How to Transfer Photos from an iPhone to a Computer
There might be several reasons why you’d want to transfer photos fromyour iPhone to a computer: to have copies on your hard drive, to edit theimages, or just give a copy to a friend. Transferring photos from an iPhone toa PC used to be a somewhat complicated task since they were much lesscompatible. This, however, has long since changed and when it comes to sharingpictures, the problems of old are no longer present.
In this article, we’ll show you how to transfer photos from an iPhone toa computer quickly and easily. We’ll also explain the methods to do so from aMac or PC.
Transfer Using iCloud
Probably the easiest way to transferyour photos to a computer is to download them from the iCloud service. Thiswill require you to turn on the iCloud on your iPhone. Once you do that, allphotos will be securely stored and accessible from any computer – you’ll justneed to log in with your Apple ID.
If transferring to Mac, the process willbe quite straightforward. However, if you’re moving to a Windows PC, somepreparation will be necessary. Follow these steps to gain access to your iCloudphotos:
- Make sure your computer’s running on the latest version of Windows 7, 8, or 10. If it’s not, perform the necessary updates.
- Download and install iCloud for Windows, making sure to match it with your version of the OS.
- Next, log in to iCloud with your Apple ID. If you’re unsure how to do that, follow the instructions provided with your iPhone.
- In iCloud for Windows, open Options next to Photos and select iCloud photos. Click Done, then Apply.
After the setup, you’ll be able to viewand download your iCloud photos using the Download icon (the cloud with adownward-facing arrow). Apart from downloading, you can also edit the pictureson your computer while on iCloud, and the edited version will be available onany device you log in from.
Connect to PC Using iTunes
To transfer photos via a USB cable to aPC, you’ll need to have the latest version of iTunes installed. Once you makesure that iTunes is up-to-date, connect your iPhone to the PC through USB. Payattention to your phone because it might need to be unlocked before youproceed. If there’s a Trust This Computer prompt, tap Trust or Allow, and afterthat, your PC will have access to the iPhone photos.
Note that you won’t be able to transferany iCloud photos if you haven’t previously downloaded them to your iPhone.This is because the picture isn’t present on the device.
Transfer Using the Photos App
After you’ve connected your iPhone withthe PC, open the Photos app. You can do this by going to the Start menu andselecting Photos. In the app, go to Import, then From a USB device, and followthe instructions. You’ll be able to choose the photos you want to transfer toyour computer.
If you’re transferring to a Mac, connectthe iPhone via USB and open the Photos app. Similar to connecting to a PC, youmight need to unlock your iPhone and allow the phone to connect on the TrustThis Computer prompt.
You should see the Import screen in thePhotos app, showing all photos you have on the iPhone. If you don’t see that,click on your phone’s name in the sidebar on the left. Next, you can select thephotos you want to transfer or click Import All New Photos to copy everypicture to your Mac.
Transfer Without Apps
If you don’t have iTunes or iCloud onyour PC and want to transfer photos from an iPhone without additionalinstallations, follow these steps:
- Connect your iPhone to the PC using the USB cable. If you don’t have iTunes, instead of Trust This Computer, you’ll see an “Allow this device to access photos and videos” prompt on your phone. Tap Allow.
- On your PC, open File Explorer for Windows 10 or Computer for Windows 7. On the left sidebar, you’ll see the iPhone listed as a new device. Be aware that it will show the device’s name – it won’t be just listed as “iPhone.”
- Double-click the phone on the sidebar. You’ll only see the DCIM folder since connecting without iTunes doesn’t allow you to explore other files and folders on the iPhone.
- In the DCIM folder, you’ll see one or more subfolders, depending on the number of photos you have on the iPhone and whether or not you’re using iCloud. The default folder for pictures is 100APPLE, while for additional folders, the number will increase to 101, 102, etc. All of your iPhone photos will be located there.
