Why do Photos get Stored in DCIM Folder?

Every time you click a picture, all the images you have taken are stored in a DCIM folder. Whether it’s a digital camera or the camera app for Android or iPhone, the photos taken and stored on an SD card. Every digital camera regardless of its brand uses the DCIM folder to store the photos. Even the apps you use to edit and share photos clicked on your smartphone uses the same folder to save the photos. You must now be wondering why this DCIM folder is so important and why every photos are stored in DCIM folder. Read on to know why.

What Does DCIM stand for?

DCIM stands for Digital Camera Images. It is the preferred standard name, since a folder named Photos or Images would be simpler, and also easy to spot. However, there is a reason behind the choice for a DCIM folder.

Why are Photos Kept in DCIM Folder?

The name DCIM which is given for storing photos in digital cameras is part of the DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) specifications. This has been adopted by all the digital camera makers and has become an industry standard. As the DCF specification is common, camera and smartphone makers, including app and software developers, stick to this DCIM storage habit.

Suppose every digital camera maker or phone’s operating system had its own pictures folder, the software programs will not be able to find images automatically on a connected device. Also, you won’t be able to take an SD card from one digital camera and plug it into another one directly. Even accessing the photos without reformatting the device or rearranging the file system would not have been possible.

Note: If you have deleted the DICM folder or lost the photos from it, you can get them back easily. Follow the link to recover deleted DCIM folder from your camera or smartphone

DCF not only dictates the folder to which photos are written, but it does much more. DCF spec also says SD cards that a specific file system must be used when formatted. It also says subdirectories and file names used for saved images to follow a specific pattern. So all these make working with pictures on other devices easier when compared to each manufacturer coming up with their own rules for default storage folder.

Thus, the standardized DCIM format means camera photo-transfer software can automatically identify pictures on an SD card or digital camera when you connect it to the computer. The same thing holds good for the DCIM folder on smartphones too.

How is the DCIM Folder Organized?

Multiple subdirectories can typically do exist in the DCIM directory. Each subdirectory is identified by a three-digit number ranging from 100 to 999 and five alphanumeric characters. The alphanumeric characters are unimportant, and each camera manufacturer is free to use any characters they like. Apple, for example, has the good fortune of having a five-digit name, therefore its code is APPLE. The DCIM directory on an iPhone comprises directories like "100APPLE," "101APPLE," and so on.

The picture files, which represent the photos you capture, are located within each subdirectory. The name of each image file begins with a four-digit alphanumeric code, which can be anything the camera manufacturer desires, followed by a four-digit number. Files with names like DSC_0001.jpg, DSC_0002.jpg, and so on are common.

How do I Access the DICM folder?

In order to access the DCIM folder connect your camera or smartphone to the computer. When you connect the device, you will be presented with different connection modes on the camera/smartphones. Choose the PTP mode from the options displayed on your camera/smartphones. PTP is a standard protocol for communicating with the digital camera. Now, open File Explorer on the computer and look for the drive with a camera icon on the left column. Once you open the camera drive, you will find the DCIM folder.

What if I Don’t Find the DCIM Folder?

If you don’t find the DCIM folder, it could be possible that the folder is hidden. If that’s the case, you might have to unhide the folder to access it.

Despite unhiding, if you are still unable to find the folder, chances are that the DCIM folder could be lost. In which case you can recover the deleted DCIM folder from SD card with the help of a trusted data recovery software.

Remo Recover is an effective tool built with a robust scan algorithm that can scan and locate deleted or lost DCIM folder. Apart from recovering the DCIM folder, it can recover deleted photos like NEF, JPEG, PNG, CR2, ERF, CRW, and many more. It supports the recovery of more than 300 file types from SD cards like mini SD cards, micro SD cards, SDHC, SDXC, and many more.

remo recover Download Remo Recover Mac

Related information: Like the DCIM folder, if you are unable to find and retrieve photos from the Camera Roll folder. Click on the given link to know more.

If you found this information useful or still have doubts or questions regarding the topic, kindly let us know in the comment section below.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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