iOS Photos App and, “1 Item” — Removing an Annoyance through the Shortcuts App

For years, the Photos app on my iPhone and iPad had shown, “### Photos, ### Videos, 1 Item.” For someone who’s a little obsessive, I’ve done well to only think about that 1 Item a few times a month.

The 1 Item as it existed in my subconscious

I’ve tried before to look up ways of finding the 1 Item. Every search turned up Apple discussions which suggested using a Mac with iCloud and smart folders or other Mac-only solutions. I don’t own a Mac, so none of those options would work without borrowing a friend’s for a day. Enter the Shortcuts app and my very basic shortcut, Find Photos App Items (link).

With the Shortcuts app’s Find Photos action, I was able to easily search for anything in my iCloud Photo Library by more than a dozen filter criteria. Using media type, I simply looked for anything not an image/photo or video. I originally tried to exclude by file extension, but there’s a lot of relevant file extensions and only two relevant media types.

After the Find Photos action, I could have used the Get Details of Images action to show the file extension, name, etc., or used the Quick Look action to see the item outright. I decided instead to go right to delete, which allowed me to find the item in Recently Deleted if I needed to.

And, after all these years, it was a random audio recording of some viral prank call from 2005 that haunted me. At least it’s gone now.

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