I want to sync photos on my Windows desktop with my iPad but when I set iTunes to Sync Photos from the My Pictures folder, iTunes creates an iPod Photo Cache folder (which is about the size of My Pictures folder which is 6 GB). Letting iTunes create the folder is not the issue but I am syncing the "My Pictures" folder with my laptop and other computers and I do not want to have the iPod Photo Cache folder to also sync across my other computers. Is there a way to change the location of where iTunes will put the iPod Photo Cache folder? I did not see a setting in iTunes for it.

  • This belongs on SuperUser
    – danivovich
    Jul 21, 2010 at 19:28
  • @dani this is allowed here because the focus is on the gadget, not the PC. Some gadgets interface with the PC.. Jul 28, 2010 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


Purpose of this folder:

When iTunes synchronizes photos to your iPod, it actually converts and resizes them into 16-bit bitmaps in resolutions appropriate for the iPod. It stores the converted photos in the iPod Photo Cache folder before transferring them to the iPod. This basically allows iTunes to quickly add/remove photos from your iPod without having to reconvert them every time. If you remove a photo album/folder from your iPod (by unchecking the box in iTunes preferences), it will still leave the pictures in the cache in case you want to add them again in the future.

Possible workaround:

Move the iPod Photo Cache folder to the location of your choice, and make an alias (shortcut) to the folder in its new location. Place the alias in the folder where the iPod Photo Cache originally was (usually in the Pictures folder) and make sure the alias is named "iPod Photo Cache". When iTunes looks for the iPod Photo Cache folder in the Pictures folder, it will instead find the alias, directing it to the new location.

You didn't specify the OS of the computer but on Windows that would be a junction point.

  • 1
    Isn't that a symbolic link since Vista? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS_symbolic_link
    – Rich Seller
    Jul 28, 2010 at 8:23
  • I tried that but it didn't work. Windows Live Sync still began syncing the contents of the junction point (which I thought was very strange and possibly an issue with Windows Live Sync).
    – Jeff Widmer
    Jul 28, 2010 at 11:29

You need a second step to hide it from Live Mesh and also to make sure it doesn't show up in your Pictures view of Windows 7, etc.

  1. Sync your photos, allowing iTunes to create the folder in your Pictures folder as usual
  2. Copy that folder to a location out of the way, I like to use where iTunes keeps the rest of their data (and should put the photo cache IMHO):

C:\Users\User Name\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media

NOTE: You can put it on a share or other drive if you wish, as long as you use a soft link (which we do below)

3.Create the symbolic link. I use MKLINK from the Windows SDK.

Open the CMD window as Administrator and type:

cd C:\Users\User Name\Pictures

MKLINK /D "iPod Photo Cache" "C:\Users\User Name\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\iPod Photo Cache"

Then, you will see the folder appear in your Pictures folder with the familiar "Shortcut" arrow.

4.Right-mouse-click that folder and select "Hide Folder"

When it asks if you want to hide it just for that folder or all folder and files pick only for this folder

TADA! Your iTunes (which knows the name and looks for it in code) will find the file and update the database correctly in it's new location, but any picture / file services (Zune, Windows Explorer, Live Mesh) will not pick up the directory.

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