It should be no surprise to anyone that photos have become a huge part of our lives, recently more than ever. Recent research has found that around 1.2 trillion photos were taken worldwide in 2017 - 85% of which were taken on a smartphone. This figure comprises all of the holiday snaps, selfies and landscape shots that we take every day on our powerful hand-held phone cameras. This, in conjunction with platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where you can share your photos with the world, make photos precious and important to many lifestyles.
One of the biggest questions we are asked is how to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone. Of course, when you invest in or upgrade to a new iPhone, you want to take all your photos with you. This article will guide you through the best ways you can do it!
Jump straight to:
- Method 1: TouchCopy
- Method 2: iCloud
- Method 3: iTunes (or Finder on macOS Catalina and higher)
- Method 4: Airdrop
Method 1: TouchCopy (how to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone without iCloud)
First up is our easiest and most robust method - the TouchCopy software.
TouchCopy is the only tool you need for managing your iPhone with your computer. With it, you can copy all kinds of data like Music, Messages, Photos, Contacts and more. You can even copy the photos sent and received in SMS, MMS and iMessages!
TouchCopy is great and you can use it locally on your computer, so you don't need to worry about having Wi-Fi or using iCloud services. In this method, we'll need to transfer photos from iPhone to computer, then transfer the photos from computer to your new iPhone.
Let's see how to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone...
- Open TouchCopy and connect your iPhone.
- Click Photos > Copy Photos.
- Once your Photos are copied to your computer, close TouchCopy and safely disconnect your iPhone.
- Connect your new iPhone and open iTunes (or Finder if you are using macOS Catalina or higher).
- Select your device in iTunes or Finder > Click Photos > Check the option to Sync Photos > Select the folder on your computer you wish to copy photos from > Click Apply.
Try TouchCopy free ▼
Receive an email with a link so you can download the free trial on your computer:
Note: We respect your privacy. We won't share your Email address with anyone else, or send you spam.
Method 2: iCloud
Next up is Apple's cloud service - iCloud. iCloud is great because you can access any of your data that is stored in iCloud on any of your devices that are using the same Apple ID. The restrictions for this method are that it requires an internet connection to access photos or upload photos to iCloud, and that your iCloud space is limited.
When you sign up for iCloud, you get 5GB of space free. If you need any additional space, you can take out a monthly subscription with your desired plan.
Let's see how to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone using iCloud...
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > [Your Name] > iCloud > Photos.
- Ensure that the "iCloud Photos" entry is toggled ON.
- Select either "Optimize iPhone Storage" or "Download and Keep Originals".
- Your iPhone will start uploading photos to iCloud.
- Once done, enable iCloud Photos on the other iPhone.
- Open the Photos app > 'All Photos' on the new iPhone to view all iCloud Photos.
Method 3: iTunes (or Finder on macOS Catalina and higher)
The penultimate method we'll cover uses Apple's own ecosystem: iTunes or Finder. iTunes was discontinued from macOS Catalina on Mac, so if you are using such a system, simply use the Finder app, rather than iTunes when following this section. This method has the most complications and difficulties, so let's check those out before we get started:
- You can only transfer photos from your iPhone's Camera Roll (not iCloud Photos, photos synced from computer, shared photos)
- Syncing photos from iTunes can overwrite your current photo library on your iPhone, so you could lose photos if a backup has not been made.
- You can't transfer photos with iTunes if you use iCloud Photos (as seen in Method 2). However, if you turn off iCloud Photos on your iPhone, all the photos stored in iCloud but not on your device will be deleted.
To avoid any complications, we recommend using Method 1.
Step 1: First, you'll need to transfer photos from iPhone to computer.
- Windows PC- Connect your iPhone to PC or laptop with a USB cable > In the AutoPlay popup, click Import Pictures and Videos > Select a destination for the iPhone photos > Click Import.
- Mac- Connect your iPhone to Mac with a USB cable > Launch the Photos app > Select your device > Select the photos you wish to transfer > Click Import Selected. You can instead use the "Import All New Items" button to import any photos which you have not previously imported to your Mac before!
Step 2: Now you can transfer photos from computer to iPhone.
If using Windows or macOS Mojave or earlier...
- Connect your new iPhone to your computer with a USB cable.
- Launch iTunes.
- Click your device icon.
- Click the "Photos" header.
- Check "Sync Photos" and choose an application or folder.
- Click Apply.
If using a Mac with macOS Catalina or later...
- Connect your new iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable.
- Launch the Finder app.
- Select your device.
- Click the "Photos" header.
- Check "Sync photos to your device from:" and choose an application or folder.
- Click Apply.
Method 4: Transfer photos directly from iPhone to iPhone with Airdrop
If you only have a few photos to send, Apple's free Airdrop service may be all you need. This method is really quick and easy once you've set up Airdrop on your iPhones.
Before you begin sending photos, open the Control Center on your iPhone by swiping down from the top-right corner of your screen (if using an earlier iPhone than iPhone X, you can instead swipe up from the bottom of your screen).
- Open the Control Center on each of your iPhones, turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- Tap and hold the connection section of the Control Center, then ensure Airdrop is turned on. When you enable Airdrop, choose either Contacts Only or Everyone. Also, ensure Personal Hotspot is turned off.
- Next, open the Photos app on your first iPhone and select the photos you wish to copy to your second iPhone. To select multiple photos, you can tap "Select", then tap all the photos you like.
- Tap the Share icon at the bottom of your iPhone screen, then tap the AirDrop option.
- Choose the person or device you want to send the photos to.
- You may need to tap to accept the files on the receiving device.
Thanks for reading!
Don't forget to like & share with your friends!