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.  



Learn more

  • 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.


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