Are you struggling with transferring photos from your iPhone to your computer? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. With so many different solutions to this problem, it’s little wonder you’re confused. In this article, you’ll learn how to import photos from your iPhone to your computer. Whether it’s a Mac or a PC, we’ve got you covered.
Transferring photos from iPhone to PC
- Send photos to your PC via iCloud
- Import photos using AutoPlay on Windows
- Transfer photos to your PC with the Windows photo app
Transferring photos from iPhone to Mac
- Transfer to your Mac with the Photos App
- Import to the iCloud Photo Library on Mac
- Transfer photos via AirDrop on Mac
- Use the Image Capture utility to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac
1. Send Photos To Your PC Via iCloud
It can be frustrating trying to upload photos from your iPhone to your computer. Sometimes this has to do with your operating system. The iPhone works seamlessly with the Mac OS, but not everyone has a Mac. If you’re a Windows user, don’t worry. It’s still a relatively easy process, but you do have to jump through an extra hoop or two.
To import photos from your iPhone to your PC via iCloud, you need to have the iCloud software installed on your PC. It’s free and you can find it on the Apple support website.
Once you’ve installed and launched the software, log in with your Apple ID. The system will send a verification code to your iPhone, just to make sure the iPhone you’re trying to connect to is yours. Enter it when prompted and click “continue.”
In the iCloud window, click “Options” next to “Photos.”
Now click the checkbox next to “My Photo Stream.” Click “done.”
Next, set your iPhone up to use Photo Stream. First, go to “Settings”, then tap on your name at the top of the screen.
Tap “iCloud,” then “Photos.” Make sure “My Photo Stream” is toggled to “on.”
Now go to the Photos app. Tap “Shared” at the bottom, then create a name for your shared photos, e.g. “Photo Transfers.”
Next, you’ll have the option to share the photos with another person. You’re just transferring to your computer at this point, so you can skip that part. Tap “Create.” Now tap the album you just created and tap the “+” symbol. Choose the photos you want to transfer, then tap “Done”, then tap “Post.”
Now back to Windows.
From here you’ll need to go to the file manager on your PC. In the left menu, you should see “iCloud Photos.”
Click on that link, then click “Shared.” You should see the album you just created.
2. Import photos Using AutoPlay On Windows
If you’re used to transferring photos off memory cards, you’ll find it easiest to use the “AutoPlay” feature on your PC. Transferring photos from your iPhone to your computer with this method is exactly like plugging in a memory card. You just tell your computer what to do when it detects your phone, and then go from there.
This method is a little limited because it’s just a straight copy from your camera roll to your computer. However, it’s dead simple to do. Just connect your iPhone to Windows with a USB cable. Your phone will pop up a message asking if it’s okay to trust the computer. Tap “Trust.”
Now you should see the AutoPlay window pop up. If it doesn’t, you may need to enable AutoPlay in your PC’s settings. Once in settings, click “PC and Devices,” then click “AutoPlay” and toggle to “On.”
In the AutoPlay window, choose to either “Import photos and videos,” “Organize and Edit,” “Open device to view files,” or “Take no action.” Clicking on “Import pictures and videos” will tell Windows to automatically import the photos. Note that you may see more than one option for importing your photos, depending on the software you have installed on your Windows machine. Choose the option based on where you’d like your images to be saved.
Alternatively, you can choose to organize your images, or you can just have your PC treat your iPhone like any other Windows directory by selecting “Open device to view files.” That way you’ll be able to manually transfer the photos to another directory of your choice.
If you choose to manually transfer your images from your iPhone to your PC, you’ll get a window that shows your iPhone as an “Internal Storage” device. Double click the icon, then double-click the folder labeled “DCIM.” You’ll see one or more folders named as variations of “100APPLE” (“101APPLE,” “102APPLE,” etc.) Your phone stores your photos in those directories. Double click the folder containing the images you want to offload. Note that recent photos will be in higher numbered directories. Then, select the photos and drag/drop them to your Pictures directory, just as you would if you were offloading from a memory card.
3. Transfer Photos To Your PC With The Windows Photo App
This is another really simple method of getting photos from your iPhone to Windows. All you need is a USB cable and the Photos app that’s already installed on your PC.
First connect your iPhone to Windows with a USB cable, then open up the Photos app. Click “import” on the top right of the window. The Photos app will pop up a window with thumbnails of all the images on your iPhone—make sure you deselect any photos that you don’t want to include in the import. Now click “continue.” Done!
