Top 6 Methods to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Windows PC You Should Know

Last Updated on February 3, 2022 by Peter Wood

What should be the best methods to transfer photos from iPhone to PC? Even if you are using the HEIC format of the iPhone, you still find the iPhone running out of storage soon. Once you have copied these photos to your Windows, you can delete them from your iPhone to release up more space.

The article shares 6 different methods to copy photos from iPhone to PC. You can use the original USB to transfer photos with iTunes/AutoPlay directly, sync the photos via iCloud or Dropbox, or even send the pictures by email service. When you need to backup all photos from the iPhone to your computer, you can also choose the professional method to transfer the files.


Part 1: Best Method to Transfer and Backup Photos from iPhone to PC

When you need to transfer and backup all photos from iPhone to PC, iPhone Data Transfer is a versatile method to transfer data among iPhone, computer, and iTunes. It enables you to create photo albums to organize the pictures in order, deleted unwanted ones, view the HEIC files, and even convert HEIC images to JPEG when you transfer photos from iPhone to PC. Moreover, you can also transfer and backup all photos from your iPhone within one click.

  1. Import and sync photos from iPhone or iTunes to PC within clicks.
  2. Organize the photo albums, delete photos in batch, and manage files.
  3. Manage the iPhone photos, such as delete, remove, convert, and more.
  4. Preview HEIC directly and convert them to high-quality JPG and PNG.
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Step 1: When you have installed iPhone Data Transfer, you can launch the program on your computer. Connect your iPhone to the computer with a USB cable. Tap the Trust option on your iPhone to detect the photos on your iPhone.

iOS Transfer

Step 2: Click the Photos icon on the left of the sidebar menu. Preview all the photos shown on the program, including the HEIC photos taken by your camera. You can also locate the desired photos classified into different groups from the user interface.

Backup Photos to iPhone

Step 3: Choose the photos you want to transfer and click the Export button on the top. You can choose the Export to PC option. After that, you can find all the selected photos will be transferred from your iPhone to the Windows PC.

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Part 2: How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC with Windows Explorer

When you need to copy photos from iPhone to PC without installing any program, Windows Internet Explorer is the right option. Your iPhone is regarded as a hard drive when it is connected to a PC with a 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 a 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 Allow option to allow access.

Step 2: If you are the first time connecting iPhone to PC, the PC will automatically install the drives for your iPhone. Then it will show you 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 the My Computer option to find your iPhone.

Step 3: Select the Import pictures and videos option in the AutoPlay pop-up if you want to quickly copy photos from iPhone to PC all at one time. Choose the 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, select just some of the photos from iPhone for transferring. You need to select the Open device to view files option 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 photos 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.


Part 3: 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 the iCloud app could work with PC, you can copy photos from iPhone to PC via iCloud.

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

Step 2: Download the iCloud application for Windows, and install the program on your PC. Sign in to the same iCloud account. iCloud now works more seamlessly with the Windows system than ever before. The interface and user experience brings Windows user a 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 the iCloud Photo Library option, and click the Done button. After that, you can choose the Apply button. Open a File Explorer window and select the iCloud Photos option. The photos in your iPhone will be there for you to view.

Step 5: Select 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 on the PC.


Part 4: 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 a Windows computer with a USB to download the photos. But it should be difficult to manage 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 a computer, you can organize the photos on your iPhone before transfer. Before transferring, make sure you already have installed the iTunes version on your computer beforehand.

Step 2: Open iTunes and wait for a while, the iPhone icon will become available. Click on the desired iPhone on the top menu bar to continue 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 the 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 your iPhone to your computer. The backup photos can only be extracted to the iPhone via iTunes to erase the original files.


Part 5: How to Sync Photos from iPhone to PC with Dropbox

Is there another method to sync photos from iPhone to PC with a 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 on your iPhone, register with your email or phone number. It is strongly suggested you register with a phone number since it would be easier to get back the account if you forget the password or are stolen by someone accidentally.

Step 2: Choose the plan you want to use, for first-time users, a free plan or trial plan will be your choice. The free plan act is no different from the paid plan except for 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 the Upload Here button, 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 the Upload at the top of the window.

Step 4: Go to Dropbox on your PC, login with the same account you register on your 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 a secure storage space for your photo, you could also choose the Download option to export the photos from iPhone to PC via Dropbox.


Part 6: 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 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 the Photos app on the home screen. Click on the Select button on the top ribbon and select the photos to move from iPhone to PC. After that, you can tap on the Share button in the upper left corner.

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

Step 3: Turn to your PC and access Gmail in any browser. Sign in to 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 your iPhone to your computer.


Part 7: FAQs about How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to PC

1Why can’t I transfer photos from iPhone to PC directly?

Make sure your iPhone internal storage or your iPhone DCIM folder is not empty. You can go to the Reset Location & Privacy settings on your iPhone to make sure it has already permitted the connection of your Windows PC. Then you can check whether your PC allows you to access your iPhone. Lastly, make sure the DCIM folder is not hidden.

2Do the photos lose quality when transferring them from iPhone to PC with AirDrop?

AirDrop is one of the frequently used methods to transfer your photos from iPhone to PC. It works better than WiFi transfer because the speed is faster than Bluetooth. Moreover, it will keep the original quality of the photos from the iPhone. But it is difficult to transfer a large number of photos, especially when the Internet is not stable.

3Should I transfer the HEIC photos from iPhone to PC?

Yes. HEIC is the default method to save photos on your iPhone. It not only has a better photo quality compared with the JPEG photo but also is much smaller in size. Moreover, the HEIC photos keep the Metadata. But you have to choose a HEIC image viewer to browse the HEIC photos or convert HEIC to JPEG/PNG files.


Transferring photos from iPhone to PC is not a difficult task. It is safe to download a photo from your iPhone to PC with a physical connection. You can transfer photos through the AutoPlay feature or iTunes. The former does not require you to install any software on your computer or iPhone. And the advantage of the latter one is it offers 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 provided by Dropbox, Google, and Flickr are more powerful. You can select anyways above to download photos from iPhone to PC. Of course, if there are a few photos you need to transfer or backup, Gmail should be a nice option to transfer photos from iPhone to Windows PC. To back up and transfer all photos from iPhone to PC, iPhone Data Transfer should be the ultimate solution.

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