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How to transfer videos from iPhone to Mac - 4 ultimate ways

If you want to transfer your iPhone's videos to Mac for saving, this comprehensive guide will give you four best ways to transfer videos from iPhone to your Mac.

Aileena Ivy Updated on Jan 19, 2024 6:38 PM

Quick View: To transfer large videos from iPhone to Mac without losing quality, you can turn to more reliable file transfer and management software, such as iPhone Data Transfer, to ensure seamless video transfer from iPhone to Mac, and vice versa.

To transfer videos from iPhone to Mac, use Photos app, iCloud Photos, Image Capture or third-party software.

Transferring videos from iPhone to your Mac has various benefits, such as creating backup copies of important memories, editing videos on your Mac, or simply freeing up storage space on your iPhone.

As a common task for many iPhone and Mac users, there are several available ways to transfer videos from an iPhone to a Mac. For example, import videos from iPhone to Mac using the traditional built-in Photos app, or wirelessly transfer photos and videos from iPhone to MacBook with iCloud, or utilize specialized transfer software.

This article will detail various best ways on how to transfer videos from your iPhone to Mac effortlessly, providing you with useful tips and tricks so that you can edit and process the videos transferred from iPhone on Mac.

See also: How to transfer music to iPhone without iTunes

Photos app

The Photos app is built into Mac (OS X Yosemite or later) and iOS devices and is designed to help users organize and edit their photos and videos. Users can import videos from their iPhone to their Mac or MacBook by connecting Mac / MacBook and iPhone via data cable.

1. Connect your unlocked iPhone to the Mac using a suitable USB cable.

2. Open the Photos app on your Mac. If you checked the "Open Photos" option before, the Photos app will open automatically when devices are successfully connected.

3. Locate "Devices" on the left sidebar and select your iPhone. Photos app will display an Import window with all photos and videos from your iPhone's Photo app.

4. Select your desired videos to transfer to your Mac and click "Import Selected" in the upper right corner.

Tip: You can click on "Album" / "Import to" in the top middle and select or create an album where you want to save your imported videos.

5. Or you can select "Import All New Items" in the top right to transfer all new videos and photos to your Mac.

Tip: Check "Delete Items" at top right-hand corner to delete videos on iPhone that have been transferred to Mac to save iPhone's memory.

The transferred video can be viewed in the Library > Imports of the Photos app, or in Albums > My Albums list to locate the folder where you have stored the videos.


  • The Mac's Photos app doesn't sort videos from your iPhone by album, so you'll need to spend time picking videos from the whole displayed thumbnail library.
  • Photos app transfers limited video formats.
  • No transfer progress bar.
  • Enabling iCloud Photos may cause transfer failures or take too long.

iPhone Data Transfer

If you want to transfer large video files from iPhone to Mac without video quality compression, you can utilize iPhone Data Transfer to transfer iPhone's videos to your Mac, including videos in Photos app, Movies, TV Shows, Home Videos, Music Videos, etc. It can transfer your videos from iPhone to Mac in bulk quickly and stably, and even perform one-click transfer and backup.

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With iPhone Data Transfer, you can achieve seamless transfer and management of multimedia files between iPhone and Mac, including videos, music, photos, and more.

Key features:

  • Support video transfer from iPhone to Mac, Mac to iPhone, iPhone to iPhone.
  • Ability to transfer videos in various formats.
  • Recognize and convert videos that are not compatible with the device to make them playable.
  • Transfer videos from iPhone to Mac or MacBook with original quality.
  • Perform video management, such as importing, deleting, adding, and viewing information.

Follow the instructions to learn how to transfer large videos from iPhone to Mac using iPhone Data Transfer:

1. Launch the software on your Mac and plug your iPhone into the Mac.

Tip: Make sure your iPhone is unlocked and choose to trust the computer when asked.

2. Select "Videos" tab in the left sidebar. You'll see all videos from your iPhone in the right window, categorized as Movies, Music Videos, Home Videos, TV Shows, iTunes U, and Podcasts.

You can click the "List preview icon" in the upper right to switch to the list display mode, where you can sort videos by Type, Name, Time, Size, Format, Year, Description, Date, and Genre.

3. Pick the videos you want to transfer. Select videos by checking the small box next to (or in the top left) each video. You can also check the box next to Type at the top to move all videos or videos contained in a specific category to your Mac.

4. Click the computer icon on the upper taskbar and select "Export to Mac" to transfer. You need to choose a folder on your Mac to save the videos transferred from iPhone.


  • If you prefer to transfer videos taken with Camera app or saved in Photos app to Mac, you can click "Videos in Photos" in the bottom left corner to transfer videos.

Wait until the transfer process is over and the transferred videos from your iPhone will be saved on your Mac in the destination folder of your choice. But if you want to transfer some YouTube videos from Mac to iPhone, you can use Screen Recorder to record YouTube videos on your Mac first, and then transfer them through iPhone Data Transfer.


iCloud Photos, one of the features coming with iCloud, allows users with the same Apple ID to access and manage the photos and videos they save in the cloud on iPhone, iPad, Mac and iCloud.com. Devices with iCloud Photos enabled automatically upload photos and videos from the Photos app to iCloud and let you sync videos from iPhone to Mac without iTunes.

