How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Computer

Looking for an effective method to transfer photos from your iPhone to your computer? This post has got you covered, my friend!

There are several methods you can use to get your photos off the iPhone. Each method comes with its pros and cons.

So to help you save time and effort, I’ve compiled everything below. Just read on and choose the method that suits your needs.

I. Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC

Method 1: Import photos using AutoPlay

∗ Requirement: a USB cable to connect two devices

AutoPlay is a feature in Windows that lets you choose a specified action when inserting into your computer a removable device such as CD/DVD, USB, memory cards, or in this case, an iPhone.

This method is dead simple to use and it also works on older versions of Windows (Windows 7 or XP).

When you first connect your iPhone to the computer, you need to unlock the iPhone and grant your PC access to it. Then tap “Trust” when the message pops up on the iPhone asking for permission.

After that, the AutoPlay window should pop up on the screen of the PC automatically.

AutoPlay Windows

If it doesn’t appear, you may need to enable it manually in your PC’s settings. On Windows 10, navigate to Settings > PC and Devices > AutoPlay and toggle to On. On Windows 7 and lower, go to Start > Control Panel > AutoPlay and check the “Use AutoPlay for all media and devices” checkbox, lastly, click Save.

In the AutoPlay window, you have a handful of options to choose: “Import photos and videos”, “Open device to view files”, “Take no action”, and more depending on the software you’ve installed.

Selecting “Import photos and videos” will allow you to import all of the photos on your iPhone to a specified folder on your computer.

If you want to copy just a few of your photos, then select “Open device to view files”. This option allows you to browse your iPhone’s photos like they are stored in a memory card or USB.

iPhone Drive

Personally, I prefer “Open device to view files”. If you choose this option, you should see a new drive under the “This PC” section. In my case, it’s “admin’s iPhone”. Just click on the drive to open it, you’ll find the only folder named DCIM.

This is because Windows recognizes your iOS device as a digital camera and DCIM, which stands for Digital Camera Images, is the default folder system all digital cameras utilize to organize pictures.

If you don’t find any folder in the drive, then unlock your device if it’s locked with a passcode or fingerprint. Then re-open the drive, you should now see the DCIM folder there.

Double click on the DCIM folder to open it. Photos and videos on your iPhone are stored in a handful of sub-folder named as variations of “100APPLE” (“101APPLE,” “102APPLE,” etc.). You can cycle through them, copy/paste the photos/videos to the desired folder, just like copy files between two folders on your computer.

TIP: To make it easier to find photos, click “View” at the top of the window, then select “Large Icons” or “Extra Large Icons” to change to these views. This simple act will help you preview photos easier so you can know exact photos you’d like to import to the PC.

Method 2: Import photos using the Windows’ Photos app (Windows 8 and 10)

∗ Requirement: a USB cable to connect two devices

The Photos app on Windows 10 has a feature for importing photos from a USB device. To use this method, you may need to install the latest versions of iTunes on your computer beforehand.

The Photos app is also available for Windows 8 and the process of transferring photos to your PC with Windows 8 should be similar to Windows 10.

Here’s how to use the Photos app to import photos and videos from your iPhone to your PC running Windows 10.

1) Plug the iPhone into the PC with the USB cable.

2) Open the Photos app on your PC (Select the Start button and find the Photos app from the application list that is sorted by name, or press Start + S and use the search bar to search for it)

Unlock your iOS device using your passcode or fingerprint. If you see a prompt asking you to Trust This Computer. Tap Allow to continue.

3) Select the Import function in the upper right corner of the Photos app, then select “From a USB device”.

4) The Photos app will start scanning items on your device, then represent you with a window to select your photos.

5) Select the photos you want to import then tap Continue.

6) The next pop-up will allow you to change the folder that will store imported files. You can also choose to organize these files by month or year. Check the box “Deleted imported items from (your device) after importing” if you want to delete photos from your iPhone and free up some space.

Lastly, click Import to start transferring files to your computer. Once done, the Photos app will notify you and you can go to the predefined folder to view your Photos.

Method 3: Transfer photos from your iPhone to PC via Wi-Fi

∗ No requirements

AirDrop is not supported for Windows, but there are some apps that can help you transfer files from your iPhone to PC wirelessly via a Wi-Fi connection.

This method can work even if there are no Wi-Fi networks available around you. Because you can create a Wi-Fi network on your own with Personal Hotspot.

Zapya is one of the most popular apps that allow to send and receive files via Wi-Fi between different platforms. It’s completely free to use and works across devices like Android, iPhone, Windows, and web browsers.

To use this app to get photos onto your PC, first, you need to install Zapya on both your iPhone and PC.

Before opening the app, make sure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. As I mentioned, if there is no Wi-Fi network available or you don’t want to connect to a public network, you can turn on Personal Hotspot on the iPhone, then use your PC to connect to this hotspot. Connection established!

Send Files using Zapya

Now launch the Zapya apps on both your iPhone and PC. On your iPhone, tap on the Transfer button, your PC should appear on the iPhone app’s radar like in the screenshot below. Just click on it to connect.

Zapya sending files

Now, select the photos you want to copy to your PC. Not only photos but you can also select videos, music, contact as well as files from other apps. Lastly, tap “Send” to send files to your PC. Your files will show up in the PC app as messages after transferring, click on the folder icon next to them to go to files’ location.

