How to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac

With the release of each new version of iOS, as with each new version of macOS, from Soy de Mac we always recommend you do a scratch install, do not directly update the device from the version that we already have installed on our computer.

Although the process takes time and requires us to reinstall the applications again, it is the best method for our iPhone, iPad and Mac to continue working like the first day. In the case of the iPhone, what happens to the photos I have on the iPhone? How do I transfer photos from iPhone to Mac?

If it's a Mac, that's fine, as the easiest method to back up all images is connect an external hard drive and copy all the content that we have stored on the Mac.

However, if it is an iPhone or iPad, things are totally different. Even more so, if it is a Mac, since, in Windows, the process is much simpler. If you want to know how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac, I invite you to continue reading.

Related article:
How to send photos by WhatsApp without losing quality

AirDrop

Send photos to Mac

The method simpler, faster and cheaper to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac is to use Apple's AirDrop technology. AirDrop allows us to transfer any type of file between Apple devices as long as both are compatible.

This technology uses Wi-Fi (if available) and bluetooth to send the content, so the transfer speed is very high.

It is recommended send the content by blocks of images and videos if we don't want both the Mac and the iPhone to think about what to do and finally not transfer anything.

Although this technology has been around for many years, it was initially only available for Mac. With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple introduced this feature on the iPhone.

In order to use AirDrop to send the images and videos from our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the Mac this must be managed by iOS 8 and be:

  • iPhone: iPhone 5 or later
  • iPad: iPad 4th generation or later
  • iPad Pro: iPad Pro 1st generation or later
  • iPad Mini: iPad Mini 1st generation or later
  • iPod Touch: iPod Touch 5th generation or later

Also, the iMac that will receive the content, must be managed by OS X Yosemite 10.10 and be:

  • MacBook Air from mid 2012 or later
  • MacBook Pro from mid 2012 or later
  • iMac from mid 2012 or later
  • Mac Mini from mid 2012 or later
  • Mac Pro from mid 2013 or later

If your device is not among the minimum iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch or one of the supported Macs, you will not be able to use this function to transfer photos from your iPhone to Mac using AirDrop technology.

With the Photos app

Photos icon for macOS

If we have contracted storage space in iCloud Drive, we don't need to make a backup of all the images that we have stored on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, since these are stored in the Apple cloud. All that content is accessible from the Mac thanks to the Photos application.

If you don't have additional iCloud space beyond the 5 GB that Apple offers to all users, you can use the Photos app on your Mac to import all the content that we have stored on our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. 

Before carrying out this process, we must check that we have enough space in our storage unit to carry out the process.

To use the Photos app on your Mac to move iPhone photos, we must perform the steps that I show you below:

transfer photos from iphone to mac

  • The first thing we must do is connect our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the Mac using the USB charging cable.
  • Next, we open the application Photos on the Mac.
  • In the Photos application, a screen will be displayed that invites us to import the photos and videos that we have stored on our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
    • If this screen is not displayed, click on the device that we have connected to the Mac located in the left column.
  • Next, to confirm that we are the rightful owners of the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from which we want to copy the information, it will invite us to enter the unlock code of our iOS device.
  • If you ask us if we want trust that team. To this question, we answer by clicking on Trust.
  • The next step is select the folder where we want to import the content from our iPhone by clicking on the drop-down located just to the right of Import to:

If you want to save your photos to a separate hard drive and not rely on the Photos app it is not advisable to Import the content to the Photo Library (default option) but to a directory that we have at hand and we can easily copy to an external hard drive.

  • Finally, we must select all the photographs and videos that we want. If we have never done this process, click on Import all new photos.

Depending on the total space occupied by the images and photos that we have on our device, This process can take more or less time. 

iFunbox

iFunbox

If our iPhone or Mac are old and the Photos app doesn't offer us that feature, or you just don't want to use this app, we can turn to the app iFunbox.

iFunbox allows us extract all the content we have stored on our device as if it were a file explorer. We just have to connect our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the Mac, open the application on our Mac and, in the left column, access the Camera menu.

Other options

The 3 options that I have shown you above are ideal for transfer large amounts of images and photos from an iOS /iPadOS device to a Mac.

However, if you just want transfer a small number of images and you don't want to use any of the above methods, here are two more options:

Mail Drop

Share images with Mail Drop

Although we do not have contracted storage space in iCloud, Apple allows us to transfer images and videos from the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the Mac or any other device through the Mail Drop function.

This function allows us send large files through the Mail application of our iOS device. But, instead of sending them directly by mail, they are uploaded to the Apple cloud and automatically, Apple will send a link to download that content.

All files that are shared using MailDrop are available for 30 days. In order to use this system, we must do it through the email account that we have registered as an Apple ID.

WeTransfer

WeTransfer for iOS

Another ideal option to send photos and videos to a Mac is found in the popular WeTransfer large file sending service. With the application available for iOS, we can send documents, photos, videos and any other type of file with a maximum of 2 GB.

Once we have opened the application, No registration required, we select the content we want to share, we enter the recipient's email address and we send the content.

Like the Mail Drop option, this option also it is much slower than the options I have shown above.


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3 comments, leave yours

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  1.   Vladimir said

    You have left “Image Capture” that already comes standard on every Mac and also works for scanners. That for those of us who connect the mobile to the Mac to charge.

  2.   Octavio said

    Hello, taking advantage of the article, when I connect the iPhone (12 pro max) to the Imac (M1), it stays "loading the photos to import from…" and they do not load. I have seen on the internet, what happens to more people and the solution they give is to put it on the plane, leave, come back in, put it back to normal... sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Does anyone know why it happens and a more practical solution? Thanks

  3.   Mikel said

    “If we have contracted storage space in iCloud Drive” and if we have activated Photos in iCloud, because without both…
    Transfer thousands of photos via AirDrop, let me know how it goes…

    Using Photos, the logical thing to avoid losing quality would be to “export without modifying” or something like that. But... it exports them to you by removing the date it was taken and putting a new ‍♂️ thing that I don't know what engineer has thought of designing that like that (apparently it's the date the Photos app on the Mac synchronized the photo - that is explained at least in Apple Care-). I mean, unbearable.

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