Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC

Top 5 Methods to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Windows PC You Should Know


What should be the best methods to transfer photos from iPhone to PC? If you are using the HEIC format of iPhone, you might find the iPhone run out of storage soon. Once you copy these photos to your Windows, you can delete them from iPhone to release up more space.

The article shares 5 different methods to copy photos from iPhone to PC. You can use the original USB to transfer photos with iTunes/AutoPlay, use the cloud service with iCloud/Dropbox, or even the email service.

Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC



Part 1: How to transfer photos from iPhone to PC with Windows Explorer

When you need to copy photos from iPhone to PC without install any program, Windows Internet Explorer is the right option. Your iPhone is regarded as a hard drive when it connected to PC with USB cable. This will allow you to view all the photos on iPhone and transfer photos from iPhone to PC individually and selectively.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your PC with USB cable. Make sure you have unlocked the screen of your phone. If you haven’t connected your iPhone to your PC before, your iPhone will prompt you to trust the computer. Tap the option “Allow” to allow the access.

Step 2: If you are the first time connecting iPhone to PC, the PC will automatically installing the drives for your iPhone. Then it will show you with a pop-up that allows you to import the pictures and videos using Windows or Windows Live Photo Gallery, and finally using Windows Explorer. You can also go to “My Computer” to find your iPhone.

Step 3: Select “Import pictures and videos” in the AutoPlay pop-up if you want to quickly copy photos from iPhone to PC all at one time. Choose “Import pictures and videos” tool if you want to add tags to your photos or specify how the imported pictures should be organized.

Step 4: If you wish to view them before transferring photos from iPhone to PC, and select just some of the photo from iPhone for transferring. You need to select “Open device to view files” in the AutoPlay pop-up.

Step 5: Then find DCIM files in your internal storage, and then within the DCIM folder you’ll find the picture folder. All the photo and video are stored in your picture folder, from there simply copy/cut and paste the photos to the location you want to place on your computer.

Transfer Photos to Computer with Windows Explorer


Part 2: How to copy photos from iPhone to Windows PC with iCloud

iCloud Photo Library works seamlessly with the Photos app to keep your photos and videos securely stored in iCloud and up to date on your iPhone. After enabling iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone, the photos will be uploaded to iCloud. Since iCloud app could work with PC, you can copy photos from iPhone to PC via iCloud.

Step 1: Turn on iCloud Photo Library, go to “Settings” > “iCloud” > “Photos”, turn on iCloud Photo Library. Your latest shots are automatically added to iCloud Photo Library, and any organizational changes or edits you make are always kept up to date across all your devices.

Step 2: Download iCloud application for Windows, and install it on your PC. Sign in with the same iCloud account. iCloud now works seamlessly with Windows system than ever before. The interface and user experience bring Windows user nice work environment.

Step 3: Choose the photos you want to export from iPhone to PC, and check the “Photos” next to Photos, click on the “Options” option.

Step 4: Enable iCloud Photo Library, and click “Done”, then choose “Apply”. Open a File Explorer window, select “iCloud Photos”. The photos in your iPhone will be there for you to view.

Step 5: Click “Download Photos”. Choose the photos you want to download from iPhone to your PC Windows and click the “Download” option. Find your exported photos a file to store in the PC.

Access iCloud Photos on PC


Part 3: How to move photos from iPhone to PC with iTunes

iTunes should be the default solution to transfer photos from iPhone to PC. You have to connect your iPhone to Windows computer with USB to download the photos. But it should be difficult to mange the photos download from iTunes on your computer. Just download the iTunes Windows version to download photos from iPhone to PC now.

Step 1: If you do not want to download all the photos from your iPhone to computer, you can organize the photos on your iPhone before transfer. Before transferring, make sure you already have installed iTunes version on your computer beforehand.

Step 2: Open iTunes and wait for a while, the iPhone icon will become available. Click on “iPhone” on the top menu bar to continue of your iTunes. After that you can find that the “Photos” option shows on the left menu.

Step 3: Check the box of “Sync Photos” on the right. And select “Choose folder…” in the drop-down list to decide the folder you want to transfer photos from iPhone to Windows PC.

Step 4: Click the “Apply” button on the bottom right corner to save the photos from iPhone to your computer. The backup photos can only be extract to iPhone via iTunes to erase the original files.

Sync Photos Folder to PC


Part 4: How to sync photos from iPhone to PC with Dropbox

Is there another method to sync photos from iPhone to PC with cloud server? Dropbox is an iCloud alternative solution to bring all the photos together in one central place. It allows you to sync and backup photos and videos to access them from anywhere. Just turn on the “Camera Upload” feature to transfer the files with ease.

Step 1: Install or update Dropbox in your iPhone, register with your email or phone number. It is strongly suggest you register with phone number since it would be easier to get back the account if you forget the password or stolen by someone accidentally.

Step 2: Choose the plan you want to use, for first-time users, free plan or trial plan will be your choice. Free plan act no different with paid plan except the storage space limitation.

Step 3: Tap the folder that you want to upload to from iPhone to PC. Click the + sign in the upper left corner of the screen. Tap “Upload Here”, a window will popup with your photos in it. Choose the camera roll album. Tap on the photos that you want to upload and then tap “Upload” at the top of the window.

Step 4: Go to the Dropbox on your PC, login with the same account you register in iPhone. Open the file you have just saved your photo from iPhone in, the photos once stored in iPhone display on your PC.

Step 5: If you are reluctant to take Dropbox as secure storage space for your photo, you could also choose “Download” option to export the photos from iPhone to PC via Dropbox.

Transfer iPhone Photos with Dropbox


Part 5: How to export photos from iPhone to PC with Gmail

How about transferring photos from iPhone to PC via Email? Gmail should be a recommended tool to send the files from iPhone to other devices. Not only transferring photos, videos and other files formats, but also backing them up to your email account, you can download the files whenever you want on any device.

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone and open Photos app on home screen. Click on “Select” button on the top ribbon and select the photos to move from iPhone to PC. After that you can tap on “Share” button on the upper left corner.

Step 2: Select Gmail to activate Gmail app on your iPhone. The photos will appear as attaches in the new email. You can enter the same Gmail account in the recipient and the sender. Click on “Send” icon shaped as a plane on the top.

Step 3: Turn to your PC and access Gmail in any browser. Sign in the same Gmail account, you will find out the new email with photos moved from iPhone to PC. Now you can download the photos from iPhone to your computer.

Import Photos from Gmail


Wrapped Up

Transferring photos from iPhone to PC is not a difficult task. There are multiple ways to choose. It is safer to download photo from iPhone to PC with physical connection. You can transfer photos through Windows’ AutoPlay feature or Apple’s iTunes. The former one does not require you to install any software on your computer or iPhone. And advantage of latter one is to offer more functions to select the photos. But the limitation of these two methods is non-portable. So you can also choose iCloud or cloud services to download photos from iPhone to PC. But the storage of iCloud is limited. The cloud services that provide by Dropbox, Google, and Flickr are more powerful. So iPhone users could select any ways above to download photos from iPhone to PC. Of course, if there are few photos you need to transfer or backup, Gmail should be a nice option to transfer photos from iPhone to Windows PC.


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Peter Wood
Peter Wood
Peter Wood, a senior editor, focus on photography design and editing software and devices.

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