I'm trying to have fewer photos on my iPhone (3GS running iOS5), and if possible to have them searchable by naming them.

With this in mind I used Image Capture to download all 500+ pictures onto my MacBook Air (running Lion), then synced my iPhone with iTunes to remove them all.

(To do this, I made a folder called Empty Folder and put it in my Pictures folder, selected it in the iPhone's Photos tab in iTunes - you can't, for some no doubt magical Apple reason, select any folder that isn't a subfolder within another folder - and synced. Only way I could find to do it, other than wearing out my fingertip by deleting all the photos one by one. I couldn't see any way of deleting a whole 'album' of photos on the iPhone itself or in iTunes.)

I then named all the photos I wanted to keep - 111 of them - and dragged them into another subfolder in Pictures, this one called iPhone Photos.

I connected the phone again, and in iTunes and the phone's Photos tab I deselected Empty Folder and selected iPhone Photos.

All hunky dory. All 111 photos are now on the iPhone.

Except that there are now three albums on the phone: the empty Camera Roll, Photo Library with 111 photos, and iPhone Photos, with the same 111 photos, organised differently.

What the...?

Is there any way of getting the photos I want to keep into the Camera Roll and getting rid of the extra albums?

  • Is there a specific reason you are not using iPhoto?
    – nohillside
    Dec 19, 2011 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


To add pictures to the Camera Roll, you have to snap them with the built-in camera (or with a screenshot) on the iPhone.

The Photo Library contains all the pictures, they may be additionally organised in user-specific folders (like your iPhone Photos folder for instance).

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