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How to transfer photos from iPhone to Windows 11 PC in 4 simple ways

It's easier to move photos from your iPhone to your Windows 11 PC & laptop. Here's the ultimate guide on how to get iPhone photos onto Windows 11, via USB or Wi-Fi.

Elena Spencer Updated on Mar 14, 2024 7:22 PM

You may use your iPhone's smart Camera to take near professional quality photos and store them into Photos app. But rather than keeping the full resolution photos exclusively on iPhone, it's essential to transfer photos from iPhone to PC that is operating under Windows 11, for the purposes of storing, organizing or editing on a big computer screen, cleaning up space on your device, or wiping your phone to trade it away.

Seamlessly transfer the high-resolution pictures from your iPhone to a Windows 11 PC.

So, how to transfer photos from iPhone to Windows 11 PC? Take it easy. Here is complete guide on how to import photos from iPhone to your Windows 11 computer in a few different ways.

  • You can use the built-in Windows 11 Photos app to import photos, which requires iTunes to be updated to 12.5.1 or later.
  • You can plug iPhone to Windows 11 PC via a USB cable to access your photos by using the File Explorer. You're granted to import all photos, or manually copy the photos.
  • To transfer HEIF photos from your iPhone to Windows 11 without converting originals into JPEGs on your device, try iPhone Data Transfer. It has a conversion tool for HEIC format and supports two-way transfer of photos back and forth between an iPhone and a PC.
  • If you make use of iCloud Photos, you can use iCloud to transfer photos over Wi-Fi. There's no need to connect your device to computer through cables.

Let's go through each method so the photos on your iPhone are imported to Windows 11 PC. We've also covered a guide on the transfer of Windows 10 photos to iPhone.

Table of Contents: How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC in Windows 11

Windows built-in Photos app - Install iTunes and import photos from iPhone to PC

The most obvious method to move photos from iPhone is using Windows Photos app, which is pre-installed on Windows 11 computer.

To import your photos from iPhone to PC with inbuilt Windows 11 Photos app, you need to make sure you have the latest update for iTunes - at least in the version of 12.5.1 or higher, to recognize your iPhone when connected to your computer through a USB cable.

When iTunes detects your connected iPhone, importing photos onto PC is a simple matter of opening Photos app, selecting Apple iPhone (or Import > From a connected device in the legacy version), and then choosing your pictures to import. Here's how.

How to import photos from iPhone to Windows 11 PC via Windows Photos app

The following steps work on the new Photos app (version 2022.31090.16004.0 and higher) on Windows 11 for importing iPhone photos, but the process is mostly the same on the legacy Photos app.

Step 1, open iTunes and install its latest version.

In iTunes window, click Account > Check for updates. If there's a newer update available, download it.

Step 2, connect your iPhone to your Windows 11 computer.

Once you ensure that iTunes is up-to-date, use a USB cable to attach your device to Windows 11 PC or laptop.

Then unlock your iPhone. If there's a Trust This Computer prompt popping up, tap Trust to allow your PC to access to your iPhone photos and videos. [If your iPhone is locked with iPhone Unavailable, try this to regain access.]


  • Photos synced over to iCloud Photos Library cannot be imported unless you download them to your iPhone. This is because the original, full resolution versions of the photos are not present on the device.

Step 3, run Windows 11 Photos app on computer.

When iTunes reads your iPhone, manually launch Photos app from the Start menu import iPhone photos to PC.

Step 4, in Photos app, select Apple iPhone.

From the left navigation pane, choose Apple iPhone under External Devices. Your computer is now looking for new photos and videos from your phone. (You can also head to the top-right position of Photos app window, click Import button and then choose the option for Apple iPhone.)

If you're using the Legacy version of Photos app, choose Import > From a connected device on the upper right corner.

Step 5, choose the photos you want to import.

All found photos and videos are displayed as thumbnails on the right panel.

To get pictures to transfer over, click on each image to have it selected with a checkmark. You can also import all pictures and videos by checking Select all option right above the image view.

