How To Import Photos from Your iDevice to Your Computer

I have a friend who has several hundred photos on her iPhone 5. She's been taking photos on her phone since last summer and has never exported any of them. She's running out of room to take more. The other day she asked me how to get the photos from her phone to her computer.

She's never connected her iPhone to her computer, instead choosing to upgrade her operating system and download apps wirelessly. 

There are a variety of ways to export photos, most of them depending on what kind of computer you have and what operating system you are running.

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Here I'll explain ways to export your photos and videos from your iDevice to your computer:

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If you have a Mac you're in luck, because it's very simple to get your photos and videos from your Apple iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your Apple computer.

1. Make sure iPhoto is installed.

2. Connect your device to the computer using your USB charging cord.

3. iPhoto should automatically open and show all the photos your have on your iDevice in its import window.

4. Click Import All, or if you only want to import certain photos, select the images and videos you like then click the Import Selected button.

5. When the photos are finished importing, you will be given a choice to delete all photos from your Camera Roll. I never choose this option because there are some photos I like to keep on my phone (such as a few photos of my children) to show other people. What I do here is select No and then manually delete photos and videos after I unplug my iPhone. To do this, open Photos > tap Camera Roll > tap Select in the upper right-hand corner > tap on the photos you want to delete from your iDevice > tap the trash can icon in the lower right-hand corner. 

It is important to delete some or all of the photos on your iDevice to make room for more. If you want a clean slate then choose Delete Photos while your iDevice is connected to your computer.


I don't own a Windows computer, but Apple's website offers clear and thorough instructions with photos.

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Paula Bostrom's picture

Paula is a freelance media broadcaster and journalist. She enjoys life at home with her husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats and a parrot. Her iPhone is never more than two feet away from her and she can't imagine life without it.