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How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Laptop (PC and Mac)

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How to transfer pictures from iPhone to laptop

This article will guide you through the best 5 ways that you can transfer photos from your iPhone, iPod or iPad to your laptop:

  1. Sync Photos the Smart Way (PC)
  2. Transfer photos with TouchCopy (PC or Mac)
  3. Import photos to Windows
  4. Import photos to Mac
  5. Sync photos with iCloud (PC and Mac)

Option 1: Transfer photos from iPhone to your laptop the smart way.

Using popular transfer software TouchCopy, you can set a folder on your computer to transfer your iPhone photos to. The beauty of this method is that you will never create duplicates of photos that you have already copied.

On Windows, you can use TouchCopy's Export Photos function, to essentially sync the photos from your iPhone with your chosen folder on your computer. TouchCopy will show you which iPhone photos are not yet in the destination folder! Let's see how it works...

  1. Launch TouchCopy on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone using the USB cable.
  3. Click Photos.
  4. Hit "Export Photos" and choose a folder where you want to store your iPhone photos.
  5. Click the photos you want to export, or click "Select All" if you want to sync them all.
  6. Finally, click Export to export your photos!
Exporting photos from iPhone to PC with TouchCopy

Great! Now when you go and take some new pictures on your iPhone, you can do the same process with TouchCopy and the software will show only the new photos that you have not yet copied to your computer.

See it in action

Option 2: To transfer photos from iPhone to Laptop using TouchCopy, follow these steps...

How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Laptop using TouchCopy...

  1. Download, install and activate TouchCopy.
  2. Run TouchCopy and connect your iPhone with your USB cable.
  3. On the "Photos" tab, you'll see a list of all of your device's photo albums, select the photos/albums you'd like to save.
  4. Press "Save to PC" or "Copy to Mac" depending on your system, and select a location on your laptop for your photos to be stored in.

You can download the free trial of TouchCopy below, allowing you to transfer up to 100 tracks, FREE!

Download TouchCopy Now

How to transfer photos from iPhone to laptop.

Transfer photos iPhone to laptop - TouchCopy Photos section.

The easiest and most thorough way to transfer your iPhone photos to your laptop is to use a professional data transfer application such as TouchCopy. Photos from a Camera Roll can be transferred without this software (Option 3), but to transfer photos from other albums, TouchCopy is needed.

You can use TouchCopy to access and copy any data from your device, including Music, Contacts and Messages. It works with all iPods, iPhones and iPads and you can install it on either PC or Mac systems.

Option 3: To transfer photos from iPhone to Laptop using Windows Explorer (without iTunes), follow these steps...

As previously mentioned, if your iPhone has multiple albums from different sources, you may need to use the method in Options 1 or 2. However, for photos stored in your iPhone Camera Roll, you can transfer your photos directly to your laptop using Windows Explorer.

Let's get started...

  1. With your iPhone connected to your laptop using USB, create a new folder on your desktop. This is where you'll copy your Photos to. I've called mine 'Photo-Transfer' in this example.
  2. Open Windows Explorer on your laptop. You'll see a list of your removable storage under 'Computer', click on your iPhone listing.
  3. Click through Internal Storage -> DCIM to find your Camera Roll photos. Transfer photos from iPhone to laptop using Windows Explorer
  4. Select the photos you wish to copy to your laptop. Right-click and select Copy.
  5. Open up your folder that you created earlier on your desktop. Right-click and select Paste. Transfer pictures from iPhone to laptop final step

Option 4: Import iPhone photos to Mac or MacBook using the Photos app

This option is great if you don't want to store your iPhone photos in iCloud. It works similarly to Option 1 in that it will intelligently tell you what you have already imported, so you won't waste time or space on your Mac by copying duplicates of your photos.

This method requires your Mac or MacBook to be running iTunes 12.5.1 or later, so make sure that your iTunes is up to date before you begin.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using your USB cable.
  2. Open the Photos app on your Mac (if it doesn't open automatically).
  3. Click your iPhone under "Devices" on the left of the Photos app window.
  4. Optional: select the photos you want to import.
  5. Click "Import Selected" if you have selected photos, or "Import All New Items".
Import iPhone photos to Mac or MacBook using Photos app

Photos will show you which photos you have already imported, and any new photos that you can back up.

Option 5: Sync iPhone photos with your computer using iCloud

iCloud is the perfect way to keep your photo library up to date on all your Apple devices. Using iCloud allows you to access your photos on any device which uses your Apple ID (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, PC and even Apple TV!).

Here's an example of how it works: Say you have iCloud Photos enabled on your iPhone, iPad and PC. You take a selfie, on your iPhone, to be envied by all your friends. The photo will automatically be available on your iPhone, as well as your iPad and PC. Smart, right?

Before you begin, make sure you have enough space in iCloud to store your iPhone photos (iCloud Photos uses your iCloud storage allowance). Also make sure that your devices are signed in with your Apple ID and are connected to WiFi.

This option will guide you through setting up iCloud Photos so you can get your photos on all your devices. Check out Apple's guide if you want to make copies of your iCloud photos locally on your devices.

Now, we'll break down the process into 2 parts: (1) uploading your iPhone photos to iCloud, (2) downloading photos from iCloud. Let's jump right in!

How to upload iPhone photos to iCloud:

  1. Tap the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap [your name] > iCloud > Photos.
  3. Toggle "iCloud Photos" ON.
    Download photos from iCloud to PC
  4. Your photos will automatically upload to iCloud.

Depending on the speed of your internet, the time taken to see your photos in iCloud and on your other devices may differ.

Downloading photos from iCloud to your computer is now simply a case of setting up iCloud on your PC or Mac!

How to download photos from iCloud to Mac:

  1. On your Mac, open System Preferences.
  2. Click iCloud (or Apple ID > iCloud for macOS 10.15 users).
  3. Click Options next to Photos, then enable iCloud Photos (or simply tick Photos for macOS 10.15 users).
  4. Photos will begin to sync with iCloud.
    Download photos from iCloud to Mac
    Mac Photos App downloading photos from iCloud

You can change your iCloud photo preferences in Photos > Preferences > iCloud. Here you can set whether you'd like to download original (full resolution) photos from iCloud, or whether to download device-optimized photos instead (using the "Optimise Mac Storage" option).

How to download photos from iCloud to PC:

  1. Download and open iCloud for Windows.
  2. Next to "Photos" click Options.
  3. Tick to enable "iCloud Photo Library".
  4. Click Done, then Apply.
  5. Open File Explorer > iCloud Photos > Download photos and videos. Download photos from iCloud to PC
  6. Choose the photos you want to download from iCloud.

Note: Selecting iCloud folder/s to download photos from will also mean that new photos added to those folders will automatically be downloaded to your PC.

For example, I choose to download photos from my "2020" folder in iCloud. My current 2020 photos are downloaded to my PC. I then take 10 new photos for a trip to the park using my iPhone (which uses iCloud Photos). The Photos are stored in iCloud and are automatically downloaded to my PC too!


So now you know 5 effective ways to transfer your iPhone photos to your laptop without iTunes. As you can see, each method will suit a slightly different situation.

For example, if you need to back up your photos on a regular basis (always a good idea), I would recommend either Option 1 if you are using Windows, or Option 4 if you are using Mac. Whereas if you'd like to be able to access your photos from any device, you'll probably fancy Option 5.

Go forth and save your photos!

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Publisher: Wide Angle Software