An article on how to transfer photos from PC to iPhone

Top 6 ways to transfer photos from computer to iPhone

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You probably already know how to back up iPhone photos to your computer. Now that you’ve tweaked and edited them to your heart’s content, you might also be wondering: how to transfer photos from computer back to iPhone? And we are here to help!

There are many ways to transfer your images from PC to iPhone, starting with iTunes and ending with different cloud solutions. If you are dissatisfied with standard methods, you may also seek help with specialized software like CopyTrans Photo. In this article, you will find a comprehensive overview of all the ways to transfer photos from PC to iPhone. Keep on reading for detailed info or choose one of the ways below:

CopyTrans Photo logo

How to transfer photos from computer to iPhone with CopyTrans Photo

If you are looking for a quick way to transfer your images to iPhone, we have a solution just for you: CopyTrans Photo. The app has an intuitive interface, gets things done quickly and you can see thumbnails of all the files you’re operating at any moment. The process of transfer is intuitive, but you can always see our instructions below!

Here is how to transfer photos from PC to iPhone:

  1. If you haven’t done so already, download and install CopyTrans Photo:

    Download CopyTrans Photo

  2. Launch CopyTrans Photo. Connect your iPhone to PC with a USB cable. If prompted to trust PC, press “Trust”.

  3. You will see your iPhone library on the left and your PC library on the right:

  4. transfer images to iPhone with CopyTrans Photo

  5. Create a new album in your iPhone’s Photo Library. Click on the album: the working area on the left will display the contents (no files there for now).

  6. Create a new album in CopyTrans Photo

  7. Using the folder tree on the right, navigate to the PC folder with the photos you want to transfer.

  8. Drag and Drop the files from the right working area to the left.

  9. Transfer photos from PC to iPhone with CopyTrans Photo

  10. Click on “Apply Changes” and wait for the syncing process to complete.

  11. Apply changes in CopyTrans Photo

  12. All done! Your photos are now waiting for you in the folder “From my Mac” on your iPhone.

Some advantages of using CopyTrans Photo:

  • The app will save photos from your PC in the native Photos app on iPhone. It will also successfully transfer the EXIF data (date created, location, etc) and preserve the order of images.
  • You can also transfer videos from PC to iPhone if they are not larger than 1Gb. They will also appear in the native Photos app after transfer.
  • CopyTrans Photo is not a cloud solution and you don’t have to have iCloud Photos enabled in order to use it. CopyTrans Photo doesn’t require an internet connection.
  • Another key benefit for users of iPhone 7 and above: the program supports HEIC photos. It can view and transfer HEIC photos, and even convert HEIC to JPG. CopyTrans Photo can convert HEIC to JPEG

Some disadvantages:

  • CopyTrans Photo will transfer the first 100 photos for free, and then ask you to purchase a license with us (or get more free actions by spreading word about the product). But you can always try first and consult our 24/7 support service if you have any questions.

  • The app does not do automatic syncing and places the photos into Photo Library. However, CopyTrans Photo will provide a much greater opportunity for creating and editing Photo Library albums then iTunes, and once you’ve organized all the photos there you can just copy them to Camera Roll on your device.

How to transfer photos to iPhone using iTunes

The first app that comes to mind when you think about transferring photos to iPhone is, of course, iTunes. Apple-based solution, it will allow you to transfer files to your iPhone quickly. However, as with so many Apple products, the whole process is tainted by some weird-flavoured magic, leaving behind a bitter taste and a silent question of whether it was really worth it (read on for an explanation).

To transfer photos from PC to iPhone with iTunes:

  1. Launch iTunes and connect your iPhone to PC with a USB cable.
  2. Click on the device icon in the top-left corner of iTunes window.
  3. click on device icon in iTunes

  4. From the panel on the left, choose “Photos”.
  5. Tick the box “Sync photos” and choose the folder from which to import photos to your iPhone (Copy photos from -> Choose folder).
  6. Click on “Done” and wait until iTunes finishes syncing your photos.
  7. step-by-step guide on importing photos to iPhone with iTunes

  8. Well done! The photos now reside on your iPhone. To browse through them, navigate to “From my Mac” album.
  9. transfer photos to iPhone with iTunes

We would not recommend using this method because of the following disadvantages:

  • You will only be able to sync one folder at any time. If you change the folder later, your previous images will be erased.

  • The operation will erase all the images previously stored in Photo Library (your Camera Roll photos will stay intact).

  • Images in the Photo Library can only be changed/deleted from the PC, and iTunes won’t let you delete the images separately – only do a full resync. To be able to create and edit the content of albums inside Photo Library, you can use CopyTrans Photo.

  • The sync will not be automatic anyway. You will need to relaunch it every time you need to introduce changes.

