Contact photos gone

REPRODUCIBILITY (% or how often): 100%
BUILD ID = OS VERSION (Settings > About product):
HARDWARE (XA2, Xperia 10…): Xperia
REGRESSION: (compared to previous public release: Yes, No, ?):


As described here:
I had lost the photos associated with my contacts looong ago with one of the previous updates. Except for a few.

Now, after 4.1, all of them are gone. Not 1 single pic remained.


Have contacts with pics (locally, not on google etc)


  1. open contacts app


pics there


pucs gone


(Please ALWAYS attach relevant data such as logs, screenshots, etc…)


Same here for me. XA2

I had a look in /home/nemo/.local/share/system/Contacts/avatars and there was nothing there. :frowning:


Annoying indeed. It happened to me too. In my case X10 one contact still have picture. All other seem gone.

Is it connected with the fact that SD directory Pictures belongs to openvpn group and not defaultuser like Music or media_rw like Download?

I might try some things later to test this theory.

EDIT: Mine ~/.local/share/system/Contacts/avatars is empty too.

I just migrated XA2 ~> X10-2, and avatars are also failing to show up on X10-2, while everything works fine on XA2.

Surprisingly XA2 avatars folder is empty, like everyone ia repoeting here.

Where exactly are these images stored then?

EDIT I added new avatar to someone on X10-2, and it got saved in avatars directory, after all. But why is it empty on XA2,?

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My theory that not all GID numbers on my SD were correct is proved. I my particular case at least. As I was using the SD from phone with previous release(s) some GID numbers were old. Obsoleted by nemo->defaultuser transition I guess. Maybe even my fault when restoring from backup.

With these commands and reboot most of my contact pictures are back. No idea why not all:

devel-su # to get root
ls -laR /run/media/defaultuser/854788d8-1c33-4193-9cdc-e8a0364c55af/ # to see current state
find /run/media/defaultuser/854788d8-1c33-4193-9cdc-e8a0364c55af/Pictures/ -type d -exec chown defaultuser:privileged {} \; recursive change UID and GID of Pictures directory and subdirectory
find /run/media/defaultuser/854788d8-1c33-4193-9cdc-e8a0364c55af/Pictures/ -type f -exec chown defaultuser:defaultuser {} \; recursive change UID and GID of all files in Pictures directory
find /run/media/defaultuser/854788d8-1c33-4193-9cdc-e8a0364c55af/Videos/ -type d -exec chown defaultuser:privileged {} \;
find /run/media/defaultuser/854788d8-1c33-4193-9cdc-e8a0364c55af/Videos/ -type f -exec chown defaultuser:defaultuser {} \;

That’s what I did. But full chown is a bit overkill I guess. So:

After proper backup of SD card I recommend to try this workaround for getting the contact pictures back:

You need to change 854788d8-1c33-4193-9cdc-e8a0364c55af to UUID of your SD of course!

# list pictures with wrong group ID
find /home/defaultuser/Pictures/ -type f \! -group defaultuser -print # or nemo instead of defaultuser.
find /run/media/defaultuser/your_SD_UUID/Pictures/ -type f \! -group defaultuser -print # or nemo instead of defaultuser.
find /run/media/defaultuser/your_SD_UUID/Pictures/ -type d \! -group privileged -print # or nemo instead of defaultuser.
# or if you want to list all Pictures:
ls -laR /run/media/defaultuser/your_SD_UUID/Pictures/
# change
find /run/media/defaultuser/your_SD_UUID/Pictures/ -type f -exec chgrp defaultuser {} \;
find /run/media/defaultuser/your_SD_UUID/Pictures/ -type d -exec chgrp privileged {} \;
# repeat in /home/defaultuser/Pictures/
# you might want to check Videos directory and repeat it there too.
# and also in home directory

And please report the results.

EDIT: Added recursivity to ls and also better find of files and directories with wrong GID

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It seems to me that pictures in Contacts are directly from Pictures directory with some cropping applied.
Because it’s not possible to use one picture for more then one contact. But that’s only my wild guess.

