Import Photos From Iphone To Mac External Drive

Want to transfer photos from your iPhone/iPad to an external hard drive? Now you have 4 ways to get it done. Free download for iCareFone: https://bit.ly/3qJs. Connect your iPod, iPad or iPhone to your computer via a USB cable. Select the songs you wish to transfer to an external drive and click 'Copy to PC' or 'Copy to Mac'. Browse to your external hard drive in TouchCopy and click OK. TouchCopy will save a copy of your songs and on your external drive, so they can be safely deleted on your device. Open the Image Capture app on your Mac if it doesn't launch automatically. Click your iPhone under Devices press Import to choose the external hard drive from the list to store photos tap Import All or choose the wanted photos and click Import to import iPhone photos to the external hard drive. To backup all iphone photos to external hard drive with one click, simply click the transfer device photos to pc. How to import photos from iphone to external hard drive. If the import screen doesn't automatically appear, click the device's name in the photos sidebar.

Do you want to know how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac? In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll discover four simple ways to copy photos from iPhone to Mac. You’ll learn how to use iCloud and AirDrop to import photos from iPhone to Mac wirelessly. And you’ll learn how to download photos from iPhone to Mac with a cable.

Table Of Contents: How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Mac

Click any title link below to go straight to that section of the article:

How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Mac Wirelessly
1. Download Images Using iCloud Photos
2. Transfer Photos Using AirDrop

How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Mac With A Cable
3. Import Images Into Photos App On Mac
4. Copy Photos To Folder On Mac Using Image Capture

Note: If you have a Windows PC rather than a Mac, click here to learn how to transfer photos from iPhone to PC.

Cable Or Wireless Transfer?

There are two main ways to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac:

  • Download photos from iPhone to Mac using the iPhone’s charger cable
  • Copy photos from iPhone to Mac wirelessly (without a cable)

Once you’ve explored the different ways to transfer photos, you can decide which method works best for you.

How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Mac Wirelessly

Do you want to know how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac wirelessly?

There are many iPhone photo transfer apps available. Below, you’ll discover two ways to copy photos from iPhone to Mac without having to use any cables:

  • Download photos from iPhone to Mac using iCloud Photos
  • Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac using AirDrop

Method 1: Download Images Using iCloud Photos

BestFor: Automatic wireless transfer of all photos from your iPhone

iCloud Photos offers a simple way to transfer your entire photo library from iPhone to Mac.

It doesn’t involve any cables. And once you’ve set it up, new photos that you take with your iPhone automatically download to your Mac.

You’ll never have to think about copying photos to your Mac again!

The photo transfer happens automatically – as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

1.1 What Is iCloud Photos?

iCloud Photos is Apple’s online photo storage service. When you activate iCloud Photos, all your iPhone photos get stored in iCloud.

Images in iCloud automatically download to your other iCloud devices – including Mac and iPad.

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We call this process ‘syncing’. When you sync iCloud Photos on your iPhone and Mac, the same photos appear on both devices.

iCloud Photos is the most convenient long-term solution for transferring photos from iPhone to Mac.

Note that iCloud Photos is different to iCloud Photo Sharing. If you’d like to share your photos with other people, iCloud Photo Sharing is a great option.

1.2 Switch On iCloud Photos

How do you start using iCloud Photos?

It’s simple!

On your iPhone, go to Settings> Photos. Ensure iCloud Photos is on (green).

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You also need to switch on iCloud Photos on your Mac. Click the Apple icon at the top left of the screen, then go to System Preferences > iCloud.

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Select the Photos checkbox. Then click Options next to Photos.

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A new dialog box will appear as shown below. Select the iCloud Photos checkbox. If you don’t have the latest macOS (Mojave), this checkbox is titled iCloud Photo Library.

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Click Done. Then close the iCloud options window.

Note that you must be signed in with the same Apple ID on your iPhone and Mac. You can check this on your iPhone by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud.

iCloud Photos is now set up on your iPhone and Mac. Your entire iPhone photo library will begin copying to the Photos app on your computer. This may take some time if you have a lot of photos.

