Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I wanna upgrade to the latest iOS 5 and wonder if my existing photos and videos at Camera Roll will be still on device. Is that right? Or I have to backup them before upgrading? If so, how would I do that - iTunes doesn't seem to backup those things at sync.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The photos and videos in Camera Roll are not synced with iTunes - they are, instead, the "raw" photos meant to be synced to the photo-organization tool you use - whether that's a set of folders in your filesystem, or iPhoto.

In other words, when your iPhone is mounted as a "USB camera" (on Windows) or when iPhoto opens (when plugging it into your Mac), the contents of the Camera Roll are what you see.

That being said, iOS 5 will delete all of this data during the upgrade, so you absolutely should back them up before going forward! Assuming you're using a Mac, plug in the phone, open iPhoto, and import everything before doing the upgrade.

(And I recommend making a backup of your phone, transferring purchases, and then syncing everything you can with iTunes before going forward... the iOS 5 upgrade appears to be a very destructive procedure.)

share|improve this answer
thanks, did as you said – Darmen Oct 14 '11 at 7:14

The photos aren't synced but definitively are backup by iTunes.

I just upgraded to iOS 5 and my photos are still at my camera roll

share|improve this answer
thanks for your answer – Darmen Oct 17 '11 at 3:42

You run the risk of losing your pictures if you don't have the "Sync Photos" switch turned on in iTunes. The iOS 5 upgrade may completely wipe your iPad/iPhone so you have to do a resync to bring everything back. But that will only work if you've already backed it up and have sync turned on.

Be safe, not sorry.

share|improve this answer
thanks in advance! – Darmen Oct 17 '11 at 3:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.