Photo cache getting erased in posting of observation

The way that I normally post an observation is to go into my google photos, find the photo I want, crop if needed, and then share into iNat. This has worked well for me for about the last 1000 observations of mine, and generally is good about feeding the metadata including time and location automatically.

Today this stopped working. I share the photo like normal, but about the half the time it isnt uploading the metadata. More challenging, the photo will load, then I click suggest ID, I select the correct ID, then it returns to the observation page and the thumbnail for the photo is gone, replaced by a thumbnail of an envelope. Then if I try to save it I get the dreaded error that “it appears the cache deleted the photo blah blah.”

I cannot figure out what chaged or what to do about it. A restart did not solve the issue, but made the failure to upload metadata 100%.

I am using a Pixel 2 with the most up to date chrome and iNat. This problem persists even if I try to upload from inside the iNat app.

The error does not exist using the desktop site on my laptoip using chrome, but I dislike this method because it does not automatically upload the meta data so I have to select time and location manually.

Just to confirm, you are using the iNaturalist Android app, correct? You’re not using the iNaturalist website in a browser on an Android device? From your description it sounds like the former, but if so I’m not sure why you mentioned Chrome (assuming you mean the browser made by Google).

If the former, could you answer these questions?

  1. What version of Android are you using?
  2. What version of the iNaturalist app are you using?
  3. Does this happen consistently with a single photo? If so, can you send that to us, either here or at

FWIW, I routinely share photos from the Google Photos app to the latest version of the iNaturalist app in Android 10 on a Pixel 3 without any issues like this.

Also, I doubt this is it, but you might want to check and make absolutely sure the iNat app has the “Storage” permission.


Not sure if this helps but . . .

I have had this happen in the past, and after a few times I’ve noticed that it was occurring on photos that I had edited twice.