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How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC in 5 easy ways

Are your photos trapped on your iPhone? Here're ways to transfer them over to your PC to save your precious memories. Just follow these simple steps.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Sep 20, 2023 8:54 PM
  • You may want to transfer iPhone photos to computer if you're running out of device storage, or you want to make copies of your pictures, make your own photo video and share it.
  • It's easy to transfer photos from iPhone to PC through Windows Photos, AutoPlay, File Explorer, iCloud Photos for Windows and other sync services.
  • The iPhone Data Transfer utility efficiently imports photos, videos, and other data files from your iPhone to your PC or Mac, whether you want to transfer them individually or all at once.
  • Regardless of the method, here's what you need to know to get photos off iPhone.

If you'd like to import your iPhone photos to your PC, there are many methods available for transferring them.

The fact that iPhones are designed within the Apple ecosystem doesn't mean they can't work with a Windows computer. It's now easier than ever to transfer photos from your iPhone to PC, whether it's for backup, editing or sharing. Efficient methods include using tools like the Windows built-in Photos app, iCloud for Windows, File Explorer, or the iPhone Photo Transfer software.

You don't need to be a tech expert to transfer your iPhone photos to PC. In this guide, we'll show you how to do it with each tool. Just choose the one that suits you best, and you can move photos from iPhone to PC with just a few clicks.

Click To:

Follow the directions to get your pictures taken on iPhone onto your PC. Note: While iTunes is supposed to sync photos from computer to iOS device, the reverse is not true.

1. How to transfer photos from iPhone to computer via iPhone Photo Transfer

The easier way to move pictures and videos from iPhone to PC and Mac, or vice versa.

You can easily and quickly transfer a single image, or multiple photos to PC from your iPhone. One of the most popular transfer utilities for iPhone is iPhone Data Transfer. It stands out among plenty of programs in our painstaking evaluation for its simplicity, real-time photos preview, transfer speed, and management functions.

The software will transfer iPhone photos to PC at the best quality, as opposed to some services limiting the file size. Plus, it can convert your HEIC photos to Windows-compatible format - JPG & JPEG in the background, so you can view iPhone photos on PC with no bother.

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for Windows | for macOS

Before the photo transfer, get the latest version of iTunes:

For iPhone connecting to Windows PC and importing photos, you need to first make sure you update iTunes to its latest version. In general, 12.5.1 or later is required for a successful transfer. If you haven't got iTunes for Windows, download and install it from Microsoft Store or Apple's website. This is an essential step while you're using File Explorer, AutoPlay or Photos app below.

Now, transfer pictures from iPhone to PC in Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7

1. Open iPhone Data Transfer program once installed.

2. Connect your iPhone to the computer. You'll then see its device information on the screen.

3. From the left sidebar, choose Photos to display all pictures in your iPhone Photo Library, including .png, .jpg, .gif, HEIC image file format. Double click on each one to view it in full shape.

4. To copy photos from your iPhone to PC, use your mouse to select each image you want, then click Export to PC icon at the top center of the interface.

5. Continue to specify a folder to save the exported photos and the transfer begins automatically.

One Note: If you've turned on iCloud Photos in your iPhone and select "Optimize iPhone Storage," your selected pictures will be transferred as THUMBNAILS. To keep the full resolution versions of your photos before importing to the computer, simply select "Download and Keep Originals" via Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Photos. Additionally, the same process can be applied when you intend to make photo transfer from your iPhone to Mac.

2. How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC via Photos app (Windows 10 & 11)

A cable-based method integrated into Windows for transferring iPhone photos to a PC.

If you're using a Windows 10 PC, transferring your iPhone photos can be straightforward by utilizing the pre-installed Windows Photos app, also known as the Microsoft Photos app. Similarly, for this process, you'll need the latest version of iTunes and a suitable USB data cable to facilitate the photo transfer from your iPhone to your Windows PC.

Here's how to import iPhone photos to PC using Windows Photos:

  • Attach your iPhone with your Windows 10 PC and unlock it.
  • When asked to Trust This Computer, tap Trust on the prompt to move on.
  • Open Photos app from the Start menu.
  • Click Import button at the top-right corner of the Photos app.
  • In the drop-down menu, choose From a connected device (or From a USB device). Make sure that your iPhone is the only external device linked to your PC.
  • Next, the Import items window appears with your iPhone photo library displayed.
  • To transfer all pictures, select All items in the selection box. You can also manually select the iPhone photo(s) you'd like to import.
  • Choose a location and click Import items box at the bottom to get photos from iPhone to PC.

By default, the Windows Photos app transfers images to the Pictures folder located at C:\Users\appge, but you can change it by clicking on the Change Destination link when choosing which photos to import.

Can't import photos from iPhone to Windows 10?

The Photos app in Windows 10 isn't one of the most stable apps. If you have trouble importing photos - maybe the app is lagging while loading the pictures on your iPhone, or even worse, it crashes, do the following:

  • On your iPhone's Settings app, tap Camera > Formats.
  • Tap on Most Compatible to save any captured photos at JPEG/H.264 for better compatibility in Windows 10 computer.

