How to import photos from iPhone to Mac- 4 Ways in 2020

If you are an Apple lover and have been using an iPhone or Mac for a long time, there are certain hacks that you should be aware of. Well, there is no doubt that your iPhone has tons of photos and videos which will ultimately run of space to store all of them. So, we have encountered tons of queries related to “How to import photos from iPhone to Mac” to free up space from their iphones. 

After trying out every possible way to import photos from iPhone to Mac, we have come up with a guide that will help you carry out the process smoothly. Moreover, it involved using certain built-in features or using third-party applications to make the transfer easier. Make sure you follow each step carefully so that you do not have to start all over again.

Let us get started.

How to import photos from iPhone to Mac

To start with this, you will come across about five such processes that users have generally performed and we have tried out as well. So, you can pick out and try anyone from this and make your work easier.

  1. Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac using a USB cable
  2. Move photos from iPhone to Mac through AirDrop
  3. Transfer photos using iCloud
  4. Import photos from iPhone to Mac with AnyTrans

1. Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac using a USB cable

The easiest method that you can start off with is using a USB cable and connect your iPhone and Mac through it. It is very thing that every user starts off with. It is until when this method fails to work for a large number of photos that lead them to take a different path.

transfer photos to Mac

  1. Connect your iPhone and Mac using a USB Lightning Cable.
  2. Now, unlock your iPhone and accept the confirmation to connect (if prompted)
  3. The photos app will automatically launch on your Mac. If at all it does not, go to the launchpad and select the Photos app.
  4. Go to Import on the menu above.
  5. Select photos from the list or simply click on “Import all new items”.

As soon as you click on import all, each image from your iPhone will start importing to your Mac in a separate folder.

2. Import photos from iPhone to Mac with AnyTrans

Being an avid iPhone and Mac user, you are already familiar with iCloud and other in-built apps helping you store photos and videos on your devices. Well, there is another such application or tool known as AnyTrans that can do something similar and help you transfer files from your iPhone to Mac super easily and faster than any other tool.

Transfer photos using AnyTrans

It is a third party tool definitely but completely safe and worth trying out. The app instantly backups and copies your iPhone content to Mac, as well as transfers data across iOS, iTunes, and iCloud. Furthermore, let us see how it works.

  1. Download the application from the web from its official website.
  2. Launch the AnyTrans app from your iPhone.
  3. Connect both the devices to the same network.
  4. Now, connect your iPhone to Mac via USB cable.
  5. Allow access to AnyTrans to your photo library
  6. Go to Device Manager > Export iPhone content to the computer.

As soon as you press on import all your photos will start importing from your iPhone to Mac. Moreover, it will automatically sync to your iCloud if you have enough space.

3. Transfer photos using iCloud

Yet another easier way to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac is by using iCloud. It is incredible cloud-based storage available on all iOS devices. All your photos, videos, files, etc are synced directly to the cloud. Basically, you will get only a limited amount of space to store files. While if you need more you will have to pay a small nominal fee to get more iCloud space.

Perform these settings on your iPhone to enable iCloud to sync your photos and videos.

icloud photos

  1. Click on Settings Icon.
  2. Tap on your name and Go to iCloud.
  3. In the list of apps listed below, Select Photos.
  4. Toggle the button to On beside iCloud Photos.

To enable settings for iCloud on your Mac, follow the steps below.

transfer photos from iPhone to Mac using iCloud

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top-left corner on the desktop.
  2. Choose System Preferences.
  3. Go to iCloud.
  4. Check the box beside Photos to enable sync to iCloud.

So now, since the iCloud sync is enabled on both the devices considering they both use the same Apple ID. All your photos and videos will now sync directly to iCloud which you can access on your Mac as well. Remember, any changes made on iCloud over your phone will affect that on Mac as well and vice versa. Furthermore, this is an excellent answer on how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac without USB.

4. Move photos from iPhone to Mac through AirDrop

Being an avid Apple user you might be aware of an excellent feature for all iOS users known as AirDrop. If you haven’t already used it to its full potential now is the perfect time for it. Furthermore, for those who are new to this, AirDrop lets you quickly and easily transfer files between iPhones, iPads, and Macs. It uses Bluetooth LE to broadcast, discover, and negotiate connections, and point-to-point Wi-Fi to transfer data.

import photos from iPhone to Mac using Airdrop

To make sure to enable AirDrop on your iPhone follow the steps given below.

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Click on General.
  3. Now, look for AirDrop and click on it.
  4. Change the settings to “Everyone” so that other devices can connect to it.

Now, enable AirDrop on your Mac to connect to iPhone and send files.

  1. Open Finder from the dock.
  2. Click on AirDrop from the side menu option.
  3. Make the changes in the drop-down menu to “Everyone” as shown in the image.
  4. Wait for the devices to discover each other.

All you need to do is wait for the devices to find each other and connect them when the application displays the device on the bar. Once you have done it, you can easily transfer files very easily.

Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac through AirDrop

  1. Go to your iPhone and open the Gallery or Photos.
  2. Select the images you wish to export to Mac.
  3. Tap on the share icon once images are selected.
  4. In the AirDrop section, tap the name of your Mac.
  5. Click Accept on the pop-windows appearing on your Mac to start the transfer.

Once you are done with your transfer you can easily disable the Airdrop from your phone so that others cannot get access to it or send files. The methods involving the use of iCloud and Airdrop uses the inbuilt features and does not require the use of any USB cable.


Although there are multiple other ways as well by which you can easily import photos from iPhone to Mac. For example, you can use the Photo Stream feature on your iPhone to transfer photos. Furthermore, you can send photos through Gmail very easily by creating a Zip file of all the photos and opening it up on the Mac from the web saved in the draft.

Moreover, if you are unwilling to use the USB lightning cable to transfer photos, you can simply choose the options given above for iCloud and Airdrop. With the use of the Image Capture feature and the USB cable can tip the scales up for the users to transfer photos as necessary.

For more information on learning about Snipping Tools for Mac, check out the link given.

Furthermore, if you face any error on the way and are stuck simply let us know in the comment section below. Also, if you have tried any other application or method do mention in the comment section so that other readers can apply it as well.

Leave a Comment