iTunes: Unable to sync photos

In certain situations, iTunes may display an alert or may be unable to sync photos to an iPod or iOS device.

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Examples include:

  • After updating iOS, iTunes displays an alert that there is not enough room to sync photos
  • The iTunes sync progress bar stops for an extended period of time while syncing photos
  • iTunes displays an error during the photo sync process
  • This error appears: "Some of your photos, including the photo '[photo name]', were not copied to the iPhone/iPod touch '[device name]' because they cannot be displayed on your iPhone/iPod touch."
  • This error appears: "The iPhone/iPod touch '[device name]' cannot be synced. The required file cannot be found."

This article outlines steps to resolve these issues.

If you encounter any of the above issues or another issue while syncing photos, try the following:

  1. Ensure that you are syncing the device with the computer with which you normally sync photos.
  2. Within iTunes, select the device, then select the Photos pane and turn off Photo syncing.
  3. Sync your device. 
    Important: This will remove all synced photos from your device.
  4. Disconnect your device and update to the latest version of iTunes.
  5. Remove your iPod photo cache.
  6. Connect your device to iTunes.
  7. Select the device, then select the Photos pane and turn on Photo syncing.
  8. Sync your device.

If you still see an alert that there is not enough space to sync your entire photo library, selectively add photo albums until the device is full.

Learn more

Verify that photos are in a compatible format. On a Mac, these file formats will sync from your iPhoto Library to your device: JPG, JPEG, TIFF, PICT, GIF, PNG, JPG2000 or JP2, PSD, SGI, and BMP.

On Windows, these file formats will sync to your device: JPG , JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIF, TIFF, SGI, and PNG.

Photos without extensions may not appear on your device.

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This document will be updated as more information becomes available.

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