Need to move the photos stored on your iPhone over to your Mac computer? You’re in the right place – we intend to show you 3 different methods that work quite well. This will allow you to free the storage space on your iPhone, especially if you’ve taken a lot of screenshots, or create a backup. Additionally, we’ll try to satisfy both those who prefer using cables to maximize speed and those who prefer to do it conveniently, via Wi-Fi. Also, we’ve tested and confirmed these methods on both macOS Catalina and Big Sur. Without further ado, here’s how to import photos from iPhone to Mac.
Method 1. Get photos from iPhone to Mac via USB cable
Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lighting-to-USB cable. Then, follow these steps.
1. Use the Photos app
- Open the Photos app on your Mac.
- The Import window should pop up immediately. If you don’t see it, you can tap on the device name (For example, Jack’s iPhone) in the sidebar on the left, under Devices.
- You’ll likely be asked whether you Trust This Computer. Tap on Trust to proceed. Oftentimes you’re also asked to unlock your iPhone via your passcode.
- You can now select images and click on Import Selected. Alternatively, click on Import All New Photos in the upper right corner.
2. Use the Image Capture App
- Open Image Capture on your Mac.
- Select your iPhone name in the bar on the left, under Devices.
- Click on Import To: at the bottom of the window to select a location on your Mac.
- Select the photos you want to transfer and click Import at the bottom right corner.
- Optional. Click on Import All.
Method 2. How to use iCloud and Photo Stream to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac
The beauty of using Apple devices is using iCloud for cloud photo storage. Photo Stream is similar, although the storage limit is 30 days and/or 1000 photos in total. Here’s what to do.
1. Photo Stream
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Tap on your name at the top, then select iCloud.
- Make sure it says On next to Photos under Apps using iCloud, then tap on the option.
- Toggle Upload to My Photo Stream to on.
- Switch over to your Mac, and open the Photos app.
- In the upper left corner menu, click on Photos, and select Preferences.
- Switch to the iCloud tab.
- Tick the box in front of My Photo Stream.
- Photos will be uploaded to the Photos app whenever your Wi-Fi is enabled.
- Follow steps 1 through 3 above.
- Toggle iCloud Photos to on.
- On your Mac, click the Apple logo in the upper left corner.
- Select System Preferences, then click on Apple ID in the top right corner.
- Make sure boxes in front of iCloud Drive and Photos are checked.
- If prompted, enter your administrator password.
- Check your Photos app after the upload is complete.
Method 3. Steps to move images between iPhone and Mac via AirDrop
For this to work, you need to connect both your iPhone and your Mac computer to the same wireless network. Then, do this.
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Tap to select the photo(s) you want to send.
- Tap on the Share icon in the bottom left corner.
- Select AirDrop from the pop-up menu.
- If asked, select your computer name. For example, Jack’s MacBook Pro.
- If everything went right, you will see a Sent notification.
- If it didn’t, open Finder on your Mac, click on Go in the menu, select AirDrop, and select Everyone.
- You will be prompted to click on Save and select a location or they might be stored in your iCloud automatically.
Easy wireless alternative. Use the Mail app
This is a quick way to send one or a few photos to send between your Apple devices if you aren’t home. Here’s how.
- Follow steps 1 through 3 above.
- Select Mail in the menu that pops up.
- Enter your e-mail address as the recipient, and, if needed, resize the photos before sending.
- On your Mac, simply open the Mail application.
- Check your Inbox, preview, and save images to a location of your choosing.
Method 4. Using Third-Party Apps to Import Photos from iPhone to Mac
Despite the variety of ways that Apple offers to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Mac, some users may still prefer using third-party applications due to their additional features and easier interfaces. Two notable examples are Adobe Lightroom and the Photo Transfer App.
Adobe Lightroom is a robust photo editing application that’s popular among photographers. It also offers a handy feature that allows users to import their photos directly from their iPhones to the app on their Macs. Here’s how:
- Download Adobe Lightroom from the App Store on both your iPhone and Mac.
- On your iPhone, open Adobe Lightroom and select the photos you want to import.
- Tap on the ‘Share’ button and choose ‘Direct Import to Lightroom’.
- Make sure your iPhone and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Lightroom on your Mac should detect your iPhone and automatically import the selected photos.
Photo Transfer App
Photo Transfer App is a simple, user-friendly app designed specifically for transferring photos and videos between devices. The app supports transfer over Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for a USB cable. Follow these steps:
- Download the Photo Transfer App on both your iPhone and Mac.
- Connect both devices to the same Wi-Fi network.
- Open the app on your iPhone, select the photos you want to transfer, then tap ‘Send’.
- On your Mac, open the Photo Transfer App and click on ‘Receive’. Your photos should start transferring.
Remember, third-party applications might have different privacy and data handling policies compared to Apple’s built-in features. Make sure to review these policies before using any third-party apps.
While the above-mentioned methods should cover most users’ needs, everyone has a slightly different workflow. Experiment with these different methods and find the one that suits your needs the best.
Whether it’s the simplicity of AirDrop, the synchronization of iCloud, the power of Lightroom, or the specificity of the Photo Transfer App, there’s a solution out there for everyone.