- Once you find the files you’d like to transfer, simply drag and drop them to your chosen location on the PC. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the whole DCIM folder. Ensure you’re copying and not moving the files since the Move option will altogether remove them from the iPhone.
You can copy the photos to the Picturesfolder or to a new folder you’ve created beforehand. Additionally, if you’dlike to transfer the photos and clear your phone’s memory at the same time,moving the files would be a better solution than copying.
Transfer via Bluetooth
Another possibility for photo transferis to use Bluetooth. Earlier versions of iPhones didn’t support Bluetoothconnections to Android or PC, but modern devices don’t have such issues.
Connecting the iPhone to your PC thisway is as easy as connecting any two devices via Bluetooth. All you need to dois enable the connection on your phone and make sure it’s discoverable. Then,turn on the Bluetooth on the PC and let it discover new devices. Connect to theiPhone, enter the one-time security code, and that’s it.
Once the Bluetooth connection has beenestablished, you can transfer the photos using the same methods as describedfor USB connections.
Send by Email
In case you encounter some unforeseenproblems with the iPhone-to-computer connection, there’s an alternativesolution that will work every time. Perhaps you don’t have a Lightning-to-USBcable with you, or your computer doesn’t support Bluetooth? Maybe you’d like tosend the same picture to several people simultaneously? You can always useemail.
Pictures can be attached to emails sentfrom an iPhone as easily as doing so from your desktop. Make sure they’re inthe right format and don’t go over the size limit, include them with themessage, add recipients, and send. If you don’t need to transfer a large numberof photos, this might be the best way – you don’t even have to be in the sameroom as the PC, and you can email yourself.
Handling Specific FileFormats
Most of the files you transfer from youriPhone will have the usual JPEG, MOV, and PNG extensions. However, from iOS 11onwards, the default format for pictures on iPhones has moved to HEIF or HEIC.This is a new picture format that allows for the same picture quality as JPEGbut a smaller file size. There’s one downside: the format can’t be viewed onanything other than an Apple device without employing a third-party viewer.
If you find HEIF or HEIC photos on youriPhone and don’t want to install third-party software to view or convert thepictures on your PC, there’s an integrated workaround. In your iPhone settings,go to Photos and tap Automatic under Transfer to Mac or PC. The iPhone willthen convert the pictures automatically to JPEG when transferring to a PC.
Furthermore, you can set your iPhone upto always create pictures in JPEG by going to camera settings and selectingMost Compatible under Formats.
Locating Your Photos on theComputer
Once you’ve transferred the pictures to your Mac or PC, you might want to access them for copying or editing. On Windows, this is relatively easy – they will be located in the Photos folder or in a custom folder that you created if you’ve transferred the photos without iTunes.
However, to find the actual photo fileson Mac, you’ll need to go a bit further. Here are the steps to find your photofiles on Mac:
- In Finder, click Home andfind the Pictures folder.
- Find Photos Library.photoslibrary. This is thecomplete photo library on your Mac. Don’t double-click it, since that will onlyopen the Photos app. Instead, use the right-click and select Show PackageContents.
- In the new window, openthe Masters folder.
Now you’ll have access to all photofiles on your Mac, and you can edit or copy them.
Alternatively, you can use the Spotlightsearch to find photos by type. This method is somewhat more complicated andwill work best if you know exactly what you’re looking for.
Finally, there’s a decent number ofthird-party apps created to search for and organize photos on Mac. If the firsttwo methods seem too daunting, you can let the software do the work for you.
Getting the Picture
Transferring files and photos from aniPhone to a computer, specifically a PC, no longer represents a problem. Infact, sharing between different platforms is getting more convenient as timegoes by. Now that you’ve learned all of the relevant methods, using cloudservices, USB and Bluetooth connections, and even email, you’ll be able totransfer photos from iPhone to a computer in no time.
Did you manage to transfer your photosfrom an iPhone to a PC or Mac? What method did you use? Tell us in the commentssection below.