Home How-To-Guides Troubleshooting iOS 17's Pet Recognition Feature

Troubleshooting iOS 17's Pet Recognition Feature

Posted: November 16, 2023

short-coated brown dog on table


With the latest release of iOS 17, Apple introduces exciting and personal interactive experiences for iPhone users. This particular iOS upgrade significantly enhances the usability and functionality of the device, improving communication across its basic tools such as Phone, FaceTime, and Messages. Aimed at carving out a more user-friendly environment, the update includes innovative features such as AirDrop for easy sharing, more intelligent input for augmented speed and accuracy in typing, and new apps like Journal for wellness activities.

Among these various enhancements, the new pet feature in the Photos app stands out, mainly for photography enthusiasts. This feature presents a piqued interest for users aiming to perfectly capture and organize their pet's moments.

Overview of iOS 17 Pet Feature

To give a more personalized touch, iOS 17 takes a leap with its pet feature integrated into the Photos app. This tool enables the device to distinguish and categorize images of various individuals and pets automatically. The phone creates separate image collections, making it super handy for pet owners, saving time and improving photo organization.

However, it is important to note that any additional photos, especially pet pictures, may need a slight wait before they are successfully indexed by the new iOS system on your iPhone, thus ensuring the smooth functioning of the pet feature. So, if you're having trouble getting the Pets feature to work correctly, give your phone some time to recognize and index your images.

Common Issue

The iOS 17 update introduces a handy pet recognition feature, but some users may experience issues with it. The problem arises when the pet recognition tool in the Photos app doesn't function as intended, making it difficult for users to individually categorize their furry friends' photos. Instead of automatically creating different folders for each pet, the feature fails to properly recognize and sort the photos. This issue could occur for various reasons, creating a challenge for users eager to take full advantage of the feature's convenience.

Suggestions for Fixing Common Issues

While it can be frustrating when the pet feature in iOS 17 doesn't work, users can take a few practical steps to resolve the issue. First, try re-indexing your Photos album. This step involves giving your iPhone time to scan all the photos again, which may help the app properly recognize and categorize your pets' photos.

If re-indexing doesn't work, consider restarting your iPhone. This simple step can often fix minor software glitches and could also rectify your issue with the pet feature. Additionally, you can attempt to reset the People & Pets suggestions on your iPhone. This action will reset all suggestions in your Photos app, prompting the system to start fresh with image indexing and categorization.

Last, if the system isn't automatically recognizing your pets, try adding People or Pets manually to your iPhone. This step will guide the software in identifying your pets, making it easier for the system to categorize your photos.

Manual Reset

Manually resetting the People and Pets suggestions in the Photos app is recommended if the pets feature is not functioning as expected in iOS 17. This action helps the app start afresh with the indexing process, allowing the system to rethink its photo categorization and possibly fix the pet recognition issue.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reset People and Pets Suggestions

Follow these simple steps to reset the People and Pets suggestions on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Photos from the list.
  3. Scroll down until you find the 'Reset People & Pets Suggestions' option.
  4. Tap on it and select 'Reset' when a confirmation prompt appears.

Upon resetting, the Photos app will kickstart the indexing process again. This means you'll need to wait a few days before seeing the People & Pets album populate correctly.

Importance of Indexing Time and Internet Connection

During the manual reset and re-indexing process, keeping your iPhone connected to a stable Wi-Fi or cellular network is vital. This connection ensures a seamless and uninterrupted indexing process. Furthermore, allowing your iPhone sufficient time to complete the indexing process is crucial. Apple's system indexes and processes images from the Photos app in the background, which may take up to 2 or more nights, depending on your photo volume.

For the best results, plug your iPhone into its charger and lock it overnight while connected to Wi-Fi. This way, your iPhone can efficiently index the photos, detecting people's and pets' faces in your images to create a separate People & Pets album.

Manual Addition of Pets

If the automatic pet recognition feature in iOS 17 continues to cause difficulty, you can manually tag individuals and pets in the People & Pets album. This method ensures full control over categorizing your photos, albeit it is a somewhat more time-consuming solution.

Detailed Steps on How to Add Pets Manually

Here's a simplified guide to manually adding pets to your iPhone:

  1. Open the Photos app.
  2. Select the 'Albums' tab located at the bottom.
  3. Navigate to 'People & Pets.'
  4. Scroll down and choose 'Add People.'
  5. Tap on each pet, and then select 'Add.'
  6. Tap on a person or pet, then select 'Add Name' to set a specific name.

When you complete these steps, you can find separate photo collections for each person or pet within the Photos app. To view these collections, simply tap on the corresponding icon.

Tips on Proper Indexing

While manually adding pets and people to your albums is a useful workaround, allowing your iPhone enough time for proper photo indexing is still essential. This process usually happens in the background and can take up to a few days, depending on the volume of your photos. Ensure your iPhone is connected to a stable internet connection and is properly charged during this time for an efficient indexing process. This can significantly aid in optimizing the automatic People & Pets feature's performance.


iOS 17 boasts many major features that are particularly praiseworthy for those passionate about photography. The introduction of automated photo albums for individuals and pets in your life equips you with a powerful and enormously helpful tool. It streamlines photo management, making it easier to sort, share, and reflect on your memories.

Nevertheless, remember that the successful function of these features, especially the pet recognition tool, may take some time as your iPhone indexes your plentiful photos and pet pictures. During this time, exercising patience and following the outlined steps can help optimize the feature's performance.

Using iOS 17's enhanced features, you can get maximum benefit from your iPhone's camera and the Photos app. Feedback and suggestions are always welcomed to improve and personalize your experience, so don't hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas.