When trying to import photos from my Galaxy S2 in Windows, it tries to import all image files on the phone (including application data), not just those in DCIM.

The system is Android 4.0.3. The phone is set to connect as a camera (but Windows Explorer can still see the full directory structure on the phone and SD card.)

  • Do the (unwanted) pictures also show up in your galery on the S2?
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 13:54
  • One more thing to please explain: What do you do to import your pictures (e.g. what program you are using)?
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 14:48
  • I don't see a question here... If you only want to import certain images, why not use software like Picasa which allows you to selectively import/review images of choice?
    – Sparx
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 14:53
  • No, they don't show up in the gallery. It's all application data images, album cover files, etc.
    – Mihai
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:05
  • I wonder the album covers do not show up in the galery: if there were a .nomedia in the music folder, it would be really strange... But then, I never had a device with ICS (still running Gingerbread), maybe something's changed...
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:29

4 Answers 4


Probable answer by guessing what you are doing: If all those unwanted pictures are also displayed in the galery, and you use some "media-importing-software" (as opposed to just copying files in explorer yourself):

This importing software is probably contacting your Android device's media server for "media of the type image", so it gets all images returned the media service knows about. No big help up to this, but: You can tell the media service to exclude directories from its library by placing an empty file named .nomedia there (the leading dot is essential in the file name!). As soon as the media scanner finds that file, the entire directory it resides in (including all subdirectories) is skipped. If there are any pictures, videos or sound files, they won't show up in the galery (but you still can access them via a file browser if you want), and the media service will not even know they exist. So the next time it is asked for "all media of type image", those files won't be mentioned.

  • I'm using the default Windows photo import functionality (I suppose that's where the problem lies); the nice thing about it is that it auto-rotates the photos to the correct orientation. It'd be hard to give that up. I'll see if other media importing software does the same thing.
    – Mihai
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:11
  • Did you try to simply copy the images with the explorer? The auto-rotating is probably done by your image viewer rather by the importer -- that's a standard feature based on Exif tags most photo viewer can cope with.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 15:26
  • That's what I ended up doing, ultimately. Thanks.
    – Mihai
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 20:40

As of October 2014: See this, it offers a direct way to do just what we're looking for.


  1. Connect phone to computer
  2. Swipe down from top of phone to get to settings (Samsung Note 3)
  3. tap "Connected as..." and select "Camera (PTP)" to access photo folders.

(Alternatively, tap "Media Device (MTP)" to access all folders)


  1. Connect your device as MTP not PTP
  2. Install and use Android File Transfer. Now you can see the file hierarchy on your Android device. (Not just images - all files). At least for Nexus devices. Haven't tried on Samsung.

(FYI iPhotos has been discontinued as of 4/2015)


I had the same problem, when transferring images from my Galaxy S2 to computer, using Windows Photo Gallery to import (default). Can't find any Settings on the phone to find the photo folders. Instead, open Explorer, locate the connected device (phone in this case), open the files for this, locate DCIM, open to Camera and the photos are displayed and can be copied to other files or edited from here.

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