How to Transfer Photos From iPhone to Mac or Windows?

Tips • Nov.23, 2021

transfer iphone photo

Transferring your photos from an iPhone to a Windows PC or Mac has never been easier. However, it can get challenging if you don’t do it the right way.

Your iPhone has impressive cameras that can rival some budget point-and-shoot cameras to capture phenomenal photos. However, when it’s time to view or edit your photos, the tiny screen can just do so much.

So, when you need to edit or display your photos to their maximum quality and resolution, you will need a larger display. To do that, you would need to transfer the pictures over to a PC or Mac.

Yes, you can transfer some photos as an email attachment, but sending many photos can get tricky. So, if you too use a Mac or Windows PC alongside your iPhone, then here are some quick and easy ways to transfer photos from your iPhone to your desktop.

The guide includes:

Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac

Here are 5 quick and easy ways to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac:

Transfer using Airdrop

The easiest way to transfer files or photos from your iPhone to your Mac is by using Airdrop. If you are deep into the Apple ecosystem and want to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac, simply use Airdrop by following the steps below:

  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone
  • Select all the photos you want to transfer to your Mac
  • Finally, tap on the “Share” button and select your Mac to start the transfer process

Note: If you log in with the same iCloud account on both your devices, then the photos will instantly sync themselves automatically.

Transfer using Photos app

The Photos app is the same across your macOS devices and iOS devices. So, it is automatically synced if you have been logged in with the same iCloud account. However, if you don’t, then follow the steps below:

photos mac

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable
  • Now, on your Mac, open the Photos app and select your iPhone on the left sidebar
  • Finally, choose the photos you want and click the “Import Photos” button to start importing all the images on your Mac

Transfer using Files

The Files app on your iPhone helps you manage all your files, but it can also sync with various third-party cloud drives such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft’s OneDrive. We can use this to our advantage and transfer photos using it, and you can too by following the process below:


  • Open the “Files” app on your iPhone
  • Go to the “Browse” screen and tap on the three-dot button on the top-right section of your screen.
  • Tap on “Edit” and then under “Locations” enable the third-party cloud service.
  • Now, you can instantly save and share the photos from your iPhone by choosing the “Save to Files” option and selecting the storage service.
  • Finally, go to your Mac and the cloud storage to find all your photos ready.

Transfer using iCloud Photos

You can instantly sync all your photos from your iPhone to your Mac with a few simple clicks. All you need to do is log in with the same iCloud account on your Mac and iPhone and then follow the steps below:

  • Go to the “Settings” app on your iPhone
  • Now, scroll down to find the “Photos” section and click on it
  • Toggle the “iCloud Photos” button and enable it
  • Now, launch the “Photos” app on your Mac and then go into the “Preferences” menu
  • Click on the “iCloud” button and enable the “iCloud Photos” button

Note: This will enable constant sync across your devices, which means that all your photos on your iPhone will be transferred to your Mac.

iCloud photos

Transfer using Image Capture

The Image Capture tool on your Mac is made to help import images from digital cameras and other such devices. However, it can also be used to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac, and you can do this by:

image capture

  • Connect the iPhone to your Mac with a wired connection
  • Next, run the “Image Capture” app on your Mac and select your iPhone
  • Open the “Import To” menu and then choose the images you want to transfer
  • Finally, select “Photos” and let the transfer begin

Related: Top FREE Tools to Convert HEIC-to-JPG

Transfer photos from iPhone to Windows

Here are 4 quick and easy ways to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Windows PC:

Transfer using File Explorer

The easiest way to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC. All you need to have is a USB cable and some photos that you want to transfer. So, follow the steps below, and we’re sure you’ll nail it.


  • Firstly, connect your iPhone to your PC with a USB cable
  • Next, unlock your iPhone and click on the “Allow” or “Trust” pop-up.
  • Now, open up the “File Explorer” and double-click on your iPhone.
  • Finally, open the “DCIM” folder, and you should see all your photos categorized in folders.

Transfer using Photos app

You can also use the in-build Windows Photos app to transfer all your photos from an iPhone. The process is rather lengthy, so we would only advise you to use this if the file explorer isn’t working. Follow the steps below to start the transferring process:

win photos

  • Connect your iPhone to your PC and then run the Photos app
  • Click on the “Import” button on the top-left corner and select the “From a connected device” option.
  • Now, you should see all the photos from your iPhone pop-up. Just select the photos and click the blue “Import” button.

Transfer using iCloud for Windows

Yes! iCloud is also available on Windows, and you can get it from the Apple webpage or the Windows Store. Follow the steps below, and you’ll be transferring files in no time.


  • Firstly, download and install iCloud and log in to the same account as on your iPhone
  • Now, select “Photos” and then download all the photos you want to

Note: If you have a lot of images, the download can take some amount of time.

Transfer using Google Drive or Dropbox

The same concept as using iCloud. However, you would need to enable a third-party cloud storage service on your iPhone. Once you’ve done that, follow the steps below:

  • Download Google Photos or Dropbox on your iPhone and run them
  • Next, grant the permission to “Allow access to all Photos” and then sign in with the same account on your PC.
  • Finally, backup all your photos from your iPhone, and you should see them on your PC with the help of Google Drive or Dropbox web apps.

Bonus tip: Use iMazing or AnyTrans

Finally, if you don’t want to go through the hassle of changing methods for both Mac and PCs and want a unified interface, then use a third-party iPhone transfer tool which offers an alternative approach to copying your photos from the iPhone to computer.

There are hundreds of tools to choose from, but the best we’ve come across are iMazing and AnyTrans. They do require a fee, but the overall performance is impressive, and we were able to transfer data over quickly and efficiently without wasting any time.


Take iMazing in action, for example:

  • Firstly, you need to download, install and run iMazing on your Mac or Windows PC
  • Now, connect your iPhone, and you will reach the home page
  • Finally, click on the “Quick Transfer” or the “Photos” tool and swiftly transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC or Mac.

Both iMazing and AnyTrans offer free trials for Windows and macOS,  that should let you decide if you want to take the plunge and purchase either one of them.

Related: iMazing vs AnyTrans, Which Should You Get?

Final words

While transferring photos from your iPhone to your Mac or PC isn’t much challenging, it can quickly get time-consuming. Hence, we have discussed the best methods to effectively and rapidly transfer photos from your iPhone.

So, we hope that the guide above has helped you out, and with that said, we have reached the end. We wish you the best and hope that you have an easy time backing up your photos.

You may also like: