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How to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Mac

While you don’t need to physically connect your iPhone to your Mac to transfer photos, it might be preferable that you do so.

If you’re in an area with a poor or non-existent internet connection, or you simply have a whole lot of images to transfer, then plugging your iPhone in an old-fashioned way may be the better way to go.

Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Mac.

What we used

The Short Version

  • Connect your iPhone to your Mac
  • Open Photos
  • Click on iPhone
  • Select photos and import
  1. Step

    Connect your iPhone to your Mac

    Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a Lightning-to-USB cable. The one that came with your iPhone should suffice, but any USB cable with Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector on one end will work.iPhone connect MacBook Lightning cable

  2. Step

    Open the Photos app

    Open the Photos app on your Mac. You should see your iPhone listed in the left-hand menu, under Devices. Click on it.Mac Photos app connect iPhone

  3. Step

    Trust your Mac

    Photos will now request that you unlock your iPhone, and your iPhone (when unlocked) will ask you if you trust your computer. Agree to trust it and enter your passcode to authenticate.Trust This Computer

  4. Step

    Import photos

    Photos will now show you all of the apps that are available to import. Select the photos you wish to import followed by the Import Selected button, or hit the Import New Photo button in the top right corner to only import fresh images that aren’t already in Photos.Photos app Import New Photo

  5. Step

    Disconnect your iPhone

    Once your photos have been imported, unplug your iPhone


What if I own a Windows PC?

There’s a slightly different process if you own a Windows PC rather than a Mac, but it’s similarly easy

What if my Lightning-to-USB cable doesn’t fit my Mac?

There are two types of USB port you might encounter on your Mac: the smaller USB-A and the larger USB-C. If your cable doesn’t fit, you’ll need to invest in an appropriate USB dongle.

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