I took some photos on my iPod Touch, and I want to use them on my Mac. I've synced the devices, but I don't know where the photos are.

  • I looked in iTunes (since it seems to want to manage everything about my iPod, even the things which aren't "tunes"), but I don't see a photo section there.

  • I looked in ~/Pictures/ but they're obviously not there.

  • I looked in ~/Music/iTunes/ (since my mobile apps are stored their, strangely), but no luck.

Where are they hiding?

3 Answers 3


The photos aren't automatically transferred when you sync in iTunes - you have to use iPhoto or Image Capture to get the photos on your computer.

  • I'm confused. Doesn't "sync" mean it's transferring all my iPod's data to my Mac? (HT1766 says "iTunes creates a backup of your iPhone or iPod touch when you sync" and "iTunes will back up the following information" ... "Camera Roll (Photos, screenshots, ...)".)
    – Ken
    Dec 4, 2010 at 6:45
  • 1
    @Ken iTunes does create a backup, but the only use for that backup is to restore it back to your device. In order to actually get the image and video files you'll have to transfer with iPhoto, Image Capture, or another photo management application. Dec 4, 2010 at 6:53

You should be using iPhoto (or other digital camera software) to copy these photos onto your Mac, but just for sake of completeness, they are included in the backups that iTunes makes.

Those backups can be found in ~/Library/Application Support/Mobile Sync/Backup, but you need a special program (iPhone Backup Extractor) to be able to read them (and that only works if they are unencrypted).

You can find your camera roll after extracting the area called "iOS Files" in /Media/DCIM.


Normally iPhoto handles them. iPhoto stores images within the package ~/Pictures/iPhoto Library, but it's easiest to browse with iPhoto.

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