But once the initial transfer is complete, new photos you take with your iPhone automatically upload to iCloud (as long as you have Wi-Fi). These images then automatically download to the Photos app on your Mac.

Note that you’ll need enough iCloud storage to store all your images in iCloud Photos. You get 5GB of free iCloud storage. But you’ll need more if you take a lot of photos.

You can buy more iCloud storage by going to Settings on your iPhone. Tap [your name] at the top of Settings, then select iCloud.

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Tap Manage Storage for the option to change or upgrade your storage plan.

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iCloud storage plans start at $0.99 a month for 50GB.

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1.3 Open Photos App On Your Mac

iPhone photos that are synced via iCloud appear in the Photos app on your Mac. Open the Photos app on your computer to see your images.

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The images in the Photos app on your iPhone and Mac will be identical. If you’ve organized your photos into albums on your iPhone, these same albums appear in the Photos app on your Mac.

Since the Photos app on iPhone and Mac are synced via iCloud, changes you make on one device are reflected on the other device.

For instance, if you delete an image from the Photos app on your iPhone, it gets deleted from the Photos app on your Mac.

Have you spotted a problem?

What if you want to delete photos from your iPhone, but keep them on your Mac?

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution!

Read on to find out how to delete images from the Photos app, but keep them on your Mac.

1.4 Export Images From The Photos App

The Photos app on your Mac lets you download photos from iCloud to a folder on your computer or external hard drive. This creates a backup copy of the images that aren’t affected by changes you make in the Photos app.

So you can delete images from the Photos app on your iPhone or Mac, while the backed-up photos remain on your hard drive.

To export your images, open the Photos app on your Mac. Select the photos you want to export to your hard drive.

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You’ll need to hold down the Command key to select several images. Or to select a group of photos, click the first image, hold down the Shift key, then select the last image. To select all photos, press Command + A on your keyboard.

The selected photos appear with a blue outline.

Click File > Export > Export Photos.

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Set your export preferences, or leave the settings as shown below. Then tap Export.

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In the left sidebar, select the location you want to export the photos to. For instance, you could copy them to the Pictures folder on your Mac’s hard drive. Or you could back them up to an external hard drive. Finally, click Export.

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The selected photos will be copied from the Photos app to your Mac’s hard drive.

You’re now free to delete these photos from the Photos app. The images that you exported will remain on the hard drive.

It’s a good idea to regularly back up all your photos from iCloud onto your Mac or external hard drive. Use the Export option in the Photos app to do this.

1.5 What If Your Photos Are In HEIF Format?

Is your iPhone running iOS 11 or later? If so, you can choose to take photos in traditional JPEG format or the new HEIF format.

HEIF stands for High Efficiency Image File Format. iPhone photos captured in HEIF format have a reduced file size. This means they take up less storage space on your iPhone or computer.

Are you unsure whether your iPhone camera is capturing photos in JPEG or HEIF format? On your iPhone, go to Settings > Camera > Formats.

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If High Efficiency is active, your camera is using HEIF format. If Most Compatible is active, your iPhone is capturing photos in JPEG format.

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The problem with HEIFs is not all computers and software recognize this new image format.

Ensure your Mac is running the latest macOS (Mojave) so that the Photos app recognizes your HEIF files.

Do you want to export HEIF files from the Photos app on your Mac to a folder on your hard drive?

In the Photos app, you’ll need to click File > Export > Export Unmodified Original. This ensures your HEIF images don’t get converted to JPEGs on export.

Method 2: Transfer Photos Using AirDrop

BestFor: Wireless transfer of selected photos directly to your Mac’s hard drive

Apple’s AirDrop feature lets you wirelessly transfer photos between nearby Apple devices.

AirDrop doesn’t automatically transfer images the way iCloud Photos does. Instead, you have to select which photos you want to copy.

The other difference is that the photos get transferred directly to the hard drive of your Mac. They don’t go into the Photos app on your computer.

