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How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Computer

by Emma Watson
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In an era where our smartphones double as high-quality cameras, managing the ever-growing photo library becomes a task of its own. For iPhone users, transferring photos to a computer is a common practice for both freeing up storage space and creating a secure backup of their precious memories. Whether you’re a professional photographer who relies on the iPhone for quick shots or someone who captures moments of everyday life, knowing how to efficiently transfer your photos can save you time and ensure your memories are safely stored. This comprehensive guide will walk you through various methods to transfer photos from your iPhone to your computer, covering both Windows and macOS systems.

Understanding the Need for Photo Transfers

Before diving into the “how-to,” it’s important to understand why transferring photos from your iPhone to a computer is a beneficial practice. First, it helps in managing storage space on your iPhone, allowing for better performance and space for new apps and photos. Second, having a backup of your photos on a computer protects them from accidental deletion or in cases of losing your phone. Lastly, editing and sharing photos can often be easier when done on a larger screen, providing a better overview of your library and editing tools.

Preparing for the Transfer

Ensuring Compatibility

Make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS, and your computer is updated to the latest operating system, whether it’s Windows or macOS. This ensures compatibility and smooth transfer processes.

Choosing the Right Cable

A lightning-to-USB cable (the one you use for charging) is usually all that’s needed to connect your iPhone to your computer. Ensure the cable is in good condition to avoid connection issues.

Transferring Photos to Windows

Using Windows Photos App

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using the lightning-to-USB cable. You might see a prompt on your iPhone asking you to trust the computer; tap “Trust.”
  • Open the Photos app on your Windows computer. You can find it by searching in the Start menu.
  • Click on the Import button in the top-right corner and select “From a USB device.” The Photos app will search for devices and select your iPhone.
  • Choose the photos and videos you want to import. The Photos app allows you to select the items you want to transfer.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the transfer. You can choose to delete the imported photos from your iPhone after the transfer.

Using File Explorer

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer and trust the computer if prompted.
  • Open File Explorer and find your iPhone under “This PC” in the sidebar.
  • Navigate to the DCIM folder, where you’ll find all your photos and videos organized into subfolders.
  • Copy and paste the desired photos and videos to your computer.

Transferring Photos to macOS

Using the Photos App

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the cable.
  • Open the Photos app on your Mac. It should automatically detect your iPhone and display its contents.
  • Select the photos and videos you wish to import. You can choose to import all new photos or select specific ones.
  • Click on the Import Selected or Import All New Items button to start the transfer.

Using Image Capture

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac and trust the computer if prompted.
  • Open Image Capture, which is found in the Applications folder.
  • Select your iPhone from the devices list on the left.
  • Choose where you want to save your photos on your Mac from the “Import To” menu.
  • Select the photos you want to transfer and click “Import” or “Import All” to transfer all photos.

Using AirDrop

If you prefer a wireless method and are transferring a smaller number of photos:

  • Ensure both your iPhone and Mac have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, and AirDrop is activated on both devices.
  • On your iPhone, select the photos you wish to transfer in the Photos app.
  • Tap the share button and select your Mac from the AirDrop section.
  • Accept the photos on your Mac. They will be saved in the Downloads folder or your chosen destination.


Transferring photos from your iPhone to your computer not only frees up storage space on your device but also creates a secure backup for your digital memories. Whether you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac, several methods offer flexibility based on your needs and preferences. Regularly transferring photos can help manage your photo library more effectively and ensure your precious moments are preserved. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to handle photo transfers smoothly, keeping your digital memories safe and organized.

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