Transferring videos from your iPhone to Mac using iCloud is not difficult, as long as you make sure you have enough space in iCloud. If you have a lot of videos or large size videos, the 5GB free space provided by iCloud may not be enough for you to transfer all videos from iPhone to your Mac.

Here's how to transfer videos from an iPhone to a Mac using iCloud:

Step 1. Enable iCloud Photos on your iPhone.

To turn on iCloud Photos on your iPhone, navigate to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos, and switch the "Sync this iPhone" / "iCloud Photos" button to ON.

Step 2. Enable iCloud Photos on your Mac.

  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences / System Settings.
  • Click the Apple ID in the top left corner and sign in with the same Apple credentials as your iPhone.
  • Find iCloud on the right side, and then check the "Photos" option.


  • On some versions of Mac, you will need to click iCloud instead of Apple ID, then click the "Option" next to Photos and check "iCloud Photos" / "iCloud Photo Library" to start syncing with iCloud.

After syncing, run the Photos app on your Mac, and the videos from your iPhone have been transferred to your Mac without iTunes. Alternatively, you can also log in to iCloud.com and select the video to download to your Mac by accessing Photos.


  • iCloud Photos will sync changes made to photos and videos by devices using the same Apple ID, so you'd better download the video from iCloud to your Mac for permanent storage.
  • On your Mac, select the video in the Photos app and click File > Export > Export [number] Photos. After selecting a destination folder, click "Export."


  • Only 5GB of free storage, you need to subscribe to it to get more available space.
  • Dependent on stable network speed.
  • Sync feature may cause confusion or loss of some photos and videos.

For more help getting the most out of your iCloud to retrieve your lost photos, check out our article: How to restore photos from iCloud backup.

Image Capture

Another way to transfer videos from iPhone to Mac / MacBook Air / Pro / iMac is to use Image Capture, a pre-installed application on macOS, which facilitates you to directly move iPhone's video clips to your Mac's folder or hard drive for saving.

Tip: Your iPhone must be unlocked in order for Image Capture to detect your device and function properly.

If you forget your iPhone passcode and your iPhone becomes unavailable, you can refer to How to fix iPhone Unavailable to solve this problem.

1. Connect your iPhone to a Mac computer using a USB cable.

2. Click Launchpad on the toolbar at the bottom of the Mac screen.

3. Type "Image Capture" in the search field at the top of the launchpad and open the app.

4. Select your iPhone in the "DIVECES" list.

5. Select the video of your choice. Use the Command key to select multiple items.

6. Click "Import To" in the lower left to select the target folder for saving your videos.

7. Hit "Download" or "Download All" in the lower right corner to transfer videos from your iPhone to your Mac local hard drive.

Tip: Click the "three dots" in the top-right corner, you can choose "Delete after import" to remove the video downloaded on Mac from iPhone.


  • Compatibility problems may occur if the device's driver is outdated.
  • It is suitable for transferring short videos, and the transfer speed of large files is very slow.


Can I transfer videos from iPhone to Mac wirelessly?

Actually, you can wireless transfer videos from iPhone to MacBook using AirDrop, as long as both your iOS device and macOS device have the AirDrop, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth options enabled. And the physical distance between your Mac and iPhone should not be too far apart.

1. Head to Control Center on your iPhone, long tap AirDrop icon and choose "Everyone."

2. Go to Finder > AirDrop on your Mac and select "Everyone" in the bottom middle of the window.

3. Open the Photos app on your iPhone and pick the video you want to send to your Mac.

4. Click the "Share icon" at the bottom left and select "AirDrop" in the menu that appears.

5. Select your Mac as the receiving device in the AirDrop page.

6. Click on the "Accept" in the pop-up prompt on Mac.

How to transfer videos from iPhone to Mac without losing quality?

To avoid the video original quality being compressed, or to transfer your 4k video from iPhone to Mac without quality loss, you can choose to upload videos to iCloud. iCloud can upload your videos in original full resolution on the cloud if you have iCloud Photos enabled on your iPhone.

Also, activate iCloud Photos service on your Mac as well. Then launch the Photos app and select Photos > Preferences. Next, select iCloud and click "Download Originals" to download videos with original quality to your Mac.

How to transfer video and photos between iPhone and macOS?

If you want to transfer photos and videos between iPhone and Mac, you can take the help of AirDrop, iCloud Photos, Photos app. These features or apps that are closely related to the Apple ecosystem allow you to transfer videos and photos from your iPhone to Mac, and vice versa.

Or you can try specialized transfer tools, like AppGeeker iPhone Transfer Data, to transfer a large number of multimedia files, including photos, videos and music, at once and convert them to a format compatible with your device.

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