4. Transfer To Your Mac With The Photos App
Most of the methods Apple has given us for downloading photos from an iPhone to a Mac are pretty straightforward, so let’s start with the most direct of them all: transferring with the Photos app. The Photos app is built-in to your Mac (it used to be called the iPhoto app) and works seamlessly with your iPhone.
First, connect your iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable. Now open up the Photos app (your Mac may automatically launch it). Under “Import” in the left navigation bar, you should see “iPhone.” Click the link, then select the images you want to transfer and click the button labeled “Import 21 Selected” (your Mac will let you know how many images you selected where I’ve shown “21”). Alternatively, you can also just choose to click the “Import All New Items” button.
Your photos will be copied to your Photos Library automatically. You’ll find this in the “Pictures” directory.
5. Import To The iCloud Photo Library On Mac
You can also wirelessly upload your photos from iPhone to Mac using iCloud, which is handy if you want to offload some images but you don’t happen to be anywhere near your computer.
Set your iPhone up to use Photo Stream. On your phone, go to “settings,” then tap on your name at the top of the screen.
Tap “iCloud,” then “Photos.” Make sure “My Photo Stream” is toggled to the “on” position.
Now go to the Photos app. Tap “Shared” at the bottom, then tap “+” in the upper right corner. Create a name for your shared photos. For this example, I’ve used “Photo Transfers,” but you can give the album any name that makes sense to you.
Now your iPhone will ask for an email address if you want to share the album with a third party—you won’t need to worry about this step since you’re just transferring the photos directly to your computer. Tap “Create,” then tap the album you just created and tap the “+” symbol. Choose the photos you want to transfer, then tap “Done” and “Post.”
Now, go to your Mac and set it up to receive the images. Go to “System Preferences,” then select “iCloud.”
Click on the “Options” button next to “Photos.” Make sure there’s a check in the box next to “My Photo Stream.” Now click “Done.”
Now when you open up the Photos app, you should see your shared album in the left menu, under “shared.” Click on the name to view the images.
6. Transfer Photos Via AirDrop In Mac
AirDrop is a good alternative to iCloud, especially if your internet connection has limited bandwidth or is just painfully slow. If you have a wifi network, you can import photos from your iPhone to your Mac using AirDrop instead. Note: to use AirDrop you will need a Mac built in 2012 or later that’s running OS Yosemite or later.
To use Airdrop, check that your Mac and iPhone are both connected to your wifi network. On your iPhone, you can just look for the little wifi icon in the top left corner of your screen. On your Mac, that same icon appears at the top of the screen, closer to the right.
Now open up the Photos app on the iPhone and tap “Select,” then select the images you want to transfer. Tap the “share” icon down there in the left corner, which looks like a box with an upwards-pointing arrow.
AirDrop is the option that appears at the top of the menu, just below the icons of your selected photos. Tap the icon, and after a few seconds, you’ll receive a notification on your Mac letting you know that the photos have been received from your iPhone.
Now check your “Downloads” directory for your photos. From there, you can move them to the “Pictures” directory or to your own custom folders.
7. Use Image Capture To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Mac
Image Capture is another simple way to move files from iPhone to Mac, but like transferring directly to your Mac via the Photos app you will need a USB cable. First, plug your phone into your Mac using the USB cable, then click on the “Finder” icon in the dock at the bottom of the screen.
Now click on the Applications icon in the left navigation bar. Double click “Image Capture” to launch it.
You’ll see your iPhone listed under “Devices.” Click on the link – if your phone is locked, the app will prompt you to unlock it first, then you’ll see your images appear in the right pane.
Hold down the command key to select each individual photo you want to transfer. Then, use the drop-down menu to select where your images will be saved. Then click “Import.” Alternatively, you can just “Import All” without selecting the images individually.
How to transfer photos from iPhone to computer: Conclusion
It’s a good idea to regularly upload photos from your iPhone to your computer—not just because regular backups protect your images if something should happen to your iPhone but also because regular backups can help you stay organized. If you have the time, go through your photos as you offload them and sort them into directories that make sense to you, and weed out the shots you don’t think you want to keep. That will make it easier for you to go back and find photos at a later date, and it will also save hard drive space. So now that you know your options, I hope you can decide which of these techniques will work best for you and get into a regular photo uploading habit.