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How to transfer photos from old iPhone to new iPhone [Best 5 tips]

Carry all photos in your pocket even you upgrade to a new iPhone! Here's how to transfer pictures from an old iPhone to a new iPhone in 5 different ways.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Dec 8, 2023 10:55 AM

Sharing photos from iPhone to iPhone is a universal activity regardless of whether the target device is yours or someone's. Anyone who is ready to get a new iPhone should want to transfer the photos from the old iPhone in the switch.

To ensure all your photos on your previous device are taken with you, it's great to know how to transfer photos from old iPhone to new iPhone. Here we'll share a quick & easy guide on how to transfer photos to the new iPhone, whether it's been set up or just unboxed.

You can transfer your photos over from an old iPhone to a new one effortlessly in a few different ways.

If you're thinking of transferring photos without iCloud or an internet connection or even an overwrite in iTunes restore, iPhone Data Transfer is your recourse. The app accomplishes a direct photos transfer from iPhone to iPhone, and won't compromise the image quality.

Best 5 tips you can't miss: How to transfer photos from old iPhone to new iPhone

Use iCloud Photos - Transfer photos wireless without using a computer

It's pretty simple to use the native iCloud service to transfer photos from your old iPhone to your new iPhone.

iCloud comes free with your Apple ID. With iCloud, not only all of data is stored in its server, but you can also access anything via any of your Apple devices signing with the same Apple ID. So if you've upgraded to a brand new iPhone, you can easily sync your iCloud Photos account so that any photos on your old iPhone are automatically viewable on your new iPhone.

The only two things making it possible to access your photos stored in iCloud are an internet connection, and enough iCloud space. You're now limited to 5GB free storage for all your data, including photos, so you may need to invest in more storage.

The process can be automated, and here's how to transfer photos from an old iPhone to a new iPhone using iCloud wirelessly:

On your previous iPhone:

1. Open Settings app, tap [your name] > iCloud > Photos.

2. Turn on Sync this iPhone option.

3. Choose either option for "Optimize iPhone Storage" or "Download and Keep Originals".

4. iCloud is now uploading photos on your handset.

On your new iPhone:

1. Sign into the new iPhone using the same Apple ID.

2. Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud, then tap Photos.

3. Turn Sync this iPhone on to have iCloud Photos enabled.

4. Open Photos app on the new iPhone and all iCloud photos are downloading automatically.

With the same Apple ID, you can transfer your photos from old iPhone to another new iPhone using iCloud over Wi-Fi.

Use iTunes/ Finder - Transfer Camera Roll photos only to new iPhone

Another way is to use iTunes to get photos from old iPhone to new iPhone - or use Finder if you have a Mac running macOS Catalina or newer version. You can do a simple backup-restore by first transferring photos from old iPhone to your computer and then copying them to the new iPhone.

The process has something you need to pay attention to:

  • You can only transfer photos in Camera Roll. iCloud Photos (if enabled), photos synced from iTunes or Finder on computer won't be included in the computer backup.
  • If your new iPhone has been already set up, restoring the iTunes backup of the old iPhone to transfer photos will overwrite any existing data on the new device.
  • You need to transfer all data stored in iTunes/ Finder backup, not just photos to the new iPhone. This is time-consuming.
  • This is not wise option if you happen to transfer photos to your friend's new iPhone.

Transfer photos via iTunes on Windows PC

All steps will also work for any Mac that has macOS Mojave or earlier The method is one of an alternative way of copying photos between two iPhones without iCloud.

Step one, backup iPhone in iTunes to transfer photos to the computer

1. Connect your old iPhone to your computer.

2. Start up iTunes and click the iPhone icon at the upper-left corner of iTunes window.

3. Click Summary from the left sidebar.

4. Click Back Up Now button in the Backups section. Wait for the backup process to finish so you have your photos on your computer.

Step two, restore iTunes backup to transfer photos from computer to new iPhone

If you've already got all data on your iPhone backed up, follow these steps to transfer photos to your new iPhone:

1. Turn on your new iPhone.

Tip: If you've already set up the device and used it for some time, you need to do an extra step of resetting the device by going to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings. Be careful, this will delete all the data.

2. Go through the setup process until you get to Apps & Data screen.

3. Choose Restore from Mac or PC.

4. Plug your new iPhone into your computer and open iTunes.

5. In iTunes window, choose the iPhone icon at the top-left corner.

6. Go to Summary and hit Restore Backup button.

7. Choose the backup you just made for your old device with iTunes, and hit Restore button.

Getting the old iPhone to backup to iTunes makes it easy to transfer photos to the new iOS device.

Transfer photos via Finder on Mac (macOS Catalina or newer)

After updating to Catalina, you'll still connect your iPhone to your Mac using USB cable, but instead of opening iTunes, you'll open Finder to get photos off the old iPhone to the Mac computer and then transfer the photos from the computer to the new iOS device by means of Backup and Restore.

The process is almost the same when using iTunes to transfer the photos from one iPhone to another.

Step one, put photos on the old iPhone to the Mac

To transfer your old iPhone photos to Mac computer, you need to do a complete backup. Connect the device to the computer. Open Finder from the dock, then select your device from the sidebar under Devices. Next, click on General tab from the right pane, and finally, hit Back Up Now.

