• Welcome to the all-new iMore Forums! - We're still moving some things around, so you may see a few quirks here and there, but we're working on getting things fully completed as soon as possible. For now, take a look around, and if you run into any major issues, please let us know in this thread!

What is the reason for the way Apple stores photos on your phone when viewing in Windows?


Well-known member
Oct 10, 2014
For the first time, I plugged my phone into my work PC to charge. A window popped up asking me how I wanted to view files on my phone. What was shown was a series of folders with similar naming conventions "XXXAPPLE" and in each folder is a selection of 1-6 random pictures from different years and times.

I'm curious why the photos are showing up like this. Does anyone know?


Well-known member
Feb 12, 2011
When you plug it into windows it is treating the phone like a storage device- ie a usb drive etc.


Well-known member
Aug 11, 2012
As for why it stores them like that, I assume it's just their way of ensuring file integrity and enforcing naming conventions, etc. Its complicated with all the different photography options on iOS now (live photos, lossless editing, etc) Most of this is supposed to be invisible to the user, you should be seeing them in a library view, which itunes and Photos both do. Windows is just showing you the raw file structure.