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How to transfer photos from iPad to Windows PC or laptop

Looking for a way to transfer images from your iPad to your Windows PC photo library? Here's how to back up your iPad photos over the internet or physical connection.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Jul 28, 2023 11:34 AM

You have all these awesome photos on your iPad, and decide to transfer them to your Windows PC without degradation in quality.

Perhaps you plan to restore the iPad or just empty the Library due to lack of memory, and wish to transfer the photos from the iPad over to computer first. Or maybe you're going to put 4000 photos (more or less a large photo library) onto Windows desktop for further process in Adobe Light room or Photoshop. The solid option is to make a backup of iPad photos to Windows PC!

You can batch transfer all photos from your iPad straight to computer's hard drive so they appear in Windows Pictures folder.

There are a few incredibly easy-to-use apps that let you store your iPad camera photos on the PC in any folder you prefer - though there might be stumbling blocks on file transfer between Apple and Microsoft. Here's how you can take advantage of each app to easily transfer photo library from iPad to Windows PC either through iCloud or a traditional USB cable connecting with iTunes.

Being stable, simple and flexible, iPhone Data Transfer helps seamlessly transferring images in Photos app from iPad (Air, Pro, Mini) to a computer running Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, etc., and vice-versa, as well as copying photos marked as Favorites, or individual albums to Windows system.

Table of Contents

Preliminary steps - Download and install iTunes, or update iTunes

To make transferring pics to Windows computer from iPad possible, the very first thing you have to do is installing iTunes for Windows on your PC which comes with drivers for Apple devices (aka Apple Mobile Device Support). If you've already installed iTunes, open it and check for update in case the version you have is outdated that your PC does not read any iPad photos.

With iTunes installed and up-to-date, you could have the iPad recognized instantly and access your on-device storage to transfer the photos via File Explorer, Windows Photos app, as well as the third-party transferring and syncing utilities.

If you don't have iTunes for some crazy reason, get it. It's a free download in the Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11. Alternatively, you can direct to Apple's website to download it.

Related Article: How to Copy Music to iPhone without iTunes

Import photos from iPad to Windows PC using Windows Photos app

The integrated Windows Photos app is one of the best ways to store, view, manage your photos if you have Windows 10 and Windows 11. With an iPad connected with a USB cable, the Photos app grants you to smoothly import pictures and screenshots on iPad into PC.

Prior to importing the photos from an iPad to a computer - if you have iCloud Photos turned on that the full resolution images are not on your device - only the optimized version, you need to turn it off via Settings > Photos and choose Download and Keep Originals option.

We've outlined the steps below on how to manually import your mages with Windows Photos straight from iPad through a wired connection.

1. Hook your iPad that you transfer photos from to your PC using a USB cable.

2. Switch on your iPad and enter your passcode unlock it in order to allow your computer to access your photos. If you've forgotten the passcode to open iPad and managed to locked out, you cannot use wired data transfer methods, and the only hope left would be downloading photos from iCloud if iCloud Photos has been turned on before, or you had a backup ready in iCloud or computer.

3. Open Photos app from Start Menu.

4. Click Import at the upper-right corner of the interface.

5. Choose From a connected device in the pull-down menu. You will then see all photos from your tablet are displayed and sorted by month.

6. Pick the photos you want to move over. You can change the destination at the top of the window to where you want the images imported to.

7. Click Import items button at the bottom to get your iPad pictures transferred in bulk to your PC. Before initiate the photo transfer process, you can also check Deleted original items after import provided need to make some space on your gadget.

Transfer photos on iPad to a PC via AppGeeker iPhone Data Transfer

Another excellent file transfer approach that makes it a breeze to move all of your photos to your PC over from iPad is iPhone Data Transfer - a storage management and transfer tool available for both Windows and macOS.

The software offers a fast solution to transfer any picture from Photos app on your iPad to your computer regardless of how you got them, while preserving the photo album structure; and to transfer photos from computer back to your device photo library without syncing. This functions identically for transferring music, playlists, videos, movies, TV shows, and other media content back and forth.

Plus, this photo transfer application is able to transfer photos in HEIC as JPG and PNG in super-fast speed on your Windows PC with the help of its built-in HEIC converter, and keeps the original quality and EXIF data. You can also transfer over your albums like Favorites or whatever.

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for macOS | for Windows

1. To upload photos from iPad to computer, connect your iPad to your PC and run iPhone Data Transfer software. Unlock your iPad to let the program detects it and have the photos load immediately.

2. Click "Music" option from the left column of the main interface to access your entire iPad photo library, which is categorized into albums looking the same as Photos app on your device. The software is designed to transfer picture from any sources. Be it taken from the camera, a screenshot, or any downloaded image.

Tip: An alternative strategy might be to consider one-click image transfer from an iPad to the Windows PC is to use the Device to PC function. It could be found at the bottom of the screen.

3. Pick what photos are moved by checking each tiny box. One of best things is that you're allowed to transfer the iCloud photos directly to your PC without having to download the full version to your iPad first. This isn't the case when transferring via File Explorer and Windows Photos app.

4. To put your selected photos onto the hard drive, click the Export to PC button at the top of the screen.

5. Select a folder - no matter it's a local folder, a USB stick drive or any external hard drive - to save the images and you're done!

Your photos will be transferred at full file size and resolution in a few seconds.