Tip: The Legacy Photos app offers an option of Delete original items after import for removing photos and videos on the iPhone after transferring over to the PC. However, if you're using the updated Photos app, you need to turn back and delete the stuff manually in case you don't want your photos to keep on your phone.

Step 6, hit Import button to import photos from iPhone to Windows 11 PC

When ready, click Import [Number] items button.

Import [Number] items dialog box should open. Here select the location to import the files.

If you need to change the location for importing the photos, click the Create folder button, pick a different folder on your computer, and click Confirm button.

Once you finish the steps, hit Import button. The photos will begin transfer to Windows 11 Photos app from your iPhone.

After your computer is completed the process of importing your photos, you could immediately access them in Pictures folder.

iPhone Data Transfer - A quick way to transfer iPhone photos to Windows 11

Yet another direct way to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Windows 11 PC without iTunes is to use a robust Windows Photos app alternative, and your best bet is iPhone Data Transfer. This is a wired route to get your iPhone photos onto your PC running Windows 11.

Similar to the photos transfer via the native Windows 11 Photos, this iPhone photos to PC transfer tool tends to require iTunes installation on the computer and a physical USB connection for accessing the photo library on the device, so the migration from iOS to Windows desktop kicks off smoothly.

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for macOS | for Windows

The software organizes iPhone photo collection decently into different albums within Camera Roll, and Photo Library - everything looks the same on the device. Better still, it's capable of dealing with different formats of photos, screenshots, and videos taken with iPhone's Camera, including JPG, JPEG, PNG, HEIF, MP4, MOV, etc. For the HEIF photos, it offers options to convert to JPG/ JEPG without you installing any other application, or keep the original .HEIC image format when transferring.

How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC Windows 11 with USB quickly

1. Ensure that you've got iTunes on your Windows 11 machine. You don't need to run it, though.

2. Run iPhone Data Transfer on your computer

3. Hook up your iPhone to the computer. Before proceeding, your device needs to be unlocked. Wait the utility to read the phone.

4. When it's recognized, click Photos tab from the navigation pane on the left. Let the tool load all your photos stored in iPhone Photos app.

5. Click Camera Roll to display all pictures. You can also click on a certain album where the photos you want to transfer are located.

6. Select every photo you'd like to transfer to Windows 11 drive.

7. After your selections, click Export to PC icon at the top. Specify a folder for saving the imported photos and the program starts copying photos from iPhone to PC on Windows 11, along with photo info downloaded including image resolution, size, format, camera model, ISO, Aperture, and more.

Tip: If you've turned on iCloud Photos on your iPhone and prefer to transfer original-quality pictures (full pixels not reduced version) to your computer, you need to turn on Download and Keep Originals. Optimize iPhone Storage option makes photos be transferred as thumbnails.

Read Also: How to transfer photos from PC to iPhone

File Explorer - Manually import iPhone photos to Windows 11 PC, no apps needed

If you do not use iCloud Photos, or do not get iTunes installed on your PC, there's still hope. You can open File Explorer to transfer photos from the iPhone to the Windows 11 by a USB connection. This requires no additional software.

It's relatively easy to copy iPhone photos to Windows 11 PC. Here's how.

How to move photos from iPhone over to Windows 11 PC

1. Attach iPhone to Windows 11 computer.

2. Unlock your iPhone using passcode, Face ID or Touch ID. When asked if trust this computer, tap on Trust, then your computer will gain access to the iPhone so you can transfer the photos.

3. On Windows 11 desktop, double click This PC icon to open File Explorer.

4. Locate Apple iPhone in the Devices and drives section.

5. Right-click on the Apple iPhone, and choose Import pictures and videos from the menu that appears.

6. The "Import Picture and Videos" window will open. Your computer will scan around the DCIM folder to look for the iPhone photos and videos that it could transfer to your PC.

7. Once Windows finds all new photos and videos that have not been imported before, select Import all new items now to get all images and video added to your computer in one click. To copy over a few favorite pictures, check the option next to Review, organize, and group items to import, then deselect the photos you don't want, leaving your desired photos selected to import.

