How to download photos from iPhone to Mac easily method

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Computer Mac


Have you activated the iCloud Photo Library service on your iPhone but can’t get the photos on your Mac to sync automatically? Don’t panic, if you want I can help you.

Dedicate me a few minutes of your time and I’ll show you all the most effective solutions for downloading photos from iPhone to Mac. We’ll see How to download photos from iPhone to Mac using the default photo management application (Apple Photos or iPhoto). We will get to know some “alternative” applications for the acquisition of images from smartphones, tablets and other devices, which perhaps not everyone knows, and finally we will deal with iCloud: the Apple cloud storage service that allows you to synchronize photos and videos via the Internet.

How to download photos from iPhone to Mac

Photo app

The most “traditional” (and also simplest) method for How to download photos from iPhone to Mac is to use the Apple Photos application, which is included “standard” in all the latest versions of macOS and iOS.

To use it, all you have to do is connect your iPhone to the Mac using the Lightning / Dock cable supplied with the smartphone and wait for the Photos app to run automatically. In case this does not access, start the application manually by clicking on its icon in the Dock bar or in the MacOS Launchpad (the multicolored flower).

At this point, wait for the list of photos and videos that are present on the iPhone memory to be shown but that you have not yet imported to your computer. Then click on the Import all new items button located at the top right and wait for the import of photos (and videos) to be automatically completed.

If you do not want to import all the photos and videos on the iPhone memory onto the Mac but only some of them, click on their thumbnails in the Import Photos tab and press the Import xx selected button that appears at the top right to start the transfer on computer.

All photos and videos imported into the Photos app are stored in a large database that is normally found in the Mac Images folder: Photo Library. If you want to extract some images or some footage from the latter, open the Photos application on your Mac, select the thumbnails of the contents you want to save in standard format (such as single photos or individual videos) using the combination cmd + click and drag them into a folder of your choice. The copied items will remain in the Photos library and will be copied in standard format to the folder you have chosen.

If you use a Mac equipped with an old version of macOS and you have not yet switched to the Photos application, you can import the photos on your computer using iPhoto, the historic photo management software that Apple sent into “retirement” after the launch of the new Photos app.

Image Acquisition

Do you not go crazy with the idea of ​​having all your photos and videos enclosed in a closed database? Do you find the application Photos too awkward to use? No problem.

Maybe not everyone knows it, but macOS also includes another application, called Image Capture, which allows you to capture photos from smartphones, tablets, cameras, scanners and other devices without going through iTunes or the new Photos app.

It is a very essential tool … and for this reason it represents an excellent alternative to the Apple Photos app! By importing images from iPhone to Mac with this utility, you can organize your shots (and your videos) in simple folders, without forcing them into “closed” databases accessible only by computers and portable devices produced by the Cupertino company.

If you don’t want to copy all the photos and videos on your Mac, but only some of them, select their thumbnails using the cmd + click key combination and click on the Import button located at the bottom right.

To download photos from iPhone to Mac using Image Capture, connect the “iPhone by” to your computer using the classic Lightning / Dock cable and open the application by looking for its icon in the Other folder on the Launchpad.

At this point, select the name of the iPhone from the Image Capture sidebar, choose the folder where you want to copy photos and videos via the Import in drop-down menu (located at the bottom left) and click on the Import all button to start the data transfer.

ICloud Photo Library

Thanks to iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage system, you can save your photos online and synchronize them with all devices connected to your Apple ID, including Mac.

But be careful, there are two different services to synchronize the photos through the “cloud” of the Cupertino giant: iCloud Photo Streaming that stores up to 1,000 images at a time for a total period of 30 days and iCloud Photo Library that has no limits of time, space and also supports videos.

The first is active by default on all iOS devices and does not erode the storage space on iCloud Drive. The second one, instead, must be activated by the user and consumes the space available on iCloud Drive, this means that to use it you must activate one of the iCloud Drive pay plans (0.99 euros / month for 50GB, 3.99 euros / month for 200GB and 9.99 euros / month for 2TB).

The Mac Photos application supports both the Streaming Photo and the iCloud Photo Library, so it is possible to pass photos from the iPhone to the computer even without physically connecting the two devices, using the cloud for the note.

To make sure everything is set up properly, go to the Settings menu on your iPhone (Settings> iCloud on iOS 10.2.x and earlier) and the System Preferences> iCloud menu on your Mac. The same Apple account must be configured on both devices and the Photo option must be active.

Once this check is done, open the Mac Photos application, go to the Photo> Preferences menu, select the iCloud tab from the window that opens and make sure there is a check mark next to the iCloud Photo Library entries and My streaming photo. In this way, the app will automatically synchronize with iCloud and allow you to download to the Mac (or automatically download, if the iCloud Photo Library is active) all the photos stored on your online account.

Another way to download photos from iCloud, available only to users who have activated the iCloud Photo Library on their account, is to connect via the browser to the website, log in with their Apple ID and click on Photo icon. This opens the online library of your photos, from which you can freely view and download content (even from Windows or Linux).



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