to the iPad.
Okay, so it sounds like these photos were viewable in the iPad mail app, before you saved them out to the Photos app camera roll?

Is your laptop a Mac or Windows based computer?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes. The oddest thing about them was that when I 'forwarded' them from email to iPad photo app, the numbers were off. That is, each of the two emails had a single image (from the cell phone). But when I transferred each to the photo app, it said there were six of them. Of course only one showed up for each email. And my laptop is a MacBook Pro. By using the pointer from your email, I got the laptop connected to this same chain of communication. So it looks like I can now communicate from either the laptop or iPad.
Okay, good.

Since the issue is of unknown origin, given the photos were initially viewable, it's possible there is corruption in the photo database rather than a problem with a single photo itself.

However, Apple does not make this easy to troubleshoot a single app so we need to treat the ipad as a whole.

In cases of corruption, it can often be solved by backing up and then restoring content to the device. We'll need to try this next to see if it cures the issue.

Disconnect the iPad mini from the laptop.

Open iTunes

Click iTunes in menubar at the top of the screen and choose Preferences and then Devices

Place a checkmark next to "Prevent iPods… from syncing automatically"

Click OK to close Preferences

Connect your ipad to the laptop.

When it appears in the iTunes toolbar; select it and then click "Back Up Now” on the Summary page for the device.

Once the iPad has finished backing up... Click "Restore Backup..." on the same page.

It may ask you to pick a backup date if more than one is available and then it will proceed to erase and then restore the backup you just made.

Once it has completely finished, see if the Photos app works as intended.

if so, on the laptop, click iTunes in menubar at the top of the screen and choose Preferences and then Devices

Remove the checkmark next to "Prevent iPods… from syncing automatically"

Click OK and you should be all set!


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay, did that but it didn't change the problem.


I couldn't figure out how to select an earlier backup. I could try that if you can tell me how.

Okay, I'm sorry to hear that.

iTunes is not great about keeping old backups but you can look for them, as follows:

Open iTunes

Click iTunes in menubar at the top of the screen and choose Preferences and then Devices

It should list all current device backups here.

Does it show anything beyond the one you just restored?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, it lists only the latest.

Alright, that's what I was afraid of...

With your iPad still connected, open the "Image Capture" app located in the Applications folder on your laptop.

The Image Capture app should recognize that the iPad is connected and list it as a Device in the left sidebar. It will also show thumbnails of the contents of the iPad’s Camera Roll in its main window.

If it does, you can try importing these photos and then deleting them via Image Capture.

At the bottom center of that main window you’ll see the ‘Import To’ selection field. By default this is set to import to the /Pictures folder under your username. That should be fine.

Click on the tiny button at the bottom left of the Image Capture sidebar. You’ll see a checkbox for ‘Delete after Import’. If you select that it will do as it says and remove all the images from the iPad Camera Roll. It does this as the import progresses.

Then, click Import all.

Once finished, restart the iPad and see if the Photos app is functional again.

If it is, you can sync back any photos you wish to keep on the iPad by importing them from your Pictures folder into iPhoto (if they are not already present) and then syncing via iTunes.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yay! And now I know how to use Image Capture. I deleted just the images I had imported from the cell phone (which I will NOT use for photos again), trashed them, and the photo app on the iPad is now functioning normally. I am now doing a manual backup of the iPad, just to be on the safe side.


Thanks for sticking with me on this one. I learned 1) don't mix very old software (cell phone) with very new (iPad), 2) Image Capture is handy, 3) if I get an odd indication when doing a transfer (6 images when there was only one), stop right there and don't proceed.

Awesome! You are very welcome!

I'm very glad that worked as the next steps might not have been pleasant. It's also odd that troublesome images could be sent from Mail to Photos and cause that issue. It's likely an obscure bug related to the type of photo created by the old cell phone.

I enjoyed working with you – please feel free to request me again at any time when you come back to ask another Apple-related question. I can be reached directly via the following page:

If the current issue has been resolved to your satisfaction, please remember to rate me accordingly when you get a moment so we can close out this question.

Thanks again!
John T. F. and 2 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. If you need further assistance on this issue, please let me know.

Also, feel free to request me again at any time when you come back to ask another Apple-related question.

I can be reached directly via the following page: