8 Methods to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Computer (Windows PC & Mac)

Last Updated on February 22, 2021 by Jack Robertson

Whenever Apple releases a new iPhone model, they will always boast that this new iPhone is having a cutting-edge camera that helps us get rid of a set of professional cameras and makes shooting high-quality photos much easier than ever before.

With an iPhone, we’re available to capture every important, happy, sweet, and beautiful thing in reality. However, an iPhone is just a mobile device that holds 512GB maximally, a situation that your iPhone is running out of memory may strike you hard after months of usage.

In the end, a Cannot Take Photo prompt will happen to you and of course, you’re unavailable to take photos with this iOS handset. Luckily, we can transfer the iPhone photos to a computer for backup and storage. So you can get rid of tons of photos on your iPhone and then resume photography.

iPhone Cannot Take Photos Transfer iPhone Photos to Computer

Also, if you want to edit your photos with editing software, transferring the photos from your iPhone to a PC is necessary.

So, today, to help you ease the storage panic and optimize your creations, I will introduce 8 methods for you to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer, both Windows PC and Mac are included.

Transferring Photos from iPhone to Windows PC & Mac:

transfer photos from iPhone to computer

Part 1 Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac/PC with a USB cable

In this part, we’ll be seeing 4 methods to transfer photos from iPhone to a computer with a USB cable. Also, all these methods require you to download and install the latest iTunes on your computer to carry on the file detection task. Get your cable and iTunes ready, let’s get ready for the transfer.

Method 1 Back up photos from iPhone to a computer with iTunes

The first we use is the Apple iTunes, a very famous iOS data management and transfer tool. Download iTunes on your machine and check out these methods to start importing iPhone photos to the computer.

Tip: If you’re using a macOS machine, you may not find the iTunes app on your Catalina or Big Sur. That is because Apple has removed this app from this 2 latest macOS and replace it with 3 other apps, Apple TV, Music, and Podcasts. You may check out other solutions though.

Step 1 Sync iPhone to iTunes

Use a USB cable and connect your iPhone to the computer. iTunes will launch automatically and sync to your iPhone.

Step 2 Back up iPhone photos

On the iTunes interface, click on the thumbnail iPhone icon to get into the management interface.

Enter iOS Data File Management Interface iTunes

Choose Summary from the left panel and then move to the Backups tab, tick the This Computer option. Then, hit Back Up Now to complete.

Back Up iPhone Photos to PC via iTunes

Then, iTunes will start to transfer all your iPhone data to this computer. When the process is done, you can extract the photos from this backup file. You may find the iTunes backup record on your computer hard drive.

Method 2 Transfer photos from iPhone to a computer without iTunes

Since iTunes does not support transferring your iPhone photos to a computer separately, we may use some third-party iPhone data transfer software to carry on the photo transfer.

You may find so many tools on Google and if you’re trying to find the best one, you may skip the endless scroll and pick up one of the leading programs of this kind, the echoshare iPhone Transfer.

As a professional iTunes alternative, the echoshare iPhone Transfer can help you one-click transfer photos from an iPhone to your computer hard drive. For iPhone Live Photos, you’re available to export one as a MOV short video.

Besides image files, iPhone Transfer supports a lot more data categories like video, audio, book, contact, call, message, app data, and so on. So with this program, you can transfer almost all your iPhone media files to a computer and vice versa.

More importantly, iPhone Transfer won’t rewrite your iPhone media libraries as iTunes does. You don’t have to worry about data loss at all.

To transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, download and install iPhone Transfer on your computer.

Win Download Mac Download Win Download Mac Download

Step 1 Connect your iPhone to iPhone Transfer

Take a USB cable and connect your iPhone to the computer and launch iPhone Transfer. In this way, the program will detect your device and sync to it automatically.

Step 2 Transfer all photos from iPhone to PC

Now, as the sync is complete, you may click the One-click to Export Photos to PC button to start to transfer right away. Clicking it, all your iPhone photos will be copied to your computer. You may preview the files on your computer hard drive when the transfer is complete.

