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iTunes: Syncing photos

Learn how to sync photos from your computer to any iPod with a color display, iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad using iTunes.

Syncing photos to devices

You can sync photos to your device from iPhoto, Aperture, or from a folder on your computer.

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Open iTunes and connect your device.
  3. Click the Device button in the upper right corner. (If viewing the iTunes Store, click the Library button in the upper-right corner first.) If you don't see your device, choose Hide Sidebar from the View menu.
  4. Click the Photos tab.

To sync photos from a Mac or Windows PC to your device using photo applications

  1. Select "Sync Photos from."
  2. Choose the application you want to sync photos from in the pop up menu.
  3. Choose to sync all photos or selected photos. Select "Include videos" to sync videos stored with your photo library. 

  4. Click Apply.

To sync photos from a folder on your computer to your device

  1. Place all of your photos into a folder on your computer. You can organize photos into subfolders to make albums.
  2. Select "Sync Photos from."
  3. Select "Choose folder" from the pop-up menu and choose the folder where you stored your photos. 

  4. Click Apply.

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To delete synced photos and videos from your device

  1. In iTunes, click the Device button in the upper right corner. (If viewing the iTunes Store, click the Library button in the upper-right corner first.)
  2. Click the Photos tab in the resulting window.
  3. Choose "Selected albums" and deselect the albums or collections you want to delete.
    Note: To delete all synced photos, deselect "Sync Photos from" and, when asked, click "Remove photos."
  4. Click Apply.

To delete Camera Roll photos and videos from your device

There are two methods to delete items from the Camera Roll:

  • Import the Camera Roll to your computer and choose to delete items after import.
  • Delete photos and videos from your device manually:
    1. Open the Photos application and open the Camera Roll.
    2. Tap the Action button.
    3. Tap each photo to select it.
    4. Tap the Delete button.
      Note: For photos and videos you want to save, import them to your computer before deleting them from the Camera Roll.

Importing photos to your computer

Learn more about importing personal photos and videos from iOS devices to your computer. If you use an iPod nano (5th generation), import recorded videos using Windows or Mac.

Learn more about using Photo Stream to import your photos to your computer.

Additional Information

Syncing photos with your device will create an iPod photo cache.

Syncing photos can only happen from one computer or user account at a time. Syncing photos with a different computer or user replaces the photos on the device.

You can't reimport pictures synced from your computer to your device back to your computer. You can only import pictures in the Camera Roll or Saved Photos from your device to your computer. If you need to retrieve synced photos from your device:

  1. Email them from the device to yourself.
  2. Copy them from the emails to your computer.

On iPhone and iPod touch using iOS 5 and iOS 6, all synced photos will appear in a unified category called photo library. Photos are not duplicated; this is a way to view all synced albums in one place. You can also tap a specific album beneath photo library to view individual albums.

System requirements

  • Syncing with iPhoto requires iPhoto version 4.0.3 or later.
  • Syncing videos from iPhoto requires iPhoto version 6.0.6 or later. 
  • Syncing photos from Aperture requires Aperture version 1.5 or later.
  • Syncing Faces, Places, and Events from iPhoto requires iPhoto '09 or later.
  • On Windows, syncing with Adobe Photoshop Album requires Adobe Photoshop Album version 2.0 or later. 
  • On Windows, syncing with Adobe Photoshop Elements requires Adobe Photoshop Elements version 3.0 or later.

Supported formats

On a Mac, these file formats will sync from your iPhoto library to your device:

  • BMP
  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • JPG
  • JPG2000 or JP2
  • PICT
  • PNG
  • PSD
  • SGI
  • TIFF

On Windows, these file formats will sync to your device:

  • BMP
  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • JPG
  • PNG
  • SGI
  • TIF
  • TIFF

 

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Jan 28, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Jan 28, 2014
  • Article: HT4236
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