How To Fix “The Required File Cannot Be Found” Error When Syncing an iPhone or iPod Touch


Every since I had to restore my iPhone 4 from a backup, I have been having a pesky error message popping up each and every time I would sync my iPhone with iTunes on my Mac. It cryptically said “The iPhone [insert your iPhone name here] cannot be synced. The required file cannot be found.” Nothing more. No error message to search for. Nada. A quick Google search on that error, however, produced some good results, and, in the end, fixed my issue, so I figured I would share and prevent future head-pounding-on-the-desks from others.


The fix is incredibly easy. Essentially, your Photo Cache may have become corrupted and you simply need to delete it.

Here are the steps (for the Mac – I’m not sure if this issue exists for Windows users):

  1. Close iPhoto on your Mac.
  2. In the Finder, go to your HOME folder.
  3. Open the PICTURES folder.
  4. Navigate to the file called “iPhoto Library“:
  5. Right-click on that file and choose “Show Package Contents“:
  6. Within the Package Contents folder, find and right-click on the file called “iPod Photo Cache” and select “Move to Trash“:
  7. Empty your Trash.
  8. Close the Package Contents folder.
  9. Re-sync your iPhone.

The entire process takes about a minute or two and should resolve the error. If you still have it, there may be another issue going on and you may have to uninstall iTunes and reinstall it. Or, worst-case, you may have to reformat and restore your iPhone…but try the easy stuff first!

The fix is easy, but PLEASE let me know if it worked for you!

HTD says: Always happy to be of service to the tech community! They helped me and I’m spreading the love.

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48 Responses

  1. Hey, Thanks for your post. This has been bugging for ages. BTW it worked for Aperture too.


  2. Thank You HTD! Once I trashed the “iPod Photo cache” I finally could load my photo folders into my new iPad2.

  3. GREAT! Glad to hear that the fix worked for you! It was pretty
    frustrating and I’m amazed how quickly you can actually fix it.

  4. Thank you! works for aperture too. I spend a day trying to get to the bottom of this and i was loosing faith. Great tip.

  5. but what if the error comes back after a few days or if you upload new pictures?

  6. THANK YOU< THANK YOU< THANK YOU…it worked like a charm! I will recommend you to all my friends who have IPhones! YOU ROCK! 

  7. It worked! I had read other reviews that did not include the step of show package contents. THANK YOU FOR BEING CLEAR on the instructions!!

  8. I knew it had something to do with this, because when I was syncing my iPod, my laptop randomly restarted, and obviously there was an error with it. I suspected it was the pictures because when I was going through them in my iPod, they wouldn’t show up, only the ones taken with the iPod camera. THANKS A LOT MAN!

  9. on second thought, did not work, just finished re-syncing my iPod… and the same message appears: “The iPod XXXXXX cannot be synced. The required file cannot be synced”. Darn it…. gonna mess around to see what was it

  10. Thanks for the advice – worked for me.  
    I suspected it involved photo files as I recently deleted all mine from the iPod (and blocked auto syncing) as I found they were running down the battery alarmingly quickly when being viewed.
    Regards, M

  11. It works on windows if you go into pictures, delete ipod photo cache, clear recycling bin and then sync again

  12. Brilliant. Worked on my iPod touch which has been doing really odd things when I try to select certain events or albums to sync. Why can’t Apple cut straight to the chase instead of telling us to restore which would involve having to reinstall purchased apps or worse yet, repurchase them.

    Thanks so much.

  13. this worked for my iPhone3G! thanks soooooooo much! Christopher, all the way in the Caribbean

  14. Yes Yes Yes!!!  After trying this over and over, frustrated that it wasn’t working for me, I decided to disconnect my iTouch and close iTunes after the cache was trashed.  I opened iTunes again and checked to see that the cache was indeed deleted, and then I reconnected the iTouch to the USB, and synched one more time… it worked!  Thank you so much for kindly sharing this information to benefit me and all of us!

  15. Thank you, this just happened to me and not wanting to pay apple for service I went researching and found this post, awesome, all fixed!  I appreciate people like you so much!

  16. does anyone have the steps to do this on windows 7? Please, theres gotta be a way to do it on windows OS. links/?help?? thanks

  17. Well done.  Even the Apple site got thsi one wrong (or shall we say not specific enough).  There is also a photo cache in the Pictures folder itself, wrong one. Many thanks.

  18. Beautiful fix. I had too many photos in my ipod and couldn’t sync because of all the photos. Thanks a million.

  19. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are awesome! This fixed my iTouch, and I can’t thank you enough!

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Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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