No clue for avatars as I don’t use them.

As well as the photos missing I cannot see how you add new photos in their place. There’s no option in the edit function of the Contacts app.

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This I do not get, see screenshot and the cam symbol in the upper left

@peterleinchen, @AlanBreen: Did you check group ID on the Pictures like I describe above?
As behaviour you describe seems to matches the consequences.

The avatars I was using were not on the SD card as far as I know. They had been there for a long time and probably since I was using the Jolla phone. I think they were saved as part of the contacts database.

If we disregard where these photos were stored I cannot find any way to add a photo to a contact as an avatar. There is no option to add a photo when you edit the details of a contact.

Edit: The avatar photos go back to the N9 (they’re still on the the N9 displayed with the contact) and most likely the Nokia E7 that I used many moons ago.

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Interesting. The camera symbol is missing from the edit page of the contacts that previously had an avatar. It shows briefly as the page loads then disappears.

It is there for other contacts who didn’t have an avatar.

I had been trying to put a new picture in place of the missing pictures.

Ahh Haa.

The blank area on the edit page where the camera symbol is situated is actually a blank avatar for those contacts which previously had an avatar.

If you press the blank area you get the option of removing the avatar or selecting from the gallery


Same problem for me too. :frowning: (After upgrading from 3.4 to 4.1. [Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 - vince])
I don’t have any SD card installed.

I have found, that the problem is with:

  1. Pictures originally embedded in low format while imported .VCF files
  2. And those linked to directories containing local characters, like: áöé

Renamed that [?tt?lt?ttek] directory back to orginial: [áttöltöttek], but no success :frowning:
Also the filenames of the pictures inside of that folder are destroyed too:
… can not embed 2th pic. Forum forbidding. I h** this new forum engine!*


  • How to recover pictures originally embedded in (VCF) contact cards?

I have 1200+ contacts. So “manually” is not a good solution.

SailFish has no VCF export \ share function, so I can not attach any “examples”.


I’ve checked, and ALL the JPEG codes in the .VCF are changed.
PNG encodings are untouched.
Most of them are shorter.
The whole \People\data\all.vcf file inside the backup is much smaller now.
(2019 = 3.1MB » 2021 = 2.0MB)

Happened to me as well - but for one single contact only. Did not touch contact’s data for two years or more. I deleted the initial picture of the contact a while ago, but contact data was nicely showing the pic. My guess is the image is stored to the vcf data of the contact - is that correct?

Survived some updates of SF OS. Now, a week ago, out of nothing, the picture is not displayed anymore. No activity from my side, no restart or update involved. Just… magic.

As of now, I updated the contact’s photo manually by a newer one.

Running SF OS on Sony Xperia XA2 + Android support. Using the native contacts app from Jolla store.

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UPDATE, unsure if anyone posted this before:
Photo of another contact was gone, BUT when this person sent me an SMS, the contact photo was shown in the events preview.
So maybe this is a display photo in the contacts app issue?

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UPDATE just noted inside the Phone (!) App:
‘People’ tab on the upper right shows dummies (just the contact’s first and last name) for my favourite contacts. Only the one contact of which I refreshed the picture manually is displayed correctly.
Inside of the Contacts App, all of my favourites are shown with the picture I linked to, 2-3 years ago. When picking one of those single contacts’ details view, no image is shown, just the blank default avatar head and shoulders.

Yes, that was the case for me too.
Only newly added pictures where able to show.
It is obvious, that they somehow reconverted all the old pictures to a non-readable format.

Is there any bug ticket opened for this?

@DEVELOPERS: does any of you reading this?

This is very interesting! It would mean, the reconverted photos are still readable somehow.
(Although I still disagree about the thinking of SFOS developer, who is responsible for this. An original JPG should be never recompressed, because it just gets worse.)

Are you absolutely sure about this that photo was yours, not an “auto-online-refreshed” one?