AirDrop is a quick and easy way to transfer photos from your iPhone to a folder on your Mac. It’s perfect when you have only a few photos to copy.

2.1 Switch On Wi-Fi & Bluetooth

To use Airdrop, make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are activated on your iPhone. You can turn on both of these in Settings.

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You can also access the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings using the following shortcut:

On iPhone X and the latest iPhone XS, XS Max and XR, swipe diagonally from the top corner of the screen. On older iPhones, swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Ensure the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth icons are both on (blue) as shown below.

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Your Mac also needs to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on. You’ll find the icons for these at the top right of the screen on your Mac.

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Lastly, make sure you’re signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on both devices. You can check this on your iPhone by going to Settings > [your name] > iCloud. On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud.

2.2 Import Photos To Mac With AirDrop

On your iPhone, open the Photos app and find the images you want to transfer.

Ensure you’re viewing the photos in thumbnail view as shown below. Tap Select in the top right corner.

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Tap the photos you want to copy to your Mac (selected photos appear with a blue checkmark). Then tap the Share icon (a square with an up arrow).

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In the AirDrop section, tap the name of your Mac computer. The selected photos will transfer to your Mac.

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Photos that you AirDrop from your iPhone go into the Downloads folder on your Mac.

To find the Downloads folder, open Finder on your Mac, then click Downloads on the left.

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You can now drag the photos from Downloads to a folder of your choice.

2.3 AirDrop & HEIF Format

If your iPhone is capturing images in HEIF format, ensure your Mac is running macOS Mojave. On older versions of macOS, your HEIF images get converted to JPEGs when you AirDrop them.

How To Transfer Photos From iPhone To Mac With A Cable

In this section, you’ll learn how to import photos from iPhone to Mac using your iPhone’s charger cable.

Below you’ll discover two easy methods for wired transfer of images:

  • Import images from iPhone to the Photos app on your Mac
  • Download photos directly into a folder on your Mac using Image Capture

Method 3: Import Images Into Photos App On Mac

BestFor: Transfer of images to Mac Photos app without using iCloud Photos

What if you don’t want to use iCloud Photos to automatically sync photos between iPhone and Mac? How can you get your iPhone photos into the Photos app on your computer?

You just need to use your iPhone’s charger cable to connect the phone to your Mac.

3.1 Import Images To Photos App On Mac

Connect your iPhone to your Mac with the phone’s charger cable. Then open the Photos app on your Mac.

In the left sidebar, click iPhone. If prompted, unlock your iPhone.

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The photos from your iPhone will appear in the main part of the window.

Would you like to import all new iPhone photos into the Photos app on your Mac?

Click Import All New Photos at the top right. This imports all photos taken since your last import.

Would you rather choose certain photos to import?

Click the images you want to copy. Then click Import Selected at the top of the screen.

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Once imported, the images appear in the Last Import album on the left sidebar. To see all photos that you’ve imported, open the Imports album.

3.2 Photos App & HEIF Format

Are you importing HEIF photos from your iPhone?

Ensure your Mac is running macOS Mojave. That way, you’ll be able to work on your HEIF images in the Photos app on your Mac.

3.3 Export Images From The Photos App

Would you like to back up your imported photos to a folder on your Mac or external hard drive?

Import Photos From Iphone To Windows 10

Method 4: Copy Photos To Folder On Mac Using Image Capture

BestFor: Transfer of photos to a folder on your Mac or external hard drive

Do you want to bypass the Photos app on your Mac?

Would you rather transfer images directly to a folder on your Mac’s hard drive or external drive?

The Image Capture app offers an easy way to do this.

It’s useful if you like to keep your photos organized in folders on your Mac. And it’s great for creating a backup of your iPhone photos on an external hard drive.

4.1 Import Photos With Image Capture

Start by connecting your iPhone to your Mac using the phone’s charger cable.

Open the Image Capture app on your Mac. If prompted, unlock your iPhone.

