How to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Mac

While Apple’s iCloud is the easiest way to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Mac, it’s still possible and sometime even desirable to transfer them directly.

This can be the case if your iCloud storage capacity is limited, or if you happen to find yourself in an area without a Wi-Fi connection and need to get your photos transferred quickly. It’s also simply quicker to transfer a lot of photos at once using the physical transfer process.

Whatever the reasons, here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Mac directly.

What we used

We used the iPhone 13 Pro, but these methods will work on any iPhoneWe used the official Apple Lightning to USB-C cable that shipped with our iPhone 13 Pro, but any Lightning cable will doWe used a MacBook Pro 16-inch (2019), but any Mac will work

The Short Version

Connect your iPhone to your MacOpen the Photos appTrust your MacImport photosDisconnect your iPhone

Step 1 Connect your iPhone to your MacConnect your iPhone to your Mac using a Lightning-to-USB cable. The one that came with your iPhone should suffice, but any USB cable with Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector on one end will work. Step 2 Open the Photos appOpen the Photos app on your Mac. You should see your iPhone listed in the left-hand menu, under Devices. Click on it. Step 3 Trust your MacPhotos will now request that you unlock your iPhone, and your iPhone (when unlocked) will ask you if you trust your computer. Agree to trust it and enter your passcode to authenticate. Step 4 Import photosPhotos will now show you all of the apps that are available to import. Select the photos you wish to import followed by the Import Selected button, or hit the Import New Photo button in the top right corner to only import fresh images that aren’t already in Photos. Step 5 Disconnect your iPhoneOnce your photos have been imported, unplug your iPhone


What if I own a Windows PC? There’s a slightly different process if you own a Windows PC rather than a Mac, but it’s similarly easy What if my Lightning-to-USB cable doesn’t fit my Mac? There are two types of USB port you might encounter on your Mac: the smaller USB-A and the larger USB-C. If your cable doesn’t fit, you’ll need to invest in an appropriate USB dongle.

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