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How to transfer photos from iPhone to computer – 8 ways

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“The best camera is the one you have with you,” says a well-known adage among photographers. Our smartphones go with us everywhere most of the time, so the best camera to shoot photos quickly and easily on-the-go is often your iPhone. Much loved, Apple’s iPhone and iPad have some of the most powerful cameras in their class. High-resolution pictures populate the Camera Roll rapidly. Next thing you know, your storage is full and you are searching for a way to transfer your photos from iPhone to computer to free up some space.

When it comes to transferring photos, iTunes can hardly help. In this post, you’ll find 6 most frequently used ways to transfer pictures from your iPhone or iPad to PC without iTunes, and thus clean up space on your device:

Use Windows Explorer to copy your iPhone photos to PC

1. Get photos off iPhone using Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer allows you to copy your photos from iPhone to your PC: just connect your iPhone to computer and run Windows Explorer. Then, find your iPhone name under “Portable devices”. Open the “DCIM” folder, then drag and drop photos to your PC.

Drag and drop photos to PC using Windows Explorer

The only benefit, really, is that the photos will be present on your PC. However, the following caveats may spoil the fun:

  • The photos are in disarray: the album structure is not preserved and there isn’t any coherent timeline;
  • You cannot choose the photo format, which is a shame, since most PCs do not digest HEIC files;
  • Photo orientation is not respected :( If your photos were vertical – well, they’ve just gone to the dark side!
  • … finally, your iPhone might not be detected by PC at all. Many Apple product owners struggle to make Windows recognise the device.

    • If you’d like your photos in the right order and appearance, with album structure preserved and an opportunity to convert upon transfer – try CopyTrans Photo. We also have drivers for iOS devices, so your iPhone won’t stay unnoticed!

      CopyTrans Photo logo

      2. Transfer photos from iPhone to PC without iTunes

      If you’d like your photos in the right order and appearance, with album structure preserved and an opportunity to convert upon transfer – try CopyTrans Photo: a simple solution for transferring photos between your iPhone, iPad, and PC.

      Connect your iPhone to your computer and start CopyTrans Photo. All your iPhone photos will start loading immediately. The photos from your iPhone will be shown in the left-hand pane of the program, while all the pictures and folders on your computer will be displayed on the right side. Transfer photos between iPad and PC with CopyTrans Photo

      Now you can select some of your images or all of them at once (by pressing the ctrl and “A” keys simultaneously) as well as all your photo albums, and transfer them with a simple drag-and-drop to the PC pane. Finally, click the green “Apply” button and you’re all set!

      This way you can easily transfer your iPhone photos to computer and organize them in albums so that they look exactly like they do on your Apple device. You can also back up all photos in one click using the Full Backup option in CopyTrans Photo. Drag and drop photos between your iPad and computer


      • Easy to use, can also move photos and videos from PC to iPhone;

      • You can use the app to copy the albums back and forth, preserving the album structure;

      • The smart Full Backup function will recognize existing photos and will not create duplicates;

      • CopyTrans Photo is compatible with all versions of iOS, iTunes, and Windows.

      • Get CopyTrans Photo free trial

      Note: After the free trial version (100 free actions), you’ll be asked to pay $19.99 to unlock the full version of CopyTrans Photo. This price includes a lifetime license and 2 years of free updates. Well worth it!

      Download and delete all iCloud photos

      3. Transfer photos from iPhone to PC using iCloud

      To transfer your iPhone photos and videos to PC all at once, use CopyTrans Cloudly.

      If you have iCloud Photos enabled on your iPhone, you can use CopyTrans Cloudly to download all your photos to PC. For this, open CopyTrans Cloudly from the CopyTrans Control Center, enter your iCloud password and login and choose the Download option. Download all iCloud photos to PC

      Then select the folder where you would like to store all your photos on your computer and start downloading. After it’s finished, open this folder and you will find all your images there.

      After you downloaded all your photos and videos, you can switch off iCloud Photos on your iPhone and remove all your images and videos from icloud.com with CopyTrans Cloudly. This will free up a lot of storage in your iCloud account and you can even downgrade your iCloud storage plan and pay less.

      Get CopyTrans Cloudly

      Download iPhone photos to PC via iCloud

      4. Transfer photos from iPhone to PC through icloud.com

      You can also use iCloud to transfer your iPhone photos and videos wirelessly to your PC.

      For this method, enable iCloud Photos on your iPhone (Settings> Apple ID> iCloud> Photos). After this, your photos and videos will start uploading to your iCloud. You can check the box next to “Download and Keep Originals”, if you want to keep the high-resolution original photos and videos on your iPhone, or “Optimize iPhone Storage”, if you want to store the original photos and videos in iCloud and have space-saving versions on your device (i.e. only thumbnails).

      After this, log into your iCloud account from your PC, select the photos you want to download one by one, and click the Download symbol in the top-right corner.Download photos from iCloud

      Note: Unfortunately, Apple scrapped the option to select and download multiple iCloud photos to your PC at once. Now you can download 1000 photos at a time. You can also download them in small batches by sharing entire moments. To select the moment, click on the small plus sign at the right top corner of one of the moments. You can download them to your PC after that.

