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How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC directly - 5 Tips

Seeking to transfer iPhone photos to your PC? Use Windows Photos or File Explorer for manual import, or opt for wireless transfer via iCloud. Keep reading to discover more.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Mar 20, 2024 8:51 PM

In today's digital world, where numerous memories are captured effortlessly on our iPhone, you may find yourself wanting to transfer photos from iPhone to PC for improved management. Whether you seek to free up space on your device or back up cherished pictures on computer, mastering the process of transferring photos from iPhone to PC is of utmost importance.

This guide will show you various ways to import iPhone photos to PC, with or without a cable.

Thankfully, the transfer of iPhone photos requires just a few simple steps. If you have iTunes installed on computer, you can easily import photos from iPhone to PC using the built-in Photos app on Windows. Alternatively, you may manually copy photos from iPhone to PC via File Explorer. For a more convenient option, wirelessly download iPhone pictures from iCloud Photos.

This guide will take you through different approaches for photos from iPhone to PC. Additionally, you will discover the all-in-one solution, iPhone Data Transfer, which enables selective or bulk transfer of photos between iOS and Windows PC/Mac with just a few clicks.

Let's explore how to transfer photos from iPhone to PC, whether with a cable or wirelessly:

How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC: Wirelessly or with cable

Transferring photos from iPhone to PC usually involves two methods: using a USB cable or transferring wirelessly.

  • When using a USB cable, your PC recognizes your iPhone as a storage device that contains photos and videos, allowing for direct import of photos.
  • With cloud storage services, you can wirelessly sync and transfer iPhone photos to PC by uploading your photos to the cloud and then downloading them to your PC via the internet.

How to import photos from iPhone to PC with Photos app

The pre-installed Photos app on Windows 11/10/8 provides the best way to transfer photos from iPhone to PC via a cable connection. With your device connected, you have the option to preview the pictures and videos before selecting which iPhone photos to import.

When using the Windows Photos app to import photos from iPhone to PC, make sure the latest version of iTunes is installed and running on your computer. Follow these steps on how to transfer iPhone photos to PC by Windows Photos:

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to PC with a suitable USB cable.

If prompted, follow the onscreen instructions to tap Trust and enter your passcode on iPhone. This allows your iOS device to be recognized by your Windows PC.

Step 2. Open the Photos app on computer.

Click the Windows button on your keyboard to open Start menu. Type Photos in the search bar and double-click to launch it.

Step 3. Choose Import from a connected device.

From the top-right corner of Photos window, click Import icon and choose From a connected device (or From a USB device). The computer will start loading all pictures on your iPhone.

Step 4. Select the iPhone photos you want to import to your PC.

Preview and choose the iPhone photos you want to transfer. Or simply click Select All to select all pictures and videos.

Step 5. Import pictures from iPhone to PC.

Change the destination folder on PC where you want to import your iPhone photos, then hit the Import button to start transferring. If you want to free up storage space on your iPhone, tick the box next to Delete original items after import.

Connect iPhone and import photos to Windows PC using the Photos app.

Ensure the device remains securely connected. All chosen iPhone photos will be transferred to your PC, whether for backup to retrieve permanently lost iPhone photos in the future or simply to create local copies of your best moments.

How to copy photos from iPhone to PC via File Explorer

Another easiest way to transfer pictures from iPhone to PC is using the File Explorer, a plug-and-play option enabling you to copy photos from iPhone's DCIM storage and paste them into a local folder on your Windows PC.

While File Explorer can indeed move iPhone photos to PC, finding specific pictures might be somewhat challenging, as all DCIM images are organized in chronological folders sorted by month. If this isn't an issue, here's how to copy iPhone photos to PC with File Explorer:

1. Link your iPhone to Windows PC with a USB data cable.

2. If the Trust This Computer message pops up, tap Trust and input your iPhone passcode.

3. Open a File Explorer folder on your computer.

4. Under Devices and drives, double-click Apple iPhone > Internal Storage > DCIM.

5. Look for and select the pictures you want to transfer.

6. Right-click on the photos and choose Copy from the drop-down menu.

7. Switch to local folder on your PC and paste the iPhone photos.

Move photos on iPhone to Windows PC by copy-n-paste.

Alternatively, you may right-click the Apple iPhone, then click Import pictures and videos to import all new items from your iPhone to PC.

Note: Both the Photos app and File Explore can only get photos off iPhone to PC; they do not facilitate the transfer of photos from PC to iPhone. If you're looking for a bidirectional transfer solution, consider exploring the next robust tool.

How to transfer photos from iPhone to computer directly via iPhone Data Transfer

For transferring photos from iPhone to PC, or vice versa, iPhone Data Transfer provides an efficient solution, empowering you to transfer all or a selection of your iPhone photos to computer with just a few simple clicks.

Whether you want to free up storage space on your iPhone, back up precious memories, or manage all pictures in one place, this iOS photo transfer tool offers easiest steps to transfer photos directly from iPhone to PC/Mac. Beyond just photos, it's also capable of straightforwardly transferring videos, music, contacts, and other files between any iOS device and your computer.

