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How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac

by | Jan 8, 2024

Nowadays, iPhones have lots of storage space available. They can also handle various image editing tasks quite well. However, there may come a point when you want to transfer photos from your iPhone to a Mac and edit them using more powerful software. Alternatively, you might want to free up space on your iPhone by transferring a large number of photos to your Mac and storing them there instead. This article will guide you on how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac

1. Use Airdrop

AirDrop is Apple’s own technology that lets you quickly transfer files between Apple devices when they’re close to each other (around 30 feet). Before you start, make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on for both your iPhone and Mac.

Follow these steps to use AirDrop:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
Use Airdrop
  1. Choose the photos you want to transfer to your computer, then tap the Share icon at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Select AirDrop, which is the first option in the Share menu.
Use Airdrop
  1. Choose your computer’s name from the available options.
  2. Your iPhone will show a “Sent” message below your computer’s name and your Mac’s toolbar to confirm a successful transfer.
Use Airdrop

If you want the photos to be automatically saved, ensure that both your iPhone and Mac are logged into the same iCloud account. Otherwise, you’ll need to click “Save” when the files arrive on your computer.

2. Use Finder (macOS Catalina or later)

If you have macOS Catalina (10.15) or a newer version, you can sync your iPhone with your Mac using Finder. Here’s how you can sync your photos from your iPhone to your Mac:

Use Finder (macOS Catalina or later)
  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cable.
  2. On your Mac, open a new Finder window.
  3. In the sidebar, look for your iPhone under the “Devices” section and click on it.
  4. At the top of the window, click on “Photos.”
  5. Check the box that says “Sync Photos.”
  6. Choose the app or folder you want to sync the photos from.
  7. Decide if you want to sync all photos and albums or only selected albums.
  8. Finally, click on “Apply.”
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3. Use a third-party tool like AnyTrans

While iCloud and Photos are popular choices for transferring images, they have their limitations. If you’re looking for a fast and efficient way to transfer all your iPhone content and create a backup at the same time, using a third-party tool like AnyTrans for iOS is a smart option.

AnyTrans is a tool that combines backup functionality with media downloading, allowing you to easily migrate your content. 

Here’s how you can use AnyTrans to transfer photos and other data from your iPhone to your computer:

AnyTrans
  1. Launch AnyTrans and make sure both your devices are connected to the same network.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cable.
  3. Grant AnyTrans access to your photo library when prompted.
  4. Go to the Device Manager in AnyTrans and select the option to export iPhone content to your computer.
  5. Your content will be transferred instantly. Additionally, it will also sync to iCloud, so you don’t need to worry about having a backup of your photos.

4. Use Photos

One of the fastest ways to import photos is by connecting your iPhone to your Mac using the Lightning-to-USB cable you usually use to charge your iPhone. When you connect your iPhone, the Photos app on macOS will automatically open and suggest importing your photos. Also read How To Delete Duplicate Photos on iPhone | 2024.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the import process:

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the Lightning-to-USB cable.
  • If necessary, unlock your iPhone and confirm that it trusts the connected device.
Use Photos
  • The Photos app should load and display the images from your iPhone in the main window. If it doesn’t, select your iPhone from the menu on the left side of the Photos app. Now you’ll see all the photos and videos stored in your iPhone’s Camera Roll.
Use Photos
  • Click on “Import All New Items” in the top right corner, or manually go through the photos, select the ones you want to import, and click on “Import Selected.”
Use Photos
  • Once the import is complete, you can choose to have Photos automatically delete the pictures from your iPhone. This will free up space for you to take more pictures in the future.

5. Use Image Capture

If you want to transfer your pictures from your iPhone to your Mac, you can use the Image Capture app that comes pre-installed with macOS. Here’s a simple guide to importing your photos:

Use Image Capture
  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cable.
  2. Open the Image Capture app on your Mac.
  3. In the sidebar of Image Capture, you’ll see your iPhone listed under the “Devices” section. Click on it.
  4. At the bottom of the Image Capture window, you’ll find the “Import To” menu. Select the location on your Mac where you want to save the imported pictures.
  5. Choose the specific photos you want to import by selecting them individually or use the “Import All” option to import all the photos from your iPhone.
  6. Finally, click on the “Import” button to start the transfer process.
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By following these steps, you can easily upload your desired photos from your iPhone to your Mac using Image Capture.

6. Use iCloud

If you want to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac, you can use iCloud. iCloud Photo Library, also known as iCloud Photos, can handle the task for you. However, if you have more than 5GB of photos and videos, you may need to upgrade your storage plan, which costs anywhere from $0.99 per month for 50GB to $9.99 for 2TB of cloud storage.

To set up iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone, follow these steps:

Use iCloud
  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on your name at the top.
  3. Go to iCloud.
  4. Under the iCloud storage indicator, you’ll find a list of Apps Using iCloud. Tap on Photos.
  5. Switch on iCloud Photos.

Now, to set it up on your Mac:

 Use iCloud
  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Go to the Photos menu in the menu bar.
  3. Click on Preferences.
  4. Next, click on iCloud.
  5. Check the box next to iCloud Photo Library (in macOS Mojave, it’s called iCloud Photos).

If you’ve followed both sets of steps and both your devices are using the same Apple ID, your photos and videos will automatically sync between your iPhone and Mac. This means any changes, additions, or deletions you make to your photos on one device will be reflected on the other.

7. Use the Files app

Think of the Files app as a file manager on your phone. It allows you to connect cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive to transfer files between devices. This handy tool lets you organize your photo transfers, compress them if necessary, and use any cloud service as a bridge to send them to your Mac. However, you need to connect and enable these services first.

Here’s how you can use the Files app to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac:

  1. Open the Files app on your iPhone.
  2. If you’re on a different screen, tap on the Browse tab.
  3. Tap the ellipsis icon in the upper right corner.
  4. Tap Edit.
  5. Under Locations, toggle and enable the desired third-party service or app from the list.
  6. Tap Done.
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To transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac using the Files app:

  1. Select the photo(s) you want to transfer from your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the Share icon to bring up the share sheet.
  3. Choose “Save to Files.”
  4. Select the cloud service and the folder within it where you want to save the photos. You can create a new folder if needed. You also have the option to rename a single photo before exporting it.
  5. Tap on Save.
  6. Go to your Mac and view the photo or video in iCloud Drive.

As you can see, the Files app offers more than just iCloud integration. It provides a convenient way to send photos to shared folders among friends and family on the cloud, as well as backup your iPhone photos.

Which Is the Faster Way to Transfer Photos?

When it comes to transferring photos from an iPhone to a Mac, you might think that a wired connection is the fastest option. However, Lightning cables have the same data transfer speed as USB 2.0, so they’re not particularly fast. Uploading photos in bulk to iCloud or iCloud Drive can also be limited by your internet bandwidth. Additionally, the free space available on iCloud is limited to 5GB that is shared among all your files. However, if your photos are already on iCloud, syncing them to your Mac is quick and easy, making it the fastest method.

So, as a general rule, if you have a smaller batch of photos, using AirDrop is a faster option. For larger transfers or as per your specific needs, you may consider using other methods.

Conclusion

I hope this guide has been helpful in teaching you how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac. If you have any further questions or need tutorials for iPhones, Androids, or more Mac-related topics, please leave a comment. We value your feedback as it helps us improve our future articles. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our daily newsletter to stay informed about the latest news and updates regarding social media, apps, and devices.

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