One Click to Transfer iPhone Photos to Computer iPhone Transfer

Step 3 Transfer some iPhone photos to PC

If you only plan to transfer one or some pictures from your iPhone to a PC, click Photos under the Manage Your Device slogan.

iPhone Transfer will display all your iPhone photos and albums on the right panel. Locate and select the target photos, click Export and choose a destination folder to transfer the selected photos from your iPhone to the PC.

Select iPhone Photos Output Folder to Transfer to PC


Worry about the output format of your iPhone photos? Click Export Settings.

There, decide the format for the output iPhone pictures, JPG and HEIC will both do. (Click here to check out what is HEIC and its comparison with JPG) For Live Photos, you may choose to export as MOV videos or still pictures.


You can transfer photos from this PC to your iPhone as well. Click Import and browse to select the target photos on your computer, click OK to start to transfer. You may find the computer photos on your iPhone later.

Transfer Photos from Computer to iPhone

Method 3 Import photos from iPhone to a Windows 10 PC with the Photos app

There’s a Photos app on Windows 10 machine that you can use to transfer photos from your iPhone to a Windows 10 computer. Try these:

Step 1 Launch Photos on your Windows 10 computer

Go to Start, scroll down and find Photos. Open the app and get ready for the transfer.

Open Windows Photos App to Transfer iPad Photos to PC without iTunes

Step 2 Connect your iPhone to PC

Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to this Windows 10 machine.

Step 3 Start the transfer

On the Photos app, click Import and choose From a connected device. In this case, you’re available to transfer photos from this connected iPhone to your computer.

Start to Import iPhone Photos to Windows 10 PC without iTunes

Next, hit Change destination to choose a new folder to hold the iPhone photos or skip this step to use the default one.

Under Select, choose Custom and decide the photos for this transfer or you can transfer all pictures to this PC. Hit Import 2 of 162 items (the numbers will change based on your situation) to start the transfer.

Method 4 Copy photos from iPhone to a Windows 7/8/10 PC with File Explorer

If your Photos app went wrong on your Windows 10 or you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you can use the Windows File Explorer to transfer iPhone photos to your Windows computer.

Windows 10 Photos App Went Wrong

Check this out:

Take out a USB cable and connect your iPhone to the PC. Open This PC and locate Apple iPhone under Devices and drives. Open Apple iPhone > Internal Storage > DCIM > 100APPLE.

Finally, you will see all the iPhone camera roll photos inside the 100APPLE folder. Browse and select the target photos, right-click to choose Copy, or drag them to your computer hard drive.

Comparison of iTunes, iPhone Transfer, Photos, File Explorer

ParametersDirect TransferCamera RollApp PhotosScreenshotCustomized TransferDecide Output FormatOperation
iPhone TransferYesYesYesYesYesYesEasy
File ExplorerYesYesNoYesYesNoEasy

Part 2 Transfer photos from iPhone to computer wirelessly

If you cannot find a compatible USB cable around, try the following 4 methods to transfer photos from your iPhone to a PC or Mac (even if this is not your Mac).

Method 5 Download photos from iPhone to a computer with iCloud

As the official cloud service of Apple, iCloud can help transfer photos from iPhone to a computer. Follow these:

Step 1 Sign in to iCloud on your PC

Download, install and sign in to iCloud on your Windows PC.

Step 2 Download iPhone photos onto PC

Locate Photos and click Options, tick 3 options: iCloud Photo Library, Upload to My Photo Stream, and Keep high efficiency original if available.

In this case, iCloud will download all photos under this Apple account to your computer.

Click Done to confirm. Then, hit Apply to start to transfer.

Download iPhone Photos to PC via iCloud

Later, you may find the iCloud photos on This PC > iCloud Photos > Downloads.

Locate iCloud Photos on PC


Don’t want to download the iCloud app? Try visiting iCloud.com through a browser.

