More and more users are creating photos and videos using the iPhone or iPad, and transferring them to the Windows PC is easy with the iPhone. One only has to choose one of several methods.
First-class photos are possible with the latest iPhones.
The current iPhone models take excellent photos, but you don’t always want to manage your photos and videos on your smartphone – even if Apple now offers 128 GB as an entry-level size for the Pro models. In the case of large photo collections, it is advisable to save the data on the desktop as a backup, and image processing on the computer is often more convenient and provides better quality.
There are basically two options for transferring photos and videos: wirelessly via WLAN or via USB cable.
Charging by cable: What should you watch out for when connecting to the PC?
In principle, photos can also be transferred without Apple software. When an iPhone is connected for the first time, the system automatically installs the required drivers and mounts the iPhone as a so-called removable medium. Photo software can then access the photos directly. Access only works if the iPhone is started and unlocked.
When the iPhone is connected to the Windows computer for the first time, a warning message appears on the iPhone. You will be asked if you trust the calculator. You have to confirm this message, otherwise you will not be able to access the iPhone. Tip: Sometimes you miss the display of the question, then you have to reconnect the iPhone to the computer to repeat the query. Apple implemented this security query for its iOS devices years ago. The reason for this was the possibility of accessing iPhone data via a USB connection without the user’s permission.
Import into Lightroom, Microsoft Photos and other photo managers
As when connecting a camera, you will see the iPhone as a removable disk in Explorer; under Windows 10 the system asks you how you want to manage the photos: whether with Microsoft Photos, One Drive or another method.
You can choose which program you want to use to manage the photos.
The photos and videos on the iPhone can be found in the Explorer in a folder called DCIM, many photo administrators such as Lightroom or Microsoft Photos support the direct import of photos into their databases. The iPhone behaves no differently than any other digital camera or memory card with photos. For example, just click “Import” in the Photos app.
From the PC you can access the DCIM folder, which collects photos and videos.
Transfer via Explorer
You can manage the photos and videos with the Explorer, and you even get some useful management options. Right click on the iPhone icon in Explorer. You will now see the option “Import pictures and videos”.
Before importing all the data, you can select individual files, and they can also be sorted into folders.
Why can’t the system find photos on iPhone?
Importing is not possible if the photos are not even saved on the iPhone. There is the option of the iPhone moving its data to the iCloud web storage – to save storage space. If the “Optimize iPhone storage” function is active, the photo is not available as a file on the iPhone and it can only be imported using the Apple iCloud app for Windows. You can continue to see the photos on the iPhone, but they are always first downloaded from the cloud when you open it.
What use is the “Your smartphone” system app?
Since October 2020 there has also been the “Your Smartphone” app under Windows, with which you can link your smartphone to your PC. With Android phones, the app provides useful functions and can also synchronize photos between PC and smartphone. In the case of an iPhone, it has so far been of little use and can only compare links with an iOS version of the Edge browser.
Transfer via iCloud app
Apple actually provided the iCloud app for Windows for transferring photos. Once you have understood the concept and configured the app, the transmission is very simple and even wireless. After installing the app, you have to log in with your Apple ID. This Apple account is generally required for using an iPhone. After starting the Windows app, you can see the “Photos” function in the overview. Tap on the options, you will now see a window with several options. If you check the box next to “Download new photos and videos to my PC”, your new photos will automatically be downloaded to your computer. You will then find the photos in the pictures folder on your computer.
You can import the photos using the iCloud app.
The iCloud photo library is a special feature. If you have activated this option on your iPhone, all photos will be saved on Apple’s iCloud web storage. The Windows app iCloud for Windows can then ensure that your photos are automatically downloaded to your computer.
You can also access your iCloud photos through iCloud.com.
You can also manage the photos on the iCloud website. The photos are listed in the browser and can be individually loaded onto your desktop computer. To do this, log in to the iCloud.com website with your Apple ID and open the “Photos” app here.
You can use the iCloud for Windows app to automatically download the photos to your PC.
One Drive, Dropbox or Google Photos
Users of storage services such as Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive can also transfer their photos conveniently and wirelessly. If you install the two apps on your iPhone, they offer an automatic upload of all photos – without a desktop. The photos are then available to all devices via the web services and can also be downloaded to the computer if necessary.
One Drive has the option “Camera Upload”, which automatically uploads iPhone photos.
One Drive for Windows
One Drive offers a second option: if you wish, you can manage the photos with the Windows One Drive app. This then imports the photos automatically when the iPhone is connected via USB.
The Windows One Drive app can also import and manage the photos.
Lightning on USB stick
Interesting for travelers: There are also special USB sticks with USB and Lightning interfaces. These storage media can also be used to export photos and videos without a Windows computer, although an additional app from the stick manufacturer must be installed. The data can then also be accessed from the Windows computer via the USB interface. For example, we tested the Kingston Bolt Duo here.
The photos can also be transferred via a USB stick with a Lightning interface.