Now your photos are saved on your computer ready for transfer to the new iPhone.

Step two, transfer photos to the new iPhone from Mac

  • Turn on your new iPhone. You will see a Hello screen.
  • Set up the device.
  • In the Apps & Data Screen on iPhone, tap Restore from Mac or PC option.
  • Attach your handset to Mac and run Finder.
  • Locate the iPhone and click Restore Backup.
  • Pick the most recent backup of your old iPhone's backup containing your pictures.
  • Click Restore button to get photos transferred to your new iPhone, together with any other content and settings in that backup.

Use your backup on Mac to restore photos and other data to your whole new iPhone.

Use iPhone Data Transfer - Direct phone-to-phone transfer without iCloud or iTunes

Beside iCloud Photos being able to transfer photos from iPhone to new iPhone in a direct manner, iPhone Data Transfer can also achieve the task. The big difference is that the software lets you decide exactly which photos is transferring to your new phone, instead of transferring all photos. You don't even need to connect to Wi-Fi connection and consider the storage issue. With both two iPhones connected to your computer via USB cables, you could easily choose your preferred pictures to transfer onto one device to another.

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Plus, unlike iTunes which involves two steps of making an entire backup of the old iPhone on the computer and then restoring the backup to the new device in the same Apple ID, this program lets you copy the photos between iPhones in different Apple ID (different owners), with no overwrite occurring. Anything will be intact on the devices. [Also Read: How to Export Photos from PC to iPhone without iTunes]

How to transfer photos from old iPhone to new iPhone without iCloud

Step 1- Run iPhone photos transfer application.

Step 2- Connect both the old iPhone and new iPhone to your computer. When asked if trust this computer, tap Trust to build the connection successfully.

Step 3- With the iPhones connected, choose the [old iPhone] as the source device at the top of software screen.

Step 4- Proceed to choose Photos tab from the left sidebar. The software will scan your photo library and display all photos within Camera Roll, Photo Library on its window.

Tip: Other than photos, this utility is capable of transferring music, ringtones, audiobooks, videos and more from your old to new iPhone.

Step 5- Scan through your photo library and check the photos you're going to transfer onto your new iPhone. You can select all pictures to copy them at once, or pick your desired ones.

Step 6- To import photos stored on old iPhone to new iPhone, click Export to Device icon at the top, and from the pull-down menu, choose your [new iPhone]. The process kicks off and after a while, your photos will be on your new iPhone's Photos app.

Bonus: If there're times when you need to move your iPhone photos to your computer, simply hit the Export to PC icon next to the Export to Device icon at the top to get the task done. Once your photos are uploaded to PC or Mac, you can use Sync Photos feature within iTunes or Finder to get photos that are coming from your previous iPhone to your new iPhone.

Don't miss: How to Import Photos from Windows 10 PC to iPhone

Use iCloud Backup and Restore - Transfer photos and other data to new iPhone

If you just take your iPhone out of the box, you can back up photos and other content on the old iPhone to iCloud, then restore the iCloud backup to your new iPhone during the initial setup.

Note that if you're using iCloud Photos, your photos will not be backed up to iCloud.

  • Connect your current iPhone to Wi-Fi network.
  • In Settings app, tap on your Apple ID at the top.
  • Tap iCloud > iCloud Backup.
  • Toggle on Back Up This iPhone.
  • Tap Back Up Now. This backs up your iPhone data to iCloud.

Restoring iCloud backup of your old iPhone should have your photos transferred right onto new iPhone.

Now that you have an iCloud backup of your old iPhone in place, it's time to set up your new device and restore the backed-up data including photos.

  • Power on your new iPhone.
  • Follow the Setup Assistance to configure your preferences like country & region, language, Wi-Fi connection, etc.
  • When you get to Apps & Data screen, choose Restore from iCloud Backup.
  • Log into your iCloud account with the same Apple ID.
  • Choose the iCloud backup you just made for your old iPhone.
  • The restore begins, transferring your photos as well as any other data to your new iPhone.

Use AirDrop - Quickest way to send a few photos without iCloud or computer

AirDrop lets you share individual photos - a single or a small number of photos rather than for sharing massive photos, between iPhone and a nearby iPhone fast. It's easy to do without leaving the Photos app. Sender and recipient must set up AirDrop in Control Center on the iPhones. Bear in mind, the more photos you send via AirDrop, the longer the time it will take. Here's what to do.

1. Open the Control Center on both phones. You can do by swiping down from the upper-right corner of the screen on an iPhone X or newer model. If you have an older iPhone, you can trigger Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of your screen.

2. Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

3. Then tap and hold the Wi-Fi icon, tap AirDrop to enable it, and select Anyone or Contacts only to transfer photos to the device in range. Here, turn off Personal Hotspot feature as well.

Activate AirDrop on the iPhone to send all your photos.

4. On your old iPhone, run Photos app and select the photos you'd like to share with your new iPhone. To send over multiple pictures, tap Select then tap on every photo you desire.

5. Tap Share icon at the bottom-left of your screen, and choose Airdrop.

6. Select your [new iPhone] to send the photos to. Be sure that two devices are as close to each other as possible.

7. On your new iPhone, tap Accept to let the photos get sent to Photos app.

You can transfer photos from old iPhone to new iPhone without iCloud or computer.


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