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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.

Ella Garcia Updated on Mar 10, 2023 10:15 AM
  • It's easy to transfer photos from iPhone to PC through Windows Photos, AutoPlay, File Explorer, iPhone Data Transfer utility, iCloud for Windows and other sync services.
  • You may want to transfer photos to computer if you're running out of space on your iPhone, or you want to make copies of your pictures, make your own photo video and share it.
  • Regardless of the method, here's what you need to know to get photos off iPhone.

If you prefer to have your photos saved to your PC rather than only to iPhone, you can get them off via photo transfer methods.

Just because iPhone have an affinity for Mac doesn't mean that it can't work with a Windows computer. Transferring photos is a good skill to master for cutting down on used storage space of iPhone, and it's easier, as long as you know how on PC. That includes the exact way to use Windows built-in tools, iCloud for Windows, as well as the alternate iPhone Photo Transfer software.

Don't worry, you don't have to be a genius to move photos from your iPhone to your PC. You just find out the tools and conduct the pictures transfer with a couple clicks.

We'll cover how to use each tool to have all your photos transferred to the computer for storing, editing and sharing.

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. iPhone photo transfer - The easier way to move photos to and from PC and Mac

You can easily and quickly transfer a single image, or multiple photos to PC from your iPhone. One of the 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 export the photos at the best quality, as opposed to some services limiting the file size. Plus, it will 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 macOS | for Windows

Before the transfer of photos, 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 already 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, import images to the 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 navigation bar, choose "Photos" to display all the pictures (.png, .jpg, .gif, HEIC image file format) on your iPhone. Double click on each one to view it in full shape.

4. To copy photos over to PC from iPhone library, 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 then begins.

One Note: If you've turned on iCloud Photo Library in your phone 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 PC, simply select "Download and Keep Originals" via Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > Photos.

See: How to Move Pictures from an iPhone to a Mac

2. Windows 10 - Use Photos App to transfer photos from iPhone to PC

If you have a PC with Windows 10, it's as easy as uploading photos from your iPhone or iPad by using Microsoft Photos app.

Likewise, the process requires the latest iTunes and a USB cable that can transfer pictures and videos.

  • Attach your iPhone with your Windows 10 PC.
  • Unlock your iPhone using passcode, Face ID or Touch ID.
  • 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, then from its drop-down menu, choose From a USB device. Make sure that it's just your iPhone connected to your computer.
  • Import Items window now appears with your photo library on iPhone displayed.
  • To transfer all pictures, select "All items" under Select section. You can also manually select the photo(s) you'd like to import.
  • Now choose a location. By default, the Windows Photos app transfers images to Pictures folder under C:\Users\appge, but you can change it by clicking Change Destination link.
  • Click Import items to get photos from iPhone to PC in Windows 10.

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. Windows 8 - Use Import Pictures and Videos wizard

In older version of Windows like Windows 7, your computer will detect your iPhone when it's connected and give you AutoPlay window guiding you through the process of uploading photos to the PC.

In Windows 8, connect your iPhone to your computer with the USB cable. Wait until your PC detects the device, followed by the AutoPlay window displays Import Photos and Videos option. Click on that and follow the wizard to move photos from iPhone to Windows.

4. Use File Explorer or Windows Explorer

This is a plug-and-play option. Windows will see the iPhone as a USB device when connected and allows you to access its internal storage for videos and photos via File Explorer in Windows 10 or Windows Explorer on Windows 7, so you can easily drag them from DCIM folder to your desktop.

However, it's a bit hard to find the pictures you want to export. All of your iPhone photos are grouped into different folders which are marked in chronological order, and you may be not sure where specific images are located.

If you prefer to transfer the photo this way, try these steps:

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone taken with the images you need to copy over.

Step 2: Plug your iPhone into your PC. If this is the first time you connect it to computer, tap Trust on the pop-up.

Step 3: Open This PC on Windows 10 (or Computer in earlier Windows), and click Apple iPhone under "Devices and drives."

Step 4: Double click to open Internal Storage > DCIM. You should see a bunch of folders with all your photos in them.

Step 5: Look inside each folder until you find the photo(s) that you want to get from iPhone. Copy and paste them to anywhere onto your local hard drive.

Be aware that you can not drag and drop the photos from a PC to an iPhone. If you want to transfer photos back to your device, please read this article.

5. iCloud Photos Sync- Download photos from iPhone to PC

It's no secret that iCloud Photos is simply too useful to resist. Once it's enabled, iCloud syncs your photos and video on iPhone across all of your Apple products and even your PC.

To make it a seamless transfer process, Apple has launched iCloud for Windows that's available in the Microsoft Store for downloading photos from iCloud and saving to the desktop.

Begin by enabling iCloud Photos in your iPhone to upload images to iCloud sever. In Settings app, tap [your name] > iCloud > Photos, then turn on the toggle next to iCloud Photos.

Then, download and install iCloud for Windows onto your PC. Open it, and sign in with your Apple ID linked to your iPhone. From the window, check "Photos" option.

Here when Photos Options window opens, place the checkmark next to both "iCloud Photo Library" and "Download new photos and videos to my PC." Then click Done, and click Apply.

Any photo in iCloud will be now downloaded to your computer. To view the photos, go to File Explorer, locate iCloud Photos and open it.

Double click on "Downloads" file and you will be directed to the target folder where the downloaded photos reside. Now, you can preview photos and videos on the PC.

icloud.com is also a good place to access your iPhone photo library and get the picture to PC by using the Download button.

6. Download photos to PC from Google Photos, Dropbox, and your email

Similar to iCloud Photos, the automatic photo upload services like Google Photos, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive diligently serve for an intermediary to move iPhone photos to a PC. It's a simple matter of uploading picture files over to the online server, and downloading 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 enough space.

Emailing photos to yourself is also a good option to export photos from an iPhone. You can send yourself an image to Windows PC via iPhone Mail app. Once the image is sent, open your email account on your computer and save it to desktop. Multiple pictures can be inserted in one email message for sharing.

Tips for getting iPhone photos to PC

Moving your memories to a PC sounds complicated, especially iTunes is not a choice. But it's possible—if you employ the right tool. Hopefully, the methods above helped and you can transfer photos from your iPhone that you took with the camera in one go.

iPhone doesn't let you transfer photos that you deleted. To do that, recover them from the Recently Deleted folder, or by using iOS Data Recovery program in case they were permanently deleted from the trash album, and then copy them to Windows through either method described in this article.

See: 4 Easy Ways to Recover Permanently Deleted Photos on iPhone

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