How to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC


If you like to have your photos on multiple devices, getting images off your iPhone can be a critically important task. If you have a Mac, you know that Apple makes it easy to move your photos from your iPhone to your Mac in multiple ways. But what about Windows PC owners? Are they left out in the cold?

The good news is that, no, Windows users aren’t left behind. In fact, you might say it’s just as easy to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Windows PC as it is with your Mac. You have a couple of options for moving over a USB-to-Lightning, as well as iCloud Photo Library, which can indeed be set up on Windows.

Here’s what you need to know about how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC.

Download iTunes

If you’re transferring photos over via one of the best USB-C cables, you’ll need to install iTunes for Windows 10 onto your PC. This will allow your iPhone to be recognized by your PC in the File Explorer, which you’ll need for the manual transfer.

You can download iTunes for Windows from the Windows Store here.

Connecting your iPhone

Connecting your iPhone to your Windows PC requires a few more steps than just plugging it in.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your PC using a USB-to-Lightning cable.

    Plug Phone In To Cable

    Plug Lightning Cable Into PcSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore

  2. Tap Trust on your iPhone. This might take a few seconds to pop up.
  3. Enter your passcode on your iPhone.

    Connect iPhone to Windows PC, showing how to tap Trust, then enter your passcode

    Source: iMore

You should now be able to transfer photos to your Windows PC over a wired connection.

How to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC with the Windows 10 Photos app

  1. While your iPhone is connected to your PC, click the Start button on the lower left side of your PC screen.
  2. Scroll down the file menu and select Photos.

    Start Icon Windows

    Start Photos WindowsSource: iMore

  3. Select Import.
  4. Choose From a connected device.

    Import Photos App Windows

    Import From A Connected Device Photos App WindowsSource: iMore

  5. Click the drop down menu under Select.
  6. You can choose to import All items or Items since last import.

    Photos App Drop Down Menu Select Windows

    Items Since Last Import Photos App WindowsSource: iMore

After making your image import choice, you’ll simply need to wait until the PC finishes importing your iPhone images. When that’s done, you can close the Photo app and can disconnect your iPhone from the PC.

How to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC with File Explorer

This isn’t the easiest option available, but it is the one that gives you the most choices in where to store your photos.

  1. While your iPhone is connected to your PC, click the Start button on the lower left side of your PC screen.
  2. Select Pictures.

    Start Icon Windows

    Pictures WindowsSource: iMore

  3. Click This PC from the side bar menu.
  4. Now select Apple iPhone or any other name associated with the Apple device you are using.

    This Pc Windows

    This Pc Apple Iphone WindowsSource: iMore

  5. Select Internal Storage.
  6. Choose the DCIM folder.

    This Pc Apple Iphone Internal Storage Windows

    This Pc Apple Iphone Internal Storage Dcim WindowsSource: iMore

  7. If you have more than one file, choose the file you’d like to get pictures from.
  8. Using the mouse, click and drag over the images you’d like to bring to your PC. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + A to select everything.

    Iphone Image File Windows

    Select Iphone Images WindowsSource: iMore

  9. Right click the mouse.
  10. Select Copy.

    Right Click Mouse Pc

    Copy Selected Iphone Images WindowsSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore and iMore

  11. In the side menu, choose the place that you’d like to import these images to. For me that was Pictures.
  12. Select any file that you want to place the iPhone images into.

    Pictiures Windows

    Choose A File WindowsSource: iMore

  13. Now right click the mouse.
  14. Select Paste. After a moment, the images you selected will be brought to your PC.

    Right Click Mouse Pc

    Paste Iphone Images WindowsSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore and iMore

Once all of the images have been brought over, you can close the windows you used and then disconnect your iPhone from the PC.

How to transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC over iCloud

Of course, you might not want to bother with a wired connection. Maybe you want your photos to your PC over the cloud. Well, you can do that with iCloud Photo Library. Apple makes an iCloud app for PCs that allows you to set up features like iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Drive on Windows:

How to set up and use iCloud Photo Library on a Windows PC

Mastering easy transfers

As you can see, using an iPhone with a PC computer isn’t so hard after all! Apple can play nice with all the other tech brands, as long as you know what you’re doing. Maintaining an organized iCloud account can also make a big difference. Once you transfer those photos, back them up on iCloud to make sure they are safe in the future.

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