3. How to import photos from iPhone to PC by AutoPlay (Windows 7)

A different approach for transferring photos to a PC in older versions of Windows.

When you connect your iPhone to older Windows versions such as Windows 7, your PC will prompt the AutoPlay window instead of the Windows Photos application, which will guide you through the process of transferring photos from your iPhone to your PC.

  • In Windows 7, use a USB cable to connect your iPhone with your PC.
  • When the device gets detected, the AutoPlay window pops up automatically.
  • Click the Import Photos and Videos option on it, and follow the on-screen prompts to copy photos from iPhone to PC.
  • You'll find all imported pictures in the Pictures folder on your Windows PC.

4. How to transfer iPhone photos to PC using File Explorer or Windows Explorer

A plug-and-play option to copy photos from iPhone's DCIM folder and paste them to your PC.

Without the need for additional applications, File Explorer (or Windows Explorer on Windows 7) provides direct access to your iPhone's internal storage, allowing you to browse the videos and photos stored in its DCIM folder. This makes it simple to copy your photos from iPhone to PC and store them in any of your preferred local folder.

However, it can be challenging to find specific pictures to export. Your iPhone photos are organized into various folders arranged chronologically, making it less clear where particular images are located. If you only want to move the camera pictures from your iPhone to PC, here's how:

Step 1: Unlock the iPhone you want to transfer photos from and plug it into your PC. If this is the first time you connect it to computer, tap Trust on the pop-up.

Step 2: Open This PC on Windows 10 PC (or Computer in earlier Windows), and click Apple iPhone under Devices and drives.

Step 3: Double click to open Internal Storage > DCIM. You should see a bunch of folders, sorted by date.

Step 4: Look inside each folder to find the photo(s) that you want to get from iPhone. Copy and paste them to anywhere onto your local hard drive on PC.

Be aware that transferring photos from PC to iPhone is not supported through File Explorer. It is exclusively designed for one-way photo transfer from an iPhone to a PC.

5. How to download photos from iPhone to PC using iCloud for Windows

A cloud-based photo transfer option for iPhone users to download pictures to PC wirelessly.

If you're seeking a wireless method to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC, iCloud is certainly an excellent choice for syncing your photos and videos across all your iCloud-enabled devices, including a Windows PC.

With the 5 GB of free cloud storage offered by iCloud, it becomes effortless to download iPhone photos to your PC over the internet. You can access all pictures in your iPhone Photo Library from the iCloud website on your PC, or use the desktop app - iCloud for Windows - to conveniently download your iPhone photos and save to your PC anytime you want.

Tip: If the iCloud storage is at capacity, iPhone photos will no longer sync and won't be accessible or downloadable on a Windows PC.

Step 1. Enable iCloud Photos in your iPhone Settings.

To upload pictures from iPhone to iCloud sever, open the Settings app, tap [your name] > iCloud > Photos, then turn on the toggle next to iCloud Photos (or Sync this iPhone on newer iOS versions).

Step 2. Download, install and open iCloud for Windows on your PC.

Get iCloud application onto your computer, run it and sign in with your Apple ID linked to your iPhone. From the window, check Photos option.

Step 3. Set up and apply download settings in iCloud Photos.

When Photos Options window opens, check the boxes next to iCloud Photo Library and Download new photos and videos to my PC. Then click Done > Apply.

Step 4. Download pictures from iPhone to your computer.

Now, any photo in iCloud will be accessible on your PC. To view the pictures, go to File Explorer and open the iCloud Photos.

Double click on Downloads and you will be directed to the target folder where the downloaded iPhone photos reside. Feel free to preview the photos and videos on the PC.

Also, icloud.com is another good place to access your iPhone Photo Library and download the pictures to PC by using the Download button.

6. How to upload photos from iPhone to computer with Cloud storage services

Alternative cloud drives to wirelessly upload pictures on iPhone to computer.

Similar to iCloud Photos, the automatic photo upload services like Google Photos, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive diligently serve for an intermediary to transfer iPhone photos to a PC. The process is straightforward: upload pictures from iPhone to the online server, and download them to your computer's hard drive as needed.

Keep in mind that each online service offers limited free storage for image backup. So if you have a strove of photos on iPhone to upload, make sure you have sufficient space available.

Another option to make iPhone photo transfer is to email the pictures to yourself. You can use the iPhone Mail app to send an image to your Windows PC. Once done, you can open your email account on your computer and save the photos to anywhere locally. Multiple pictures can be included in a single email message for sharing.

Tips for transferring iPhone photos to PC

Moving memorable pictures to a PC might seem like a complex task, but it's entirely possible if you employ the right tool. Hopefully, the methods above helped and you can transfer photos from your iPhone to your Windows PC in one go.

Additionally, if you've inadvertently deleted the photos you intended to transfer from your iPhone, there's no need to fret. We have a separate guide that explains how to recover permanently deleted photos on an iPhone so you can get them to your Windows PC afterwards.

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