Why can't I import photos from iPhone to PC

[13 tips] How to fix “can’t import photos from iPhone”

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iPhone users face various problems when they want to import photos or videos to their computers. For example, they can’t import photos from iPhone to PC, or they have imported photos but they are not displayed, etc.

This article describes 13 solutions for iPhone users who can’t import photos from their iPhone to a computer or whose photos are not displayed on a PC.

Part 1. Why won’t my pictures import to my computer?

First of all, here is a collection of simple fixes that you can go through to get your photos and videos imported from iPhone.

Fix 1. Click on “Unlock and trust this computer” on your iPhone

The “Do you trust this computer?” message appears on the iPhone and is designed to prevent malware from being installed when the device is connected to a computer. Unlock your iPhone by entering the passcode before importing photos. If your PC doesn’t recognize your iPhone, here is what to do >>.

Trust your computer on your iPhone

Fix 2. Сheck USB port on PC and use the original Apple USB cable

If you are unable to import iPhone photos, it is important to check the USB port and cable to make sure they are not broken. To do so, first try connecting the lightning cable to another USB port.

The damaged iPhone cable malfunctions

What’s also important, is that you cable should be original. It should have an annotation saying “Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi)” and a special MFi logo stating that the product is certified. You can see examples of such logos below. Some of third-party cables for iPhone can be used for charging devices but not for file transfer. If you can’t get photos from your iPhone, even though your device is recognized by the PC, the reason might be in a non-authentic cable. We recommend trying other USB cables if available.

MFi certified logos on the Apple cable

To transfer photos from your iPhone or iPad to your computer using the cable, try the following guide:

  1. Connect your iPad to the computer with the genuine Apple USB cable and tap “Trust” on your iPad.

  2. Click the “Windows” button on the PC’s taskbar, then open “Photos”.

  3. Click on “Import” > “From USB Device”.

  4. This will automatically save the photos on your iPad to your PC.

However, there are several disadvantages to this method:

❌ photos are stored in a random order
❌ album structure is not preserved
❌ photos may appear rotated after transfer

Fix 3. Check if the iPhone is recognized by your computer

Your iPhone might have troubles connecting to PC not only because of a cable. The reason might be in your Windows computer, or, precisely, in Apple drivers. With their help, iPhone establishes connection and exchanges data between iOS device and Windows. They are usually installed with iTunes. This way, if you don’t have iTunes or any of it’s components haven’t been installed correctly, you might need to fix drivers to be able to move your iPhone photos.

We have a special tool for that – CopyTrans Drivers Installer. It is a free soft that does the job for you in a few clicks, without installing iTunes! For detailed instructions, see how to install CopyTrans Drivers Installer.

Fix 4. Transfer photos from iPhone to PC with CopyTrans Photo

How do I get photos from my iPhone to my computer? Actually, there is a way that always works 🙂 No need to do various fixes or worry about order or quality of your files. Use CopyTrans Photo: it is a photo and video transfer software that allows you to import your files in both senses. It can also back up all your photos at once or help you to easily find any specific photo on your device. So, here is how to import photos from iPhone to PC:

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Photo on your PC.

  2. Get CopyTrans Photo
  3. Run the program and connect your iPhone. Wait for the photos to finish loading.

  4. Drag and drop photos, videos, or albums from the iPhone to the computer. Then click “Apply changes” to save your files.

  5. CopyTrans Photo for photos import

There How to Transfer iPhone/iPad Photos and Videos to PC.

Fix 5. Make sure photos are not stored in iCloud

Your iPhone photos might be stored not only on your device, but also in iCloud. If option “iCloud Photo” is activated, then your photos are always copied to Apple servers. It might be the reason why you don’t find your photos when you connect your iPhone to PC.

  1. If you can’t import photos from iPhone to Windows 10, then check if “iCloud Photos” is turned on. To check, open “Settings” and tap “Photos.

  2. See free space in iCloud from iPhone

  3. If “iCloud Photos” is turned on, go to icloud.com to find and download the photos you need.

    Or use CopyTrans Cloudly to download all your iCloud photos in one go.

    Download CopyTrans Cloudly

    For detailed instructions, please refer to the article How to download photos from iCloud in one go.

  4. How to download photos from iCloud to PC

Fix 6. Update Windows and iOS

If you didn’t update your iPhone’s iOS version or Windows version, you may not be able to import photos and videos. For instructions on how to update Windows, please refer to the official Microsoft website.

