DayOne Users: There’s a bug that replaces all your entry photos with thumbnail copy

tl;dr - check your old DayOne entries to see if it’s missing the full version of the photos.

I was looking through some old entries in DayOne when I noticed all my photos were quite pixelated, and in the corner of the photo there was a circle icon with a line through it.

When I contacted DayOne supported, they told me this was an instance of the server not having a copy of my photo and that I’d have to replace it with a copy in my own photo library.

This was strange, as this was an entry from three years ago and I was pretty certain I’d seen non-pixelated version of this photo in DayOne before. I began checking all my old entries and discovered that any post prior to 2017 was affected.

It takes me a while to convince DayOne support of this and they finally agreed to talk to their Server Team.
Half a day later, I get this response:

I tell the support person that at least four years worth of entries are affected and that I don’t have copies of every photo (eg. screenshots, photos taken straight from the DayOne app - those don’t get saved to the camera roll) and ask him whether they have a backup of my data.

He says they don’t have backups and that I should really backup my own photos. He tells me he backs up all his photos on three different services and that there are free services I could look into. :unamused:

(Yes, tell your customer that after you lose their data it’s really their fault for trusting you with their images)

I ask them what the solution is, and essentially they tell me there is none, that I have to just replace the images with my own copies.

I take photos of every handwritten letter I send out and receive (as a way to archive my correspondences), and I don’t keep copies of these photos in my camera roll for privacy reasons. Now, all the pixelated images are impossible to read and I’ve no way to take new photos (especially the letters I’ve sent out already).

I really hope none of you are in the same boat as me, but I thought I’d post this out there so you can check.
And even if you’re not affected this time, probably rethink whether you want to trust DayOne with your memories, because they certainly don’t seem to care about safekeeping them.

Very sorry to hear this, and this is terrible support.

Thanks for the heads-up! I’ve been using Day One for just under a year now (so far, so good). I’ve debated creating an export & back up strategy for DO for a while, that seems a lot more important now!

This isn’t even a matter of export and backup though - based on what the op describes you need a pre-import backup strategy - nothing should go into D1 unless it’s saved elsewhere.

Given all the hype around this app it’s a pretty devastating story. Hopefully it will get the coverage it deserves. When was the bug fixed and did they notify users about all the potentially lost data prior to that fix?

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Actually looking back on that screenshot, he even mentions there’s another issue where media had been deleted, but that I wasn’t one of those people. So there are other potential issues affecting other users?

It would interesting to see if DayOne posts anything about the bugs. I certainly didn’t hear anything about it prior to me going to DayOne support.

Very sorry to hear about this. I don’t think Day One has any excuse for not having proper backup controls in place, or for the somewhat tactless way they handled your situation.

I love using Day One, but I’ve been leery of using features like audio/video/photos because of worries of lock-in and, as we see here, loss of attachments. I do post images to Day One, but they’re either copies or they don’t matter (screenshots from a weather app, for instance).

Although I love being able to archive Twitter and Instagram feeds to the app, I can see myself forgoing those niceties in favor of a more basic app I completely control. Earlier this year Dan Schimpf regained control of his app MacJournal, which had long been distributed and controlled by Mariner Software. Schimpf has updated the app for the Mac (there’s a syncing iOS app that hasn’t been updated in 2 years) and he’s made the Mac app free (for now, anyway). It could be a satisfactory replacement depending on your needs, or one of Day One’s many competitors. (I know someone who hacked TiddlyWiki for his journal, and found some 3rd-party iOS app that synced to it - but that’s a little too TiddlyFiddly for me.)

I periodically get burned by a DayOne issue and have similar support experiences. Sadly I’ve never found an alternative with the features I want.

I have made it a practice not to store the ‘original’ of any photo in DayOne. It only has copies. But since I use my journal to look at past entries even in that case only having thumbnails would suck.

Welp, I hadn’t noticed this until I just checked, but it happened to me as well. Just thumbnail copies.

This is a real shame. I considered Day One a top-notch product. Its UX remains the best, but keeping things safe for the future is kind of the primary job of any tool like this.

Given how long ago this appears to have happened, I’m not holding my breath for a fix.

I am sorry to hear about that, it’s annoying when we lose out on precious moments in our journals. I had switched to Day One a few years ago, because I had lost out on items as well. But now after hearing this, I am paranoid all over again. Now, there are even more precious moments with family, friends, etc than previously. I just went through the last 4 years really quick and haven’t noticed anything. I am going to assume that at some point this may happen to anyone.

What’s the recommended solution moving forward for the following:

  1. DayOne Users who are affected?
  2. DayOne Users who have not yet been affected but need to be safe?

Day One stopped tracking my location. That’s about the only way I created entries, so without that feature it’s not useful. When I contacted Day One, they said it’s a known issue, but it’s not fixed in the latest release.

They received a call from NSA that they already got you :slight_smile:

Update on the Day One issue: the day after terminating communication with Day One support, I get contacted by the support manager, and then by Paul Mayne (CEO/Founder of Day One).
They had both apologised for the way the issue was handled and have worked with the devs to try to find a solution to my situation.
They tell me they’ve found the bug, it affects <1% of users and that they would have a hot fix out by the end of the week. This fix would hopefully restore my missing images. (@timwindsor, that might work for you too)

I’m glad to see that what I’d initially experienced from their support team is not the norm (or that at least there are some people who reviews the chats and recognises bad customer/support service) and I’m cautiously optimistic that my journals would be restored to me. I guess I can trust them with my stuff for a bit longer?


I still use the app but manually backup to iCloud via json export. Deleted my dayone account on their servers.

Wow the app keeps signing me in and downloading my journal from an account I deleted! I’ll chase up DayOne to make sure they are deleting my data.

Hello Everyone. This is Adam from Day One support. As OP mentioned, we found a bug that temporarily affected <1% of our users. We are releasing a fix that restores the original photos. It should clear the App Store at any time. Much thanks to our users for raising this issues. We apologize the initial report wasn’t handled with more empathy and urgency from the start. Not the finest hour for our otherwise stellar support team, but we’ve taken away some important lessons learned.


Hi Adam,

How does this affect users with end-to-end encryption enabled? If the journals are encrypted, there shouldn’t be an issue that only affects images; correct? Thanks!

Please contact our support team and we will work with you on this issue. Thanks.

@Adamatdayone I have exactly the same question as @95omega.

Might save your team some time if you answer that question here?

My journals were all encrypted, I don’t think it makes any difference.

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