This method works great if you just need to send some batches of photos to your PC. If you want to transfer large photo quantities or your entire library, it’s better off using other methods.

Method 4: Sync photos across devices with My Photo Stream & iCloud Photo Library

∗ Requirement: the two devices need to connect to the Internet

My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library are two separate options that enable you to transfer photos over the air with iCloud. For both, your photos will automatically upload to iCloud so you will be able to download photos from your iPhone to any device.

There are some distinctions between the two that determine when they can be used.

My Photo Stream does not consume any of your iCloud storage package. However, photos only appear in Photos Stream for 30 days and you can upload a maximum of 1000 photos. Only image file types like JPEG, TIF, PNG are allowed to upload.

iCloud Photo Library allows you to upload both pictures and videos. It uses your iCloud storage. As long as you have enough space in iCloud, you can upload and store as many files as you want. iCloud Photo Library can also be accessed from Apple Watch and

To set up My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library, you first need to download and install iCloud for Windows, then follow the instructions below

1) On your iPhone, open Settings. Select your Apple ID by tapping your name on the top of the screen, then go to iCloud > Photos. From here you can enable or disable My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library.

Sync Photos iCloud

2) Launch iCloud for Windows. Check the box next to “Photos”, and click the “Options” button beside it.

iCloud on Windows

3) Enable iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream as per your need by checking the boxes. You can also configure other settings such as selecting the default folder for downloading new photos, or uploading new photos from your PC.

iCloud for Windows

iCloud for Windows will create a folder named iCloud Photos in File Explorer. By default, photos on your iPhone, iPad will automatically upload to the cloud and appear in this folder, as soon as both of your devices connect to Wi-Fi or Ethernet. After configuring, if you don’t see any photos appear, you may need to restart your computer to get it working.

Method 5: Use Winx MediaTrans

WinX MediaTrans is a full-fledged device manager for iOS users. Not only does it allow you to transfer photos from iPhone to Windows PC seamlessly, it also supports transferring ebook, Podcasts, ringtone, music, video between two devices.

Once you’ve installed this application on your computer, just hook up your iPhone to your PC and launch it. From the main interface, you can easily navigate to use its functions.

To copy your photos to the PC, select “Photo Transfer”. Here you will see all your photos grouped by album, day, month or year. Now all you need to do is select the ones you want and click Export.

II. Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac

Method 1: Import Photos using the Photos app

∗ Requirement: a USB cable to connect two devices

1) Unlock your iPhone and connect your iPhone to your Mac with the USB cable.

2) As soon as you plug your iPhone into your Mac, the Photos app on your Mac should open automatically. If not, open it manually in the Application folder, click the Import tab at the top of the window then select your iPhone in the left sidebar.

Import photos to Mac using Photos app

3) You can simply click “Import All New Photos” to import only your new photos. Or you can click on individual photos you want, then click “Import Selected”.

Select Last Import on the sidebar to view the recently imported photos. And that’s it.

Method 2: Photo Stream & iCloud Photo Library

∗ Requirement: Two devices need to connect to the Internet

To set up My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library, you need to enable them on both your iPhone and Mac.

1) On your iPhone, open Settings. Select your Apple ID by tapping your name on the top of the screen, then go to iCloud > Photos. From here you can enable or disable My Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library.

Sync Photos iCloud

2) On your Mac, open System Preferences from the Apple menu.

3) Choose iCloud, then enable iCloud for the Photos app by checking its box.

iCloud Photos mac

4) Click the Options button and now you can check the boxes to turn on iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream. Click Done to save your settings.

iCloud Photo Library Mac

Note: Photo Stream will only sync the photos taken on your iPhone or iPad after you turn it on. So to test this feature, you need to take a new photo or screenshot, all photos taken before won’t transfer.

Method 3: Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac via AirDrop

∗ Requirement: Two devices are on the same Wi-Fi network and in Bluetooth range of each other.

AirDrop is a native feature of iOS and macOS that let you instantly share your photos, videos, documents, and more between Apple devices.

It uses both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to transfer files, which means both your iPhone and computer are connected to Wi-Fi and in Bluetooth range of each other. Here’s how to use AirDrop to share photos:

1) Turn on AirDrop on your Mac: Finder -> Menu Bar -> Go -> AirDrop, then click “Allow me to be discovered by:” -> select “Contacts Only” or “Every one”.

AirDrop on Mac

2) Open the Photos app on your iPhone, select the photos you want to send to your computer. Then tap the Share icon in the bottom left corner.

3) If Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are disabled, you’ll see the AirDrop icon. Tap on it to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Your iPhone will then show you all the nearby AirDrop-enabled devices (after a few seconds). Just select your computer and photos will be transferred immediately.

4) A prompt to accept the photo should then appear on the Mac. Tap “Accept” to start receiving the file. If your computer and iPhone are using the same iCloud account, photos will be sent automatically without the option to “Accept” or “Decline”.

5) Once done, you’ll receive a notification on your Mac’s screen letting you know that the photos have been received from your iPhone. Click on it to view the photos or you can navigate to the Download directly to find them.

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Dieter Heinrich
Dieter Heinrich

Does it not matter if the iPhone is set to optimize storage? That would mean the hi-rez originals are not on the phone but in iCloud.