How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to iPhone—Easiest Methods! (iOS 14 Update)

It's easier than you think to transfer your photos from one iPhone to another, but there are some important steps to take to make sure you get it right.

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

I just got a new iPhone... so how do I transfer my pictures from my old iPhone to my new iPhone? Transferring photos from one iPhone to another is simpler than you might think. Whether you are transferring photos to a new device or sharing pictures with friends, we’ll show you how to master both techniques in this article. We’ll look into how to use iCloud to back up your pictures for easy photo transfer to a new phone, how to create an iCloud backup and restore that backup on a new iPhone, and how to use AirDrop for a quick and secure way to share your latest vacation photos with friends. Read on to learn about how to transfer photos from one phone to another, along with other photo sharing and transferring tips!

Related: How to Get Photos Off Your iPhone

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What's in This Article:

How to Transfer Photos to a New iPhone Using iCloud

In the dark days of Apple, you needed a Mac or PC to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone. Nowadays, the process is way easier. The lingo may be new, but the iCloud method is the simplest way to transfer photos from your old iPhone to a new iPhone. 

If you want to transfer everything, not just photos, from the old iPhone to the new one, then you should follow this article to create a backup and this article to restore the backup. If, however, if you just want to transfer a few things, iCloud is a quick and simple way to migrate your contacts, music, documents, and photos between different Apple devices. Because accessing your iCloud requires you to use your Apple ID, we recommend using this method only with devices you own.

To use this method, both iPhones must be:

  • Running iOS 8.3 or later
  • Signed in using the same Apple ID
  • Connected to Wi-Fi

Step One: How to Check iCloud Storage Capacity for Photo Transfer

You’ll need to make sure you have enough iCloud storage available for all of your photos. If you already have iCloud Photo Library turned on, this shouldn't be a problem.

To check your iCloud storage:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select your name at the top.

    Open SettingsSelect your Apple ID
  3. Tap iCloud.
  4. At the top of the iCloud menu, you'll see a storage bar labeled iCloud. This graph shows how many gigabytes of iCloud storage you're using, the iCloud storage plan you're enrolled in, and the storage allocation of different file types (Mail, Photos, Docs, etc).

    Tap on iCloudReview iCloud Storage summary

If your iCloud storage is full, or close to full, you might be tempted to update your storage plan. While upgrading your storage is an option, you can also delete items from your iCloud storage that you don't want to transfer to the new iPhone so that you have more space for your photos. 

Step Two: How to Transfer Photos to iCloud from Your Old iPhone

  1. Make sure both iPhones meet the criteria listed above.
  2. On the old iPhone (the one with the pictures), open Settings.
  3. Select your name at the top (if running iOS 11 or later).

    Open SettingsSelect your Apple ID
     
  4. Select iCloud.
  5. Tap Photos.

    Tap on iCloudTap on Photos
     
  6. Toggle on iCloud Photo Library.

    Screen shot of iCloud Photo Library toggle inside Photos settings

If you didn't have it on already, it will take some time for all of your photos