How to Fix the “Not Enough Memory Available” Error Syncing an iPad

This tutorial will explain how to fix the error “There is not enough memory available” when syncing an iPad, iPhone or iPod with iTunes.

If you’re in a rush and just need to get the sync done quickly, follow the steps in the Quick Workaround section below. It won’t fix the problem, but you can at least finish the sync and carry on. Again, it’s not a solution, but you can at least finish your current sync.

If you want to resolve the problem once and for call, jump down to the Fix the “Not Enough Memory Available” Error section.

Quick Workaround

  1. When you plug in your iPad and it starts to sync – up pops the out of memory error.
  2. ipad out of memory error

  3. Select your device in iTunes and click the Sync button in the bottom right corner.
  4. You’ll notice it try to sync pictures right before the error pops up. As you can see in the screenshot below, iTunes is optimizing 1 of 5 images to transfer to my iPad.
  5. Then the error message will pop up. Here’s the temporary workaround – just click the Sync button again. As you’ll notice, the number of pictures that iTunes is optimizing is fewer (in the screenshot below it’s optimizing just 3 images). That means 2 of the photos actually did get transferred to your iPad in the last sync, before the error.
  6. So just keep clicking that Sync button until you get a successful and completed sync. If you want to fix the problem, follow the steps in the next section.

Fix the “Not Enough Memory Available” Error

  1. The problem lies in the iPod Photo Cache folder. Even if you don’t have an iPod, that’s the folder that all iOS devices use to cache image files that it’s going to sync with your iPhone, iPad or iPod. Somewhere in that folder there’s a corrupt file and it’s causing the problem. Here’s what Apple had to say (they removed the document, here’s its archive):
  2. If you need to free up space on your hard drive, you can remove the iPod Photo Cache folder. Deleting this folder won’t remove the original images from your library, and the folder will be recreated the next time you sync photos with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

  3. So it’s safe to delete, but the next time you sync your iOS device with iTunes, the iPod Photo Cache folder will be recreated.
  4. If you’re using Windows, you’ll probably find the iPod Photo Cache folder inside your My Pictures folder. If it’s not there, try searching your PC for the phrase “iPod Photo Cache” and locate it that way. Once found, just delete it. Then try syncing your device again – it will take longer since that cache needs to be rebuilt, but it should work without any errors from now on.
  5. If you’re using a Mac, the iPod Photo Cache folder is a little bit more ‘hidden’. To find it, open your Pictures folder and find the Photos Library, iPhotos Library or Aperture Library file. First, hold down the ctrl key and click on that file, then select Show Package Contents from the list of options.
  6. the iPhotos Library file context menu with an arrow pointing at Show Package Contents

  7. Locate the iPod Photo Cache folder and drag it (and just it!) to your Trash.
  8. Try syncing your device again – it will take longer since that cache needs to be rebuilt, but it should work without any errors from now on.

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1 thought on “How to Fix the “Not Enough Memory Available” Error Syncing an iPad”

  1. This tip helped, but I finally figured out how to fix the problem, at least for me. I found several suggestions to delete the iPod Photo Cache folder under My Pictures. I backed it up, just in case, and then deleted it. Now I can sync without having to get the out of memory error and having to keep hitting the sync button.

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