Fix 7. Reset iPhone location and privacy settings

If you are unable to import iPhone photos to your computer, you can reset location and privacy settings :

  • Disconnect your iPhone from your PC

  • On iPhone, go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone

  • Select “Reset Location and Privacy”

Fix 8. Disable anti-virus on PC

If you are unable to import iPhone photos to your PC, try temporarily disabling your anti-virus.

Part 2. iPhone photos and videos do not display on PC

In this section, we will explain to you why don’t you see the transferred photos on your PC. Here are the reasons:

If the iPhone photos you want to transfer are in HEIC (HEIF) format, they will not be displayed on your Windows PC by default. HEIC is a photo format introduced in iOS 11. If you want to know more about the HEIC format, please refer to the Ultimate HEIC Guide. HEIC files occupy less space than JPEG files. This means HEIC photos save iPhone storage.

How to solve “can’t view iPhone photos on PC”

  1. Convert to JPEG with CopyTrans Photo

    • Download and install CopyTrans Photo

    • Download CopyTrans Photo

    • Click on 3 lines in the upper right corner and select “Settings”. Depending on your needs, select “Transfer to JPEG format with compatibility priority” or “Transfer in HEIC and JPEG formats”.

    • How to transfer HEIC photos to PC

    • Once so set, transfer the photos; you will be able to view the imported photos on your PC.

    If you want to know more about conversion, see How to convert HEIC to JPEG.

  2. Open HEIC photos with CopyTrans HEIC

  3. CopyTrans HEIC is a support tool for the HEIC format for Windows. Once you have installed CopyTrans HEIC, you will be able to open HEIC image files using Windows Photo Viewer. Besides, you will be able to add photos with the HEIC extension to Microsoft Word and Excel.

    Download CopyTrans HEIC

    Convert HEIC to JPEG with CopyTrans HEIC

Part 3. iPhone DCIM folder missing

Finally, you can face the problem when the standard iPhone photo folder – DCIM folder is not displayed on your PC. Let’s find an easy solution, and if it doesn’t help, then we will show you an easy way to import photos from iPhone to PC.

Generally, when an iPhone is connected to a PC, a folder called “DCIM” is displayed under “PC” > “Apple iPhone” > “Internal Storage. Inside that folder are the photos and videos taken with the iPhone.

However, the DCIM folder may not be displayed in its entirety, or some photos may not be displayed. Here are some solutions to such problems:

Try these simple solutions first:

  • Restart your iPhone and PC

  • Disconnect the iPhone from the PC and reconnect it

  • Connect to another USB device

  • Unlock the device on the iPhone

  • Tap “Trust this computer” on your iPhone

  • Take a new photo on your iPhone and try again

  • Update your iOS version to the latest

If these measures do not work, please proceed to the next step.

1. Increase the amount of free space on your iPhone

Sometimes there is a problem with the DCIM folder not showing up when there is not enough space on the iPhone. If there is not enough free space, device functions may not work properly.

Check the storage of your iPhone

To solve the problem, delete unnecessary apps, heavy videos, and music from your iPhone. Please refer to How to Increase iPhone Free Space.

2. Use photo backup software

If the DCIM folder is not visible, you can use CopyTrans Photo, an iPhone photo management software that allows you to import all photos or specific photos or albums to your PC. CopyTrans Photo allows you to view your iPhone photos by data type (panorama, video, live photos, etc.) or by album, making it easier to manage your photos.

  1. Download and install CopyTrans Photo.

  2. Download CopyTrans Photo

  3. Run the program. Drag and drop photos, videos, or albums from your iPhone to your PC. Then click “Apply changes”.

  4. Transfer photo from iPhone to PC

3. If “iCloud Photos” is enabled on the iPhone, download photos from iCloud

The problem may be caused by having “iCloud Photos” enabled on the iPhone. iCloud Photos are stored on the iCloud servers, not on the iPhone’s internal storage. So connecting your iPhone to a PC may prevent you from accessing your photos. In that case, you can disable iCloud Photos and try again, but here is a simpler solution.

To get iCloud photos to your computer, you can use the program CopyTrans Cloudly, which downloads, deletes, and uploads iCloud photos.

Download CopyTrans Cloudly

Run the program and log in to iCloud with your Apple ID. Then click “Download” to back up your photos album by album to your computer.

Download from iCloud to PC photos and videos

Here is a detailed instructions on how to download photos from iCloud.

Photos won’t import from iPhone


These are the 10 solutions to the problem of not being able to import photos from iPhone to PC. If you are having trouble importing photos to your PC, we recommend that you try the above solutions one after the other.

If all of them do not work, you can try another method: make a backup of your iPhone with CopyTrans Shelbee or iTunes, and then import the photos from the backup to your PC.

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By Mary

Marketing expert who loves books and chocolate!