      Bring your iPhone photos to PC with Dropbox

      5. Share iPhone photos via Dropbox

      With Dropbox, you can transfer your pictures from iPhone to PC via LAN.

      To do this, install the Dropbox app on your iPhone, start it, and tap the plus symbol at the bottom of the screen > Upload Photos. Choose individual photos or select them by moments and add them to your Dropbox. Move photos from iPhone to PC through Dropbox

      Now install Dropbox on your computer and open the Dropbox folder you have created from your iPhone. Your iPhone photos will appear there. You can then move these pictures from your Dropbox to any folder on your PC.Use Dropbox to transfer photos from iPad to PC

      Note: You’ll get only 2Gb of free space in Dropbox, while a 1Tb account will cost you $9.99 monthly. Photos on your iPhone should be picked individually or selected by moments, not in one big batch. In addition, the original structure of folders on your iPhone won’t be retained. If you have accidentally copied a photo twice, Dropbox does not detect this and creates a duplicate.

      Transfer photos from iPad to PC through Google Drive

      6. Transfer iPhone photos to PC using Google drive

      Google also offers 15GB of storage for free and allows you to transfer your iPhone images wirelessly to the PC.

      To transfer photos from your iPhone to the PC via Google Drive, first download Google Drive from the AppStore and install it on your iPhone. Open the app, tap the plus symbol at the bottom of the screen > Upload > Photos and Videos. Now you can select photos and upload them to your Google Drive. Install Google Drive app fron AppStore

      Then install Google Drive on your computer. A folder called “Google Drive” will be created automatically on your PC. Open this folder and find your uploaded pictures in it. Export iPad photos to PC with Google Drive

      Note: 100Gb of storage space will cost $1.99 a month. With Google Drive, you cannot select more than 10 photos at once. The photo albums you created on your iPhone will not be imported. If you select images you uploaded before, Google won’t detect this and will create duplicates.

      transfer iphone photos to PC via email

      7. Email iPhone images to yourself

      There is one more way to save your iPhone photos to PC: you can send them by email. This method is very slow though, unless you need to transfer only a few pictures.

      To do this, go to the Photos app on your iPhone > Camera Roll > Select. Now select photos (not more than 5), click the icon at the bottom left corner and select “Mail” from the list of suggested options.
      Select iPhone photos to send via email

      Note: You cannot send more than 5 photos at a time, so this process is very tedious.

      CopyTrans Backup Extractor logo

      8. Extract iPhone photos from a backup

      This method is especially useful if your iPhone is lost or broken. All you need is any iPhone’s backup (on your PC or in iCloud) and CopyTrans Backup Extractor.

      Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor by clicking the button below and run the program.

      Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

      • Run CopyTrans Backup Extractor. The program will automatically start searching for backups on your PC. This should be super fast!
        PLEASE NOTE: If you can’t see the backup you need, it may be stored in iCloud. Let CopyTrans Backup Extractor сheck it for you: just click on “iCloud Backups”.

      • screen-how-to-find-icloud-backup-with-copytrans-backup-extractor

      • Click on the backup that contains your photos. Click on the backup that you need (if it is encrypted, you will be prompted to provide the backup password).
      • the program shows all backups on your computer

      • Choose “Photos”, click “Extract” and then select the folder you want to extract to. This can be a folder on your PC or an external hard drive.
      • click on "Photos"

      • Wait until the photos are extracted. After that if you click on “Go to folder”, you can see which photos have been extracted.
      • your photos have been extracted

        When this method is the best:

      • your iPhone is lost or broken;

      • you have deleted some important photos from your iPhone but still have them in the backup.

      • Conclusion:

        The best option to transfer photos and videos from iPhone to computer is CopyTrans Photo. You can pick just a few photos or transfer all of them back and forth between your iPhone, iPad, and computer. CopyTrans Photo will save the album structure you have on your device. With CopyTrans Photo, you can store your personal images on your PC or external hard drive and you do not have to worry about the security of your personal data. CopyTrans Photo is constantly evolving and getting more and more new features. Additionally, the $19.99 price makes it the most favorable option, which will save you a lot of time and nerves.

        Which method do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

Avatar for Rina

By Rina

Rina is a Marketing and Tech Support specialist helping our English speaking customers. People have always been her best priority. She's very loyal to her friends and frequently goes out of her way to help them. She adores traveling, exploring new stuff and playing tennis.

2 responses to “How to transfer photos from iPhone to computer – 8 ways”

  1. Avatar for Rina apothecare says:

    Hi Rina, my name is Mike and I have just downloaded the CopyTrans Photo trial.

    I am trying to copy my photos from my iPhone 6 to my Windows 7 PC but even though my phone shows 2390 photos and has over a gigabyte of space reserved for them, when I connect my phone to the PC, it only shows a handful of photos to be transferred.

    This is true whether I use CopyTrans or the Windows Photo Gallery feature.

    Does CopyTrans have the ability to find those other photos so that I can copy them to my PC?