How to Transfer Photos: From iPhone to Computer

how to transfer photos from iphoneYou’ve spent a day out on the town, at the beach, at a friend’s party or family get-together, and now you want to upload all the new photos you captured from your iPhone to your computer. It’s not enough to share them on Instagram or Facebook directly on your phone – maybe some of your friends or relatives don’t use social media, and want copies of the photos on their harddrive! Maybe you fancy yourself an iPhone photographer and want to print some of your masterpieces.

In this guide, we’ll go over how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac or PC. Each method is broken down into easy-to-follow steps, but if you’re having trouble navigating your smartphone, consider exploring this complete guide to iOS 6 or iOS 7, and learn to master your iPhone in minutes!

NOTE: All photos and screenshots in this tutorial have been taken from the Support pages of Apple.com.

How to Transfer Photos: Mac Users

One of the easiest ways to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac computer is with iPhoto. iPhoto is an application used for importing, sharing, organizing, manipulating, editing, and printing your favorite photos, from your iPhone or camera and right onto your Mac computer or Macbook.

iPhoto does cost money, however. You can purchase the software here on the Mac App Store for $14.99. If you’re a photographer and an Apple user, iPhoto is highly recommended.

iPhoto Method

Once you’ve purchased or located the software, you can begin the iPhoto method.

Step 1 – Connect your iPhone device

Using the appropriate USB cables that came with your iPhone device, connect your smartphone to your computer or laptop.

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If the iPhoto application does not immediately launch upon detecting your iPhone device, you can enable this behavior by opening Image Capture from your Applications folder, selecting the iPhone device you want to edit the settings for, and select iPhoto from the list of applications in the drop-down menu.

If you do not wish to enable this behavior, you can launch iPhoto manually.

Step 2 – Import your photos into iPhoto

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Once iPhoto is open, you can click the Import All button to import all photos from your iPhone device, or select which photos you want to transfer to your Mac, and then click Import Selected.

Step 3 – Delete photos from Camera Roll (optional)

Once your photos have finished importing onto your harddrive, you will be prompted to delete the imported photos from your Camera Roll. This saves back-up and restore times, but if you want to import your photos to additional computers, do not select this option.

Image Capture Method

If you do not want to buy or install iPhoto onto your Mac, you can use the basic Image Capture software that your computer should come with.

Step 1 – Connect your iPhone device

Step 2 – Launch Image Capture

If Image Capture doesn’t launch automatically when your iPhone device is connected, and you’d like it to, follow Step 1 from the iPhoto method to enable this behavior. Instead of selecting iPhoto from the drop-down menu, you will select Image Capture.

Step 3 – Select the location you want your photos to upload

Next, select the folder or directory where you want your imported photos to appear. If you want Image Capture to automatically delete your photos after they’ve finished transferring, click Options, and enable the “Delete items from camera after downloading” feature. Click OK, or ignore this step if you don’t want your photos deleted from the Camera Roll.

Click Download All, or select the photos you want to transfer, once you’re ready.

How to Transfer Photos: Windows Vista/7 Users

If you have Windows 7 or Vista, there are two easy ways to transfer your photos directly to your desired folder or directory.

AutoPlay Method

For both of these tutorials, it would be easiest to enable AutoPlay to automatically appear once your iPhone device is connected.

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When your iPhone device is connected, click on the Start Menu, and then Control Panel. Click Hardware and Sound. Select AutoPlay, scroll down to find where your iPhone device is listed, open the drop-down menu, and select “Ask me every time.”

Step 1 – Connect your iPhone device

If you enabled the AutoPlay behavior using the method described above, you can skip this step, because your iPhone is already plugged in. If not, connect your device using the appropriate USB cable that your phone came with.

Step 2 – Import Pictures and Video

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The AutoPlay prompt should appear with your device type listed at the top. Click the first link that says “Import Pictures and Video.”

If for some reason the AutoPlay prompt did not appear, go to Start, then Computer, then right click on the icon for your iPhone device and select “Import pictures and video” from the context menu that appears.

Step 3 – Choose a directory, and import

Before you click Import, go to Import Settings, and select the “Import to” field to select the destination you want your photos to transfer to. By default, they will transfer to your My Pictures folder. You can also select the “Always erase from device after copying” option, though this is, as always, optional.

Click OK, then click Import, and your photos will be transferred to their designated directory.

Windows Explorer

If you don’t want to mess with AutoPlay, you can find and transfer your photos manually using Windows Explorer.

Step 1 – Connect your iPhone device

Step 2 – Click Start, then Computer

This should take you to a Windows Explorer page that lists your hard disk drive(s), and devices with removable storage. If connected properly, your iPhone device will register as a device with removable storage, and you will see the icon for it listed below this header.

Step 3 – Double-click your device’s logo in Windows Explorer

Double-clicking your device will open it up as a directory, full of folders and sub-folders that store all of your phone’s content.

Step 4 – Open your camera folder

Your camera folder should be located in [Your iPhone Device]\Internal Storage\DCIM\100APPLE. This means once you’re in your iPhone’s directory, click on the Internal Storage folder, then the DCIM folder, then the 100APPLE folder.

Step 5 – Transfer your photos

You can import your device’s photos by selecting the ones you want, or pressing Ctrl+A to select them all, and dragging them onto your desktop. Or, you can hit Ctrl+C to copy the photos, and then hit Ctrl+V in the folder you want to copy them into.