Download iPhone photos to PC via iCloud

Upload photos to iCloud

If you are using iCloud Photos (former iCloud Photo Library), your photos will be automatically backed up to Apple’s cloud service – iCloud. Since the sync happens automatically in the background, the question still remains: how to upload photos to iCloud from PC? For that, you’ll need!

You log in, select the Photos section in the main menu and immediately see your iCloud Photo Library on your computer screen. To put photos on iCloud, click on the “Upload photos” button at the top-right corner and select the photos you want to import.

Log in to and choose upload photos

The photos should immediately appear on your iPhone and any other device having the same iCloud account signed in. If that does not happen, check if iCloud Photo Library is enabled on your iPhone or iPad: Settings> Your Name> iCloud> Photos> iCloud Photos.

Settings - Photos - iCloud photos

  • Everything that you store in iCloud makes it to the Apple servers as well. If you want to delete some images forever, they will disappear from your account but not from the Apple servers. We even conducted an investigation and created a tool that can recover deleted photos from iCloud.
  • On, you can manually sort the uploaded images by album. But within an album, the photos are sorted by the transfer date and you cannot change this order online.
  • Another major drawback is that if you disable iCloud Photo Library and turn it back on after some time, any pictures you previously added to iPhone with iTunes (or any other third-party app like CopyTrans Photo) will get deleted. That’s why you should be extra careful with this setting and regularly backup your cloud photos to a computer.

iCloud Photos will delete your Photo Library if you want to enable it again

Transfer photos from iPad to PC through Google Drive

Send pictures from computer to iPhone via Google Drive

If you have a Google account, you are automatically eligible for 15Gb of free storage on Google Drive (originally SkyDrive). However, Google Drive shares this storage space with other apps, like Gmail and Google Photos.

In order to use this option, you will need to download the official Google Drive app on your computer and your iOS device. Once you run Google Drive on your PC, create a new folder and copy photos to iPhone. The folder will appear with the photos on iPhone in the Google Drive app.

Transfer pictures to Google Drive folder

You can create additional folders to transfer multiple photos to iPhone and move them between folders. There is also a possibility to sort photos within one folder by date or by name.


  • The uploaded photos will not be saved in the native Photos app on iPhone but in the Google Drive app.
  • You cannot edit the photos within the app without first copying them into the native folder – double work.

Bring your iPhone photos to PC with Dropbox

Dropbox: add photos to iPhone from PC without iTunes

Dropbox offers only 2GB of free storage to their users. On the other hand, you do not have to install the program on the PC. In order to transfer photos from a computer to iPhone, save your data online on directly: log in, create a folder and upload the photos from the computer. After that, go to the Dropbox app on your iPhone to see your imported pictures.

Upload pictures to iPhone via Dropbox

  • Unfortunately, you can only upload individual photos, since Dropbox does not allow importing a folder.
  • Images will possibly lose in quality.
  • Although you can import HEIC photos, there will be no possibility to open them.

Upload photos to iPhone with OneDrive

Transfer photos to iPhone with OneDrive

With Microsoft’s OneDrive you get 5Gb of storage space for free. Just like Google Drive, it requires you to install the official OneDrive app on both your computer and iDevice to transfer photos to iPhone. Drag the desired files or entire albums to the program window and after a few seconds, you will see the images the iPhone in the OneDrive app.

Add pictures to iPhone from PC with OneDrive app

The photos are transferred in the original quality including the date created. You can also choose to sort the photos automatically by tags.


  • The photos will not make it to the Photos app; instead, they will be placed to OneDrive app, which should be installed on the iPhone beforehand.
  • OneDrive app does not provide built-in image editing, nor support for HEIC photos: if you place HEIC images in OneDrive, you won’t be able to view them or copy to the Photos app.


Pro-Tip: After you’ve transferred your photos to your iPhone, use a photo editing tool like Instasize to improve how your photos look before uploading them to your feed! Choose any image on your iPhone to improve color settings, size, aspect ratio, or even make a colourful collage. Check it out yourself!

Instasize photo editing


If you don’t trust cloud solutions, find iTunes hard to use and want to keep your photos in the native Photo app, CopyTrans Photo is the best solution for you. The program allows managing iPhone photos and videos on PC and has several unbeatable advantages such as managing Live Photos, viewing pictures in HEIC format, keeping excellent quality, order and EXIF files, and much more. Give it a go today!

Try CopyTrans Photo

Avatar for Marika CopyTrans

By Marika CopyTrans

Marika (pronounce like 'Merica) dreams of saving the world from boredom. Fairly believes that she was the one for the part of Wonder Woman in DC movies, but for now she is eager to make your CopyTrans journey remarkable.