In the left sidebar, select iPhone. Your iPhone photos will appear in the main part of the window.

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Now you need to select the photos you want to import. To select individual photos, hold down the Command key as you click the images. Selected photos are highlighted blue.

Or to select a group of photos, click the first photo, then hold down the Shift key and click the last photo.

Once you’ve selected your photos, click into the Import To box at the bottom of the window.

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Select the folder you want to copy the photos to. For example, you could copy them to the Pictures folder on your Mac. To view more folders or create a new one, click Other in the pop-up menu.

When you’ve selected your destination folder, click Import.

Would you rather import all images from your iPhone? Click Import All instead of selecting individual photos.

4.2 Image Capture & HEIF Format

Are you using Image Capture to copy HEIF files from your iPhone to Mac? If so, you need to be careful that Image Capture doesn’t convert them to JPEGs.

To prevent the images transferring as JPEGs, check the following setting on your iPhone:

Go to Settings > Photos. Scroll down to the Transfer To Mac Or PC section, and ensure Keep Originals is active.

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When you copy HEIFs from iPhone to Mac using Image Capture, the photos will remain as HEIFs when transferred.

'Hello all, I have photos on my iPhone that I want to transfer to an external drive. I know I'll have to go through my MacBook for this, but is there an easier way to accomplish this other than importing, exporting, and deleting the pictures from the Photos app? Thank you.'

- Zoebe

Like What Zoebe had experienced, your iPhone may have less storage left when you store thousands of large images on it. If you want to move them but never know how to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive, you will have two choices - either do it with a computer or without. Well, this post covers both. Let's get started to learn how to do it with 5 simple solutions.


Part 1. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive Selectively Using Coolmuster iOS Assistant (Easiest)
Part 2. How to Move Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Mac via Image Capture
Part 3. How to Export Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Windows/Mac with the Photos App (Limited Versions)
Part 4. How to Store iPhone Photos on External Hard Drive via iCloud (Limited Versions)
Part 5. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive without Computer Directly?

Part 1. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive Selectively Using Coolmuster iOS Assistant (Easiest)

Wish to transfer all or just several photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive in one click? If the answer is yes, you can choose Coolmuster iOS Assistant.

Unlike manual transfer, Coolmuster iOS Assistant automatically scans the iPhone images and shows the thumbnail pictures on the interface. You can preview the pictures, select the ones you want, and export them onto the external hard drive directly. If you wish to back up all photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive, you can do it with one click.

Also, it supports various iPhone photo formats, like JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PEG, etc. Here you can check the key features of Coolmuster iOS Assistant.

Key features:

* Selectively preview and copy photos from iPhone to external hard drive.

* One-click to back up all photos and photo albums from your iPhone to the external hard drive.

* Support multiple photo formats, such as JPG, PNG, PEG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, etc.

* It also allows you to export contacts, messages, music, and other files from your iPhone/iPad/iPod to your computer/default iTunes backup location/external hard drive, and import books, iTunes backups, etc., from your computer to an iDevice.

* Back up and restore iPhone data on a computer.

* Highly secure, easy, and user-friendly app.

* Work well with all iPhone models running iOS 5 to iOS 14 or higher, including iPhone 12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12/12 mini/SE/11 Pro Max/11 Pro/11/XS Max/XS/XR/X/8/8 Plus/7 Plus/7/6S Plus/6S/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5/4S/4, etc.

Let's check how to back up iPhone photos to an external hard drive in one click.

1. Install Coolmuster iOS Assistant on your computer.

Download and install this program on your computer. Next, launch it, and you will see the interface below.

2. Plug your iPhone and the external hard drive into the computer.

Connect your iPhone to the computer using a suitable USB cable, tap Trust on your iPhone, and click Continue on the software to move on. After that, insert the external hard drive into the computer's USB slot.

3. Import iPhone photos to the external hard drive.

Once successfully connected, click Photos from the left panel, preview & tick the desired photos, and hit the Export button on the top menu. Finally, choose the external hard drive from the pop-up window to save them to it.