Don't Miss: How to Transfer Photos from a Windows PC to an iPhone/ iPad

Transfer photos from iPad's Camera Roll using File Explorer

While the drag-and-drop operation in File Explorer is an old-fashioned route, it's still a blast use on the Windows machine to get the photos off iPad once connected via a lightning to USB cable.

iPad will be visible in This PC (or My Computer, or Computer). Click on it, then choose Internal Storage > DCIM to access photo library of iPad. It's a mess: Hundreds or thousands of photos are randomly grouped into monthly subfolders. You need to dig into each folder to find out the images you wish to move, which is cumbersome and time-consuming.

If you stick with File Explorer, then use these steps to transfer your iPad photos:

  • Attach your iPad with your PC using a USB cord that comes with your device or has Apple's MFI certification.
  • Unlock your iPad and tap "Trust" if prompted.
  • Run Windows File Explorer. You can use Windows key + E combinations to open it.
  • Under This PC, click [your name]'s iPad or Apple iPad. It detects as a separate drive.
  • Click Internal Storage.
  • Click DCIM media folder in which contains all pictures on your Camera Roll.
  • Go into a folder and select a photo, multiple photos (while holding down Ctrl key), or all photos (while holding down Ctrl + A) to copy from your iPad to your PC.
  • Tip: You can also copy individual or multiple folders, or entire DCIM folder to your computer.

  • After you've done choosing your desired photos to copy over, right click on the selection and choose Copy.
  • Pick a location, right click on it and choose Paste from the menu to save your photos. You can also drag and drop photos to computer desktop or whatever desktop folder you want.

If DCIM folder is empty or showing just a few pictures, there are great chances that iCloud Photos and Optimize iPad Storage has been enabled. To get all photos accessible inside DCIM folder and import to the PC using File Explorer, try to turn off both options in Settings to download original, full-resolution version of photos to your iPad before you can extract photos.

Sync iPad photos with iCloud Photos and download to PC wirelessly

Here's what you need to share and transfer photos using iCloud Photos synchronization with the same Apple ID on iPad and PC. There's no USB involved during the transfer process, but a Wi-Fi network connection.

On your iPad:

  • In Settings, tap [your Apple ID] > iCloud > Photos, turn on iCloud Photos toggle.
  • Wait for some time to let your entire photo collection on iPad upload and sync over to iCloud.

On your Computer:

  • Install iCloud for Windows on your PC from Microsoft Store or Apple website.
  • Start iCloud for Windows.
  • Log in with your Apple ID and password that you used on your iPad.
  • Check Photos.
  • Click Options button next to Photos.
  • Check the box for iCloud Photos.
  • Put the check mark next to iCloud Photos to access your iCloud Photos on your Windows PC. If you'd like to access your iCloud Share Albums on PC, the select Share Albums.
  • When finished, click Done button to save your changes.
  • Click Apply. Any photos staying on iPad Photos will now download to your PC automatically whenever you have Wi-Fi.
  • Photos and videos downloaded from iCloud photo library are stored in C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures\iCloud Photos\Photos
  • Double-click the thumbnail to download the photos and view them in Windows Photos app. You can copy and paste any image to a PC desktop folder.

Manually download photos from icloud.com to Windows PC

If you're not downloading you whole photo library but only some specific photos, you can go to your library through icloud.com. You can download selected images to your computer. This is a useful trick if you tend to transfer pictures from your iPad to your Windows PC while removing pictures from iCloud.

Ensure to make iCloud Photos in Settings > Photos activate to upload your photos to iCloud. With that done, you're ready to download photos from iCloud Photos to your computer.

First, download your photos stored in iCloud onto PC

Visit icloud.com, and sign into your iCloud account. This requires your Apple ID and password, as well as the two-factor authentication code coming from iPad.

Locate Photos and click on it to reveal your photo library with all photos synced with your iPad. You can access your photo library albums from navigation pane on the left.

Select which pictures you want to download to your PC. Hold down the Ctrl key while selecting more than one image to download at a time. Finally, hit the Download icon at the top-right of the page to get selected items downloaded.

(Optional step) Second, free up storage on iCloud

Once you confirm the iCloud photos are stored locally on your computer, you can remove them from iCloud server using the Delete function, which is located next to the Download icon on the upper right corner.

Bonus: Transfer only favorite photos from iPad to computer

This is also applied to transferring an iPad album to Windows PC.

Scenario: Your iPad has over 80GB of pictures and video, for instance, and you've marked some pictures as "Favorites". How do you import the Favorites album on Windows?

To transfer only the photos that are added to Favorites album from iPad to PC, you need help from the software that has the ability to retain the photo structure of the Photos on your tablet.

Among the file transfer routes mentioned above, you could try AppGeeker iPhone Data Transfer utility to transfer your Favorite photos to computer over a USB cable. If you prefer a wireless transfer, downloading the Favorites album from icloud.com is also feasible, but you need to be sure that your iCloud storage can hold all your photos uploaded from iPad.

Tips for moving photos from iPad to a Windows PC:

  • Install iTunes to let you iPad communicate with Windows PC and transfer pictures through a USB cable using Microsoft Photos app and File Explorer.
  • If you got a lot of photos to transfer over from iPad, ensure that your Windows PC has enough storage.
  • If the pictures taken with your iPad are in HEIC formats, you need to do one extra step before transferring onto PC to avoid the HEIF/HEIC conundrum. Go to Settings > Photos, then head to TRANSFER TO MAC OR PC at the very bottom, choose Automatic to have images convert to a compatible JEPG format.
  • If 5GB of iCloud free storage is not enough to accommodate your photos and videos on your iPad, you may need to upgrade iCloud plan to upload full resolution photos and videos to the server. Then you'll be able to works with all media files using iCloud for Windows on the PC.
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