8. Hit Import button to begin the process. Windows 11 is moving your iPhone photos to the PC's Pictures folder by default. If you love to delete all the photos and videos after Windows imports off your iPhone, click the box labeled Erase after importing.

iCloud - Transfer photos from iPhone to Windows 11 computer wirelessly

For those seeking for how to transfer iPhone photos to Windows 11 PC & laptop without USB, try downloading photos from iCloud to the computer hard drive. This requires iCloud Photos to have been activated so the photos on iPhone become accessible on all of your Apple devices, icloud.com and your PC.

If iCloud Photos feature has not yet been enabled on your iPhone, navigate to Settings > [your name] > iCloud, then tap the toggle for iCloud Photos to make it green. Wait some time for your photos syncing over to iCloud server. Pay attention to your iCloud storage space because it needs enough capacity to house all photos. You need to upgrade your iCloud plan if the 5GB of free space isn't enough.

How to download your iPhone photos from icloud.com on PC

  • Visit icloud.com on your Windows 11 machine.
  • Sign in with your iPhone's Apple ID and password.
  • Click Photos to get to your photo library.
  • Choose the pictures you want to download to your PC.
  • Click Download icon at the upper right of the page. By default, Windows downloads photos to Downloads folder on the PC. You can copy and paste the photos to Pictures folder or any folder of your choice.

Note: Photos in HEIC will be downloaded to a JPEG file and a MOV video in a ZIP file.

How to download pictures from iPhone to Windows 11 PC using iCloud for Windows

If you have the updated Photos app on Windows 11, you may find it has integrated with iCloud Photos that you can access your photos easily on your computer once iCloud Photos is switched on and your iCloud account is connected to Photos app.

Here's how can you download your iPhone photos to a Windows 11 PC from iCloud Photos.

  • Open Windows 11 Photos app, and choose iCloud Photos from the left column.
  • You will be asked to download iCloud for Windows if you haven't done that. Go to Microsoft Store to get it installed properly.
  • Log into iCloud account with your Apple ID and password.
  • Place a checkmark into the box for Photos, and then click Options button and choose iCloud Photos for the synchronization.
  • Hit Apply button to add iPhone photos from iCloud to your gallery in Windows Photos app.
  • To download photos to your Windows 11 and save them locally, select each picture from the iCloud Photos panel, and hit Move/copy button > Copy to folder at the top, then pick a destination to wirelessly copy the photos to and you're done. If you select Move to folder option, Windows will delete the items from iCloud on all devices and move them to Recently Deleted folder on the iPhone when it done downloading to the PC.

Related: How to Recover Photos on iPhone without Backup

How to open HEIF photos on Windows 11 after importing?

To open or view HEIC photos captured with iPhone on Windows 11, you'll need to have the HEIF Image Extensions installed from the Microsoft Store. With it, getting the original full-resolution photos off iPhone and onto Windows 11 computer is possible.

In order to view HEIC files everywhere, you could convert them to the standard JEPGs using a reliable third-party converter.

iPhone also makes thing easier and offers an option to automatically convert HEIF photos to JEPG images when exporting to your PC, which can be accessed in Settings > Photos, and then choose Automatic under TRANSFER TO MAC OR PC section at the very bottom.

FAQs about importing iPhone photos in Windows 11

Why isn't my iPhone recognized by my PC for transferring photos?

If your Windows 11 PC won't detect your iPhone even it's connected, take these steps below:

  • Try a different USB cable that come from Apple to import the photos.
  • Reinstall iTunes.
  • Try the Apple USB cable to re-connect your iPhone to your PC, and unlock your device for accessibility for photos on your device.
  • Make sure your iPhone is connected to iTunes successfully, which shows as a device icon at the top-left of iTunes window.
  • Try to import photos again.

Why can't I import photos from my iPhone to my computer (Windows 11)?

If you then fail to import your photos, do the following:

  • Install the latest version of iTunes on your PC.
  • Update your iPhone to the latest iOS version in Settings > General > Software Update.
  • Check for updates for the Windows Photos app.
  • Update your PC.
  • You cannot transfer photos back to your computer Windows 11 if they were previously synced from your computer to your iPhone using iTunes.
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