Sync photos to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch in iTunes

Learn how to sync photos from your computer to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with a color display using iTunes. Also, learn how to delete synced photos from your devices.

Sync photos

You can sync photos to your device from an app on your computer, 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. Locate and click on your device.
  4. Click the Photos tab.
  5. Click the box next to "Sync Photos from."

If your photos are in an app, such as iPhoto or Aperture, follow these steps.

If your photos are in a folder or folders, follow these steps.

If your photos are in an app

  1. Choose the application you want to sync photos from in the pop-up menu. 
  2. Choose to sync all photos or selected photos. 
  3. Select "Include videos" to sync videos stored in that same app.
  4. Click Apply.

If your photos are in a folder

  1. Select "Choose folder" from the pop-up menu.
  2. Choose the folder where you store your photos.
  3. Click Apply.

Organize photos into subfolders to create albums.

Delete synced photos

  1. In iTunes, locate and click on your device.
  2. Click Photos.
  3. Choose "Selected albums" and deselect the albums or collections you want to delete.
    To delete all synced photos, deselect "Sync Photos from" and, when asked, click "Remove photos."
  4. Click Apply.

Learn how to delete photos and video synced from iTunes when you can't access the originals.

More about synced media

  • You can sync photos from only one computer or user account at a time. If you sync photos with a different computer or user, the newly synced photos will replace the photos you previously synced. 
  • You can't reimport pictures synced from your computer to your device back to your computer. You can only import pictures taken by your device, or saved to it, from your device to your computer. If you need to retrieve synced photos from your device, email the photos from the device to yourself. Then download the photos 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.
  • Syncing photos with your device will create an iPod photo cache.

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

These file formats will sync to your device:

  • BMP
  • GIF
  • JPEG
  • JPG
  • JPG2000 or JP2 (Mac only)
  • PICT (Mac only)
  • PNG
  • PSD (Mac only)
  • SGI
  • TIF (Windows only)
  • TIFF

Learn more

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

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

Learn how to delete photos and video synced from iTunes when you can't access the originals.

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