How I recovered 40 Gig of Hard drive space!

iTunes: Understanding the iPod Photo Cache folder

  • Last Modified: March 16, 2011
  • Article: TS1314

  • Old Article: 3002


When you use iTunes to sync photos to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, iTunes creates a folder called "iPod Photo Cache." Learn more about this folder below.

Products Affected

iPhoto, iPod touch, Mac OS, iPod, Windows, iTunes, iPhone, Aperture, iPad, Adobe Photoshop Album 2.0 or later, Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 or later


The iPod Photo Cache stores the photos that are optimized for display on your iPod, iPad, or iPhone. The location of this folder depends on the syncing options you select. In iTunes, if you change the selection in the “Sync Photos From” pop-up 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, or are directed to do so by another article, you can locate and remove the iPod Photo Cache folder(s). A new one will be recreated the next time you sync Photos with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Deleting this folder will not remove the original images from your library.

iPhoto or Aperture

If you're syncing from an iPhoto or Aperture album, use these steps to find the iPod Photo Cache folder in the default iPhoto Library or Aperture Library location:
  1. From the Finder, choose Home from the Go menu.
  2. Once there, open the Pictures folder and locate the iPhoto Library file. (For Aperture, this is called Aperture Library.) If you have moved your iPhoto Library or Aperture Library to a different location, go to that location in Finder first.
  3. Control-click the iPhoto Library or Aperture Library file and choose Show Package Contents from the shortcut menu.
  4. In the next window, locate the iPod Photo Cache folder and drag it to the Trash.
  5. Close the Finder window.

Adobe Photoshop Elements for Windows

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

Additional Information

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