Q: I have my boyfriend’s iPod which has old pictures on there that we want to get off. He doesn’t have the computer that his iTunes was on or the computer that originally had the pictures. We have tried to use my copy of iTunes to copy them off. All that showed was his iPod on my screen but nothing showed up for photos on that main menu on the left side. What are the steps in getting all these pictures off from his iPod to my iTunes?

– Leslie

A: iTunes itself does not provide any way to transfer photos from your iPod back to your computer, nor really any means for directly managing your photos on your iPod—it merely acts as a conduit to transfer your photos to your device.

If your boyfriend had opted to store full resolution copies of the photos on the iPod when he first transferred them over, then you can access these through Windows Explorer or Mac Finder simply by setting your iPod to enable disk use and then browsing it as an external hard drive. The photos will be located in the /Photos/Full Resolution folder, and you can just copy them off in the same way as you would any other file.

On the other hand, if the full resolution photos were not originally saved to the iPod, then you will need to look for third-party recovery software to retrieve the photos from the thumbnail databases that iTunes stored them in. Note that in this case you will be limited to recovering a 640 X 480 version of the photos in question, as iTunes would have resized the original photos to more appropriate resolutions for the iPod itself.

You can find more information on recovering photos from the iPod in our iPod 201 article, Copying Content from your iPod to your Computer. Page 4 provides detail on recovering photos from your iPod.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.