Further reading:

Part 2. How to Move Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Mac via Image Capture

Import Photos From Iphone To Mac External Drive Not Showing Up

If you are a Mac user, you can connect the two devices to your Mac and transfer photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive with the Image Capture for free.

How to import photos from iPhone to an external hard drive via Image Capture?

1. Plug the external hard drive and your iPhone into your Mac. You can use a USB cable to connect your iPhone with the computer.

Iphone

2. Open the Image Capture app on your Mac if it doesn't launch automatically.

3. Click your iPhone under Devices > press Import to > choose the external hard drive from the list to store photos > tap Import All or choose the wanted photos and click Import to import iPhone photos to the external hard drive.

Note: The transferred photos will not include the albums and My Photo Stream photos since they are not shown or accessible.

Part 3. How to Export Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Windows/Mac with the Photos App (Limited Versions)

On Windows 10/8 and macOS X 10.10.3 or newer versions, there is a Photos app for you to transfer or manage the iPhone photos. If you don't want to install any apps, you can pick this way.

How to transfer pictures from iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows?

1. Ensure that you have installed the latest version of iTunes on your computer. Then, plug your iPhone into your Windows 10 or Windows 8 using a USB cable, and the computer will recognize it as a USB device. Also, connect the external hard drive to the computer.

2. Click Start at the computer's lower-left corner > Photos > Import > From a USB device > choose the wanted photos to transfer from the pop-up window.

Import Photos From Smartphone To Windows 10

3. Click Import settings > Change the import destination > choose a folder on your external hard drive to save photos > hit Done. Finally, tap Import Selected to start moving iPhone photos to the external hard drive.

How to save iPhone photos to an external hard drive on Mac?

1. Connect your iPhone and the hard drive to your Mac.

2. Launch the Photos app on your Mac, head to Devices, and choose your iPhone.

3. Click the option Import to > define the external hard drive as the storage location > tap the Import All New Photos option or tick the photos you wish to send and tap the option Import ... Selected.

Part 4. How to Store iPhone Photos on External Hard Drive via iCloud (Limited Versions)

You may have regularly synced photos to the iCloud. If so, you can also migrate iPhone photos to the external hard drive using iCloud Drive. However, this way is not always recommended, for it will take longer to sync or download the large photos.

The following tips show you how to move iPhone photos to an external hard drive via iCloud.

1. Check if you have enabled iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone. You can navigate to iPhone's Settings > iCloud > Photos to have a look and turn it on.

2. Visit iCloud.com on your computer and sign in with the same Apple ID you use on your iPhone.

3. Click Photos, choose the photos you like, and click Download selected items at the upper-right corner. After that, wait for a while until all the photos are finished downloading.

4. Link the external hard drive to your computer, double-click it, and copy & paste the saved photos from the computer to the external hard drive.

Part 5. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive without Computer Directly?

Transfer Photos From Iphone To Computer

Sometimes, you don't have a computer at hand. At this moment, you can transfer photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive directly, which free you from using a computer. Let's see how it works.

How to download photos from iPhone to an external hard drive directly?

1. Connect your iPhone with the external hard drive via a USB-type C cable or an adapter.

2. Go to iPhone's Files app, and tap Browse to see if you have successfully attached the external hard drive. Afterward, run the Photos app, click the images you want to copy, and press the Share option.

3. Tap Save to Files > On My iPhone and choose the external hard drive. This will easily transfer photos from iPhone to the external hard drive without a computer.

Download Pictures From Iphone To Flash Drive


The Bottom Line

How to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive? Now you know five simple ways. To flexibly make the transfer, you can choose Coolmuster iOS Assistant. This smart app is easy, safe, and user-friendly to use. In contrast, the Photos app and iCloud limit the device versions. Image Capture does not transfer all photos, and the direct way may not work with all device types.

If you need technical support when syncing, please tell us in the comments anytime. Our support team will assist you.

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