Download Now!

for Windows | for macOS

Moreover, this tool features an integrated HEIC Converter, enabling the conversion of iPhone photos into widely accepted image formats like JPEG, enhancing compatibility for various apps.

Below are the steps on how to move photos from iPhone to PC on Windows 11/10/8, compatible with all iOS devices, including iPhone 15:

Step 1. Install and open iPhone Data Transfer on your Windows PC.

Step 2. Attach your iPhone using a proper USB cable. If necessary, trust this computer by inputting your screen passcode on iPhone.

Step 3. Go to Photos tab from the left sidebar. From here, you're able to view all pictures and videos in your iPhone Photo Library.

Step 4. Select the iPhone photos you want to transfer to PC; or simply click Check All to select all.

Step 5. Click Export to PC button and choose a local folder on your computer.

And there you have it! That's how you can import iPhone pictures to Windows 11, Windows 10 / 8.

Preview, select, and get photos off iPhone to computer in one click.

Video Guide: Transfer iPhone Photos to Windows PC

How to download iPhone photos to PC via iCloud

In addition to the cable-based options discussed earlier, there are also cloud-based solutions available that allow you to wirelessly download photos from iPhone to PC, with iCloud Photos being among the most convenient.

Requiring only an internet connection, iCloud provides 5 GB of free cloud storage suitable for iPhone-to-PC photo transfer. You can upload iPhone photos to iCloud and then download them to your Windows PC through iCloud.com or iCloud for Windows application.

Keep your iPhone connected to Wi-Fi network, and learn how to download photos from iPhone to PC wirelessly using iCloud:

Step 1. Open iPhone Settings and tap your Apple ID > iCloud.

Step 2. Choose Photos and toggle on Sync this iPhone. It may take a while to upload your photos and videos if you have a large iPhone photo library.

Step 3. On your computer, visit iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 4. Click Photos icon from the main menu on iCloud window.

Step 5. Preview the iCloud Photo Library and select the pictures to download. To choose multiple photos and videos, hold the Ctrl key and click on each photo you desire.

Wirelessly download photos to PC from iPhone using iCloud.

Step 6. Click the Download button from the top toolbar and set a destination folder.

The photos will then be downloaded to your PC. Conversely, you may transfer photos from your laptop to your iPhone or iPad by using the Upload feature within the iCloud Photo Library window.

Tip: The images stored in the iCloud Photo Library may become inaccessible if there is insufficient storage space available. Upgrade to iCloud + for extra cloud storage.

How to move photos from iPhone to PC using Google Drive

With more cloud storage space, starting with 15 GB, Google Drive offers alternative cloud services to upload photos from iPhone to PC wirelessly. Similar to iCloud Photos, the process requires your Google account and all relies on an active internet connection.

Before manually importing iPhone photos to your PC, install Google Drive on your device. The outlined steps will guide you how to transfer photos from iPhone to computer without iCloud:

1. Open Google Drive on your iPhone and sign in to your Google account.

2. From the bottom of the screen, tap the Add + button.

3. Tap the iPhone photos and videos you wish to download onto your computer.

4. Open a browser on your PC and go to photos.google.com.

5. Select Photos tab from the left side, and manually choose the pictures you want.

6. Click More > Download to get iPhone photos downloaded to your PC.

Storing and updating photos with cloud services like Google Drive or iCloud Photos lets you get to your iPhone photos anytime, even if your device is lost.

Why can't I transfer photos from iPhone to PC computer?

In general, cross-platform photo transfer from iOS to Windows PC can be easily achieved by implementing the options outlined in this guide. However, if you encounter difficulties in moving iPhone photos to your PC, several potential reasons could be at play:

Connectivity issue

If your Windows PC fails to recognize your iPhone as an external device with photos when using Photos app or File Explorer for transfer, it could be due to an inadequate USB cable, damaged USB port, or the absence of the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer.

Syncing issue

With iCloud Photos enabled and set to optimize storage on your iPhone, smaller previews of the pictures are stored on your device while the originals are saved to the iCloud server, which may prevent the photos on your iPhone from being imported to your computer.

Compatibility issue

Photos and videos captured with your iPhone camera are typically saved in HEIF/HEVC format. However, the Windows Photos app on PC might experience delays when loading these images with high efficiency. To fix this, try changing the picture format to common JPEG by navigating to Settings > Camera > Formats > Most Compatible.

How to access iPhone photos on PC

The photos transferred through apps like Photos, File Explorer, or third-party tools such as iPhone Data Transfer, can be saved to a folder of your choice on your computer. To access these imported iPhone photos, you just need to open the local destination folder on your PC.

For photos synced and stored in cloud storage services, you can access the iPhone photos on your PC by logging into your cloud account via a web browser, or by downloading the desktop application provided by the cloud service onto your computer.

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