Sign in with your Apple ID and find Photos on the interface. Then, locate and select the target iPhone photos, download them onto your PC.

Method 6 Transfer photos from iPhone to a PC/Mac with Dropbox

We may find so many cloud storage services in cyberspace other than Apple iCloud, like Dropbox, One Drive, etc.

Luckily, many of these cloud storage services offer iOS and desktop versions so that we may import photos to a cloud storage app on iPhone and then download the photos onto a PC through a desktop version.

Here, we will use Dropbox. If you have any other frequently used cloud storage services, stick to it.

Step 1 Export iPhone photos to Dropbox

On your iPhone, open the App Store and search Dropbox. Download and install the app on the handset.

Launch Dropbox and create a new account or sign in with your old account. Choose the pictures from your iPhone photo albums and export them to Dropbox.

Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC via Dropbox

Step 2 Transfer photos from iPhone to PC via Dropbox

On your PC, launch Dropbox or visit Dropbox.com. Import the iPhone photos to your computer.

Method 7 Sync photos from iPhone to a Mac through Apple ID

If you’re using an iMac or Macbook instead of a Windows PC, just go to Photos on your Mac computer and check out the iPhone photos there.

Note that you can find the iPhone photos on your Mac when the two devices are registered to the same Apple ID.

Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac

Method 8 How to get photos off an iPhone without a computer

If you’re a camera bug, you must have tons of photos and videos on your iPhone library. In this case, you may find that your iPhone is running out of memory. Worse still, you’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t find any computers around to back up your masterpieces to the hard drive.

It’s such a pity to delete those pictures, right. If you happen to encounter such embarrassments, try an iPhone flash drive.

Get Photos Off iPhone Without A Computer

Similar to all regular USB drives, an iPhone flash drive can save several GBs of files. The only difference between these 2 kinds of USB drives is that an iPhone flash drive has a port for iOS devices while a normal one doesn’t.

With an iPhone memory stick, you can easily back up your photos without using a computer or cloud services.

Later, you’re available to transfer the iPhone photos to a computer via this USB drive.

Comparison of iCloud, Dropbox, Apple ID, USB drive

ParametersDirect TransferCamera RollApp PhotosScreenshotCustomized TransferDecide Output FormatOperation
iCloud AppYesYesYesYesNoNoComplex
Apple IDYesYesNoYesNoNoEasy
iPhone USB DriveNoYesYesYesYesNoComplex


1. How do I move pictures from my iPhone to a flash drive?

There’re 2 ways to move your iPhone pictures to a flash drive, either you transfer photos to a computer first and then transfer to a USB drive, or you purchase an iPhone USB drive in particular.

2. What is HEIC?

Under the HEVC standard – High-Efficiency Video Coding, the HEIC format, short for High-Efficiency Image Container, is greatly used by Apple.

A HEIC photo takes up about half the space of an equivalent quality JPEG file and meets many next-generation photographic needs.

However, such efficiency leads to some inconveniences in editing and converting. You will need a HEIC image player to preview, edit, and convert a HEIC image file.

3. Why can’t I transfer photos from iPhone to PC?

There’re a few reasons why you’ll fail to transfer photos from your iPhone to a PC, check these out:

  • Damaged USB cable or USB port:

There’re chances that you use a broken USB cable to make the connection, so you may use another one to transfer your iPhone photos to a PC. Or, the USB port on your PC is damaged, plug the USB cable into another port then.

  • Two-factor Authentification:

When you plug your iPhone into a PC, your iPhone will ask you to unlock the screen and tap Trust This Computer. If you don’t trust this PC, your iPhone photos are always inaccessible to your PC.

  • The absence of iTunes:

If you want to transfer your iPhone photos to a PC by plugging your iPhone into the PC, you have to install the latest iTunes on this computer. Otherwise, your computer can only detect your iPhone and then do nothing.

To transfer photos from the iPhone to the PC, download and install iTunes. Then, pick up one from the mentioned 4 methods.