For years, whenever I connected an iOS device to my Windows computer, in file explorer I saw a DCIM folder with subfolders following a pattern of 100APPLE, 101APPLE, 102APPLE, etc. Today when connecting one of my devices (running iOS 14.6), I noticed those folders are gone. Instead, the pattern seems to be YYYY__MM (e.g. 2013__01 and 2021__07). However, on a second iOS device (running iOS 14.7), the folder pattern is unchanged--I still see the original folder names.

What triggers this change? Is there a way to switch back? At first I thought it was updating to iOS 14.6; since my second device has an even more recent version, though, I'm wondering if there's some other necessary condition to trigger the folder name change.

I've found a couple references to this around the internet, but nothing definitive.

  • 1
    I'd take a wild guess that no-one on Mac would ever have found this issue, as the Mac has a dedicated 'system-friendly' way of accessing the photos, but Windows doesn't. The phone never mounts on a Mac like it does on Windows, as a separate 'drive' - so no-one ever looks inside. I don't have a device still on 14.6 to test.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 25, 2021 at 6:56
  • 1
    I noticed today on iOS 15.4.1 that the folders now follow the pattern YYYYMM__ (e.g. 201407__ and 202206__).
    – jstricker
    Jun 26, 2022 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


After I upgraded my first device to iOS 14.7, the subfolder pattern switched back to 100APPLE, 101APPLE, 102APPLE, etc. This makes me think the date-based folder structure was something specifically done (or perhaps accidentally exposed to users) in iOS 14.6.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .