iTunes: Understanding the iPod Photo Cache folder


When you use iTunes to sync photos to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, iTunes creates a folder called iPod Photo Cache. The iPod Photo Cache stores photos that are optimized for display on your device. The location of this folder depends on the syncing options you select. In iTunes, if you change the selection in the Sync Photos From menu, a new iPod Photo Cache folder will be created (and the previous folder will remain).


If you need to free up space on your hard drive, you can remove the iPod Photo Cache folder. Deleting this folder won't remove the original images from your library, and the folder will be recreated the next time you sync Photos with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

iPhoto or Aperture

If you're syncing from an iPhoto or Aperture library, use these steps to find the iPod Photo Cache folder in the default iPhoto Library or Aperture Library location:

  1. From the Finder, choose Go > Home. If you moved your iPhoto Library or Aperture Library to a different location, go to that location instead.
  2. Open the Pictures folder and locate the iPhoto Library file. (For Aperture, this is called Aperture Library.) 
  3. Control-click iPhoto Library or Aperture Library and choose Show Package Contents.
  4. In the next window, drag the iPod Photo Cache folder to the Trash.
    Important: Don't remove or modify any other file within the library package. Removing or modifying other files may cause data loss.
  5. Close the Finder window. 

Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows

The iPod Photo Cache will be in your Catalogs folder. The location of your Catalogs folder will vary depending on which version of Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or later or Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 or later you're using. The default location is in this Adobe article in the "Catalog differences between versions" section.

From a Folder on Mac OS X, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8

The iPod Photo Cache will be in the folder you selected to sync with.  


Additional Information

  • The iPod Photo Cache folder can be larger than the size of the photos being synced.
  • The size of the iPod Photo Cache may vary depending on the device being synced. The higher resolution a device is, the larger the iPod Photo Cache will be.
  • If you're syncing with multiple devices, your iPod Cache may contain multiple optimizations of the same images.


Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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: Nov 15, 2013
  • Last Modified: Nov 15, 2013
  • Article: TS1314
  • Views:


Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked