How To Move Images From Your iPhone To a Computer

How To Move Images From Your iPhone To a Computer: However, as image quality increases and resolution continues to increase, you’ll need more storage space, and those files are now much larger with support for raw images and 4K videos.

Customers who have opted for the base 64-gigabyte version would quickly run out of room, even on the iPhone 11 Pro.

How To Move Images From Your iPhone To a Computer

Below are a few of our favorite iPhone photo backup methods, whether you want to rely on a direct link or one of several cloud-based services. (The processes mentioned here also applies to the iPad and iPod Touch.)

Apple’s mobile operating system has more than you might imagine. In one handy guide, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite iOS tips and tricks.

How to upload your photos using a USB cable

If you’re using macOS or Windows, the method for importing and uploading images from an iPhone or another iOS device with a USB cable hasn’t changed in a decade. The method differs slightly between operating systems, but it’s essentially just a matter of plugging in and pressing the Import button on your iPhone.


Phase 1: Use a 30-pin-to-USB (iPhone 4S or older) or Lightning-to-USB cable to connect your phone to your device, the same way you would if you wanted to switch music from an iPod to a computer.

Phase 2: You should start the Photos app automatically, but open the program via Launchpad, Dock, or the Applications folder if you don’t. (Alternatively, if you’re using these apps, launch Aperture or iPhoto.) If your computer isn’t selected automatically, it can be found on the left side of the Images app screen. You may also use the macOS Picture Capture software to download content from a phone to a folder easily.

Phase 3: When using Photos, in the upper right corner, click the blue Import All New Things button, or pick the individual photos you want to move before clicking the Import Selected button at the top. You can also search the Remove Things After Import box if you want to delete images on your iPhone automatically after importing them.

Once done, to view your recently uploaded images, choose Last Import (located on the left). Keep in mind that there are additional options for uploading, favoriting, and editing with Ctrl-clicking an image.

By default, macOS launches the Photos app whenever a camera, memory card, or photo-containing computer, such as an iPhone, is attached. To disable this, uncheck the “Open Photos for this device” or “Open Photos” box on the upper left after launching Photos for the first time.


The iPhone pairs with macOS well, there’s no doubt about it. That doesn’t say, however, that Apple has made it hard for Windows users to use a program native to their respective OS to access their photos. For Windows 8 and 10 users, the procedure is almost similar, so you shouldn’t encounter a lot of trouble using a moderately recent Windows OS.

Phase 1: Plug your phone into your device the same way you would do if you were downloading music, either using a 30-pin or Lightning cable. (Also, you will need to install iTunes in advance.)

Phase 2: The Photos app should start automatically, but if not, use the Start menu or search bar to open the application. Before going on, you will have to unlock your iPhone.

Phase 3: In the upper-right corner, press the Import button, illustrated by a box with a downward arrow inside. Any picture will be imported with a check-mark in the corner, so check the ones you like and uncheck the ones you don’t. By default, all images are selected, but if you just want to upload a few, you can also press ‘clear all’ and go in and pick individual photos. Afterward, search the individual images you want to move from your iPhone, and in the lower-left corner, click Proceed.

Phase 4: If you want to automatically remove the photos on your iPhone after importing them, check the box in the resulting pop-up window, or simply press the Import button to pass the images to your main image folder. Alternatively, to pick a new destination to save, click the blue Shift connection where they are imported.

Click the Albums button accessible through the left-hand navigation pane when done. Then, to view, post, or edit any of your recently uploaded images, choose Last Import at the top.

How to upload your photos wirelessly (on a Mac)

On macOS, the cable can be bypassed completely thanks to Apple’s AirDrop. This patented wireless transfer protocol makes it easy to send images, whether a single image or a hundred, from your iPhone to your Mac OS device. As well as sending images from one iPhone to another, or from an iPhone to an iPad, and vice versa, the mechanism even works with the iPad.

AirDrop isn’t as organized or fast as using a cable link and the Photos app, but AirDrop is also much easier than digging out the cable if you only have a handful of photos to move. You can also reverse the procedure, so you can send a picture to your iPhone that is on your Mac (like if you shot with an ‘actual’ camera instead of the iPhone camera), a process that is useful for tasks such as sharing with Instagram.

The method is fairly straightforward, as long as you have a comparable operating system and device (a complete list of which you can find below). If you’re running Mac OSX Lion (10.7) or later, the following computers should be AirDrop compatible:

  •  iMac (Early 2009 or newer)

• Mac Pro (Mid-2010 or newer)
• Mac mini (Mid-2010 or newer)
• MacBook Pro (Late 2008 or newer)
• MacBook Air (Late 2010 or newer)
• MacBook (Late 2008 or newer)

Phase 1: For both devices, make sure Wi-Fi is allowed.

Phase 2: On both devices, make sure that AirDrop is allowed. Open a Finder window on your Mac OS device and click on the AirDrop label in the left-hand navigation bar (it should be at the very top, as shown below). After “allow me to be discovered by” at the bottom of the screen, make sure it says contacts only or anyone. On iOS, go to Setup > General > AirDrop. Make sure you have picked either Contacts Only or Anyone.

Phase 3: Go to the Images app on your iPhone and pick the photo(s) you would like to pass. There is no documented limit to how few or how many you can transfer at once, but the more pictures you pick, the longer it will take to transfer. Your computer will be overloaded by huge transfers, so avoid sending your whole picture library this way.

Phase 4: Tap the sharing icon inside the Photos app (arrow-point box) and wait for the MacOS device you want to upload to appear in the AirDrop portion of the share dialog box. Make sure you are on and awake with the computer that you want to move to. Tap on it once the right MacOS device appears. You will need to authorize the switch, depending on your AirDrop settings, otherwise, it will begin automatically.

Phase 4: By default, the images are saved in the Downloads folder of your Mac. By default, the images will not be organized into a folder, so it is up to you to arrange the images, save them, or add them to an app such as Photos.

How to upload your photos using iCloud

iCloud will upload your images to cloud storage automatically. iCloud also makes it easy to access your images from any computer, such as operating with your iPhone photos on a Mac, or even a PC, in addition to being perfect for safekeeping. Apple provides 5 GB of free iCloud storage, but if you want to store a large number of images, a paid subscription to iCloud is required.

Phase 1: If you are not already on your iPhone, activate the iCloud. Tap your name or Apple ID at the top of Settings, then tap iCloud. Tap Photos and toggle on the iCloud Photos switch.

Phase 2 (Mac): Ensure that both devices are connected to the same Apple ID. Then, head to Device Preferences on your Mac, then click on the iCloud option. Next to Pictures, select the Options button, then select the iCloud option.

Phase 3 (Mac or PC): Turning iCloud images on two computers automatically synchronizes files, but there is also another way to access your photos. Visit and link to your Apple ID. You can view and save your images from here, and this feature even works on a PC.

How to upload your photos using Dropbox

Since arriving on the scene in 2007, the aptly-titled Dropbox has been a tour de force in the file-sharing game. It serves as a service for file hosting, one that allows you to view and upload files anywhere you have an Internet connection. The official mobile app for iOS devices from the service takes the feature one step further, however, giving you the means to upload your images to the cloud manually or automatically whenever you see fit.

This isn’t the same as directly moving images to a computer. Instead, you upload material to the cloud or to servers running Dropbox. However, you can view those uploaded images as though they were stored on an external drive if your device is synced with your Dropbox account.


Phase 1: Download the Dropbox mobile app and log in as you usually would on your iOS device, if you have not already done so.

Phase 2: Navigate to the location where you want to upload the files inside your Dropbox and tap the big, circular button showing a plus symbol (located at the bottom of your screen). Then, from the resulting drop-down menu, pick Upload Images.

Phase 3: Pick the save location from which you would like to upload files, most possibly from Camera Roll. Before pressing Next in the upper-right corner, pick the images you wish to pass. Lastly, pick which folder you want the images to be in. In your Dropbox, which is also conveniently accessible via your web browser or different apps, the photo(s) will then appear.


Phase 1: Download the Dropbox mobile app and log in as you usually would on your iOS device, if you have not already done so.

Phase 2: Tap the gear icon in the upper-left corner of Recents (located in the lower-left corner), then tap Camera Uploads in the resulting menu.

Phase 3: Allowing automatic uploads allow you to have ample storage space to sync all the images you already have, so you’ll either need to switch to a paid account or link to a device with your Dropbox account.

Toggle the slider next to Camera Upload once that’s taken care of to activate the feature and allow the app to upload all photos automatically to your Camera Uploads folder inside Dropbox. After opening the app, as long as your computer is connected to Wi-Fi and has at least 30 percent of its battery life left, it will prompt it to upload any images you have taken since the last time the app was opened. If you still want to upload images using your data plan, click the lever next to Use Cellular Data.

How to upload your photos using Google Photos

Google Photos provides all your photos with unlimited data, assuming they are less than 16-megapixels in size, giving you plenty of room to store and share your memories online. In addition, the accompanying smartphone app, like Dropbox, allows you to upload and view any images you capture automatically from your computer or desktop browser. Google Images can also be viewed via a web browser on a computer.


Phase 1: If you have not already done so, download the mobile app for Google Images and log in as you usually would on your iOS device.

Phase 2: Tap the images at the bottom of the screen.

Phase 3: Pick the photo(s) that you want to upload to your Google Photos library. By pressing and holding one until the GUI changes, you can select several photos, then tap the addition sign at the top. Subsequently, pick the required album or create a new one using the host of options available. Your images will then be available in your Google Photos library, which can be accessed through your web browser or mobile app.

Tap the photo, then tap the three-dot icon to open the menu and pick Add to Album if you’re just looking to upload a single photo.


Phase 1: If you have not already done so, download the mobile app for Google Images and log in as you usually would on your iOS device.

Phase 2: In the upper-left corner, tap the menu icon, represented by three horizontal bars. Then, from the resulting menu, choose Settings.

Phase 3: In the Settings menu, select Back Up & Sync, then toggle the slider to allow it. Whenever you open it, the app will ask you to upload any images you’ve taken since the last time you used it. By default, this service works only if there is an active Wi-Fi link on your computer. You can also do this when you’re on a cellular connection, as well. Only turn to the backup slider next to the images using cellular data.

You’ll probably see a banner message requesting permission to view all your images if you’re a first-time user of this feature. You’ll have to allow access to the service to operate by opening Settings, navigating to Privacy, going to the Photos tab, and locating the Google Photos feature. Only toggle the slider next to Google Images until there. Try logging out of the app, restarting your computer, and logging back into the app afterward if your phone doesn’t sync properly with Google Images. The issue should be solved by this series.

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