All the photos taken with our iPhone are not just pictures you can save on any other device. They are an essential part of our memories that you can store for years to come. Knowing how to transfer photos from iPhone to computer, being a PC or a Mac, will guarantee those memories are safe.

Transferring iPhone photos to a Mac or to any other Apple device is evidently easier than doing so to a PC. In any case, it’s not as complex as you might think. This article will show you multiple ways to transfer pictures from an iPhone to a computer. Let’s get on with it.

8 Ways to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Computer

There are numerous ways to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer, depending on your needs and the devices you use. In addition, the exporting and importing process has slightly changed since MacOS Catalina. Choose the option below that suits you the best.

1. Transfer Photos From iPhone to MacOS Catalina and Later Versions

Follow these steps to transfer your photos from an iPhone to a Mac in macOS Catalina:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable and unlock it.
  2. Go to your Mac, use the Spotlight search in your Dock, and open the Photos app. You can also open the Applications folder to find it.
  3. Your iPhone should appear on the left of the Photos page. If it’s not selected by default, please do it.
  4. Click on the photos you want to import to your Mac. You can see the current number of photos selected in the Import Selected button located at the top of the page.
  5. Click the Import Selected button mentioned in the previous step. Easy as that!
Mac and iPhone on top

2. Transfer Photos From iPhone to MacOS Mojave

If you are using macOS Mojave operating system in your Mac, here’s how you can import photos from your iPhone:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the USB cable.
  2. Go to your Mac, and using the Spotlight search in your Dock, locate the Photos app. You can also use the Applications folder to find it.
  3. Click on File on the top menu, and select the Import option.
  4. On the next screen, select all the photos you want to transfer to your Mac by holding down the command key (cmd).
  5. Click Review for Import.

Your Mac will let you know if you’ve already imported some of your select photos. In that case, it will offer you the choice to import the remaining images by clicking on the Import New Photo button.

If you wish to import all the previous photos you made with your iPhone that are not backed up, you can also click on Import All New Items.

To see which photos you imported recently, select Last Import on the sidebar.

3. Transfer Photos From iPhone to MacBook or Mac with iCloud Photo Stream

The photos you make with your iPhone will appear in Photo Stream for 30 days, and they don’t take up your iCloud Storage package. Here’s how you can transfer photos from iPhone to Mac using iCloud Photo Stream:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. On the next screen, tap Apple ID profile, and then, tap iCloud.
  3. Select Photos.
  4. Toogle My Photo Stream on.
  5. Go to your Mac and open the Photos app.
  6. Click on Photos at the top of the screen, and choose Preferences.
  7. Go to the iCloud tab and check the box My Photo Stream.

If you use macOS Mojave or earlier, you can find the same setting in System Preferences > iCloud > Options button next to Photos. Up to 1000 pictures will now automatically be added to Photo Stream when you use Wi-Fi, and they remain for only 30 days.

In macOS Catalina, the Photos Stream Pictures will automatically download to Mac. Otherwise, if you use macOS Mojave or earlier, you must open the Photos app, go to Preferences under Photos, select General, and check Copy items to the Photos library.

4. Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac using AirDrop

When connected to Wi-Fi, AirDrop can transfer your photos or any other files from iPhone to Mac and vice versa. AirDrop requires a 2012 or later Mac running OS X Yosemite or later to be able to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. On your iPhone, open the Photos app.
  2. Select the photos you wish to transfer, then tap the Share icon at the bottom.
  3. Select AirDrop in the new menu.
  4. Choose your Mac.
  5. The word Sent will apear below the device icon if the process was sucessful.
  6. Tap Done and you are finished!

Remember that the pictures will automatically save if you use the same iCloud account on both your iPhone and computer. If not, you will need to click on Save when you import the photos to your computer.

Smartphone and laptop showing AirDrop

5. Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC Using File Explorer

One of the easiest ways to transfer your photos from your iPhone to Windows is using File Explorer. See the steps below:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC using a USB cable.
  2. Unlock your iPhone and Tap Allow or Trust.
  3. Go to your PC, open File Explorer and select the device in the sidebar.
  4. Find your photos in Internal Storage > DCIM. The images should be categorized into monthly folders.
  5. Select the images or folders you want to transfer by holding down the Ctrl key. Right-click on them and select Copy.
  6. In a different location on your computer, right-click again and select Paste—yes, a normal copypasting process. And it’s done!

6. Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC Using iCloud for Windows

You can use iCloud for Windows to transfer photos to your PC, but you need to enable iCloud Photos on your smartphone. Then, follow these instructions to know how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Windows computer:

  1. Download iCloud for Windows via the Apple website or Microsoft Store.
  2. Sign in to the iCloud for Windows app using your Apple ID credentials.
  3. Select Photos and close the window.
  4. Open File Explorer and select iCloud Photos in the sidebar.

7. Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC Using Windows Photos App

The Photos app can be used to import images from your Apple device. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC using a USB cable.
  2. Unlock your Apple device and tap Trust or Allow.
  3. Open the Windows Photos app by locating it in the Start menu.
  4. On the top-left corner of the app, select Import > From a connected device, and wait for the Import wizard.
  5. Select All items or manually select the images you want to transfer. You can also choose the destination folder.
  6. Click Import items.

8. Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC or Mac Using Third-Party Cloud Storage Services

Whether you are on a Mac or Windows computer, or any other device, you can access your photo library as long as you have it stored in a cloud. The most common ones are iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox, although there are many other services. Usually, the process is similar to this:

  1. On your iPhone, select the photos you want to export.
  2. Click on the Share button.
  3. Select the third-party service and choose a destination folder.

Some cloud storage services include sync features that you can activate directly on your iPhone, automatically exporting the photos. This way, you can access them from any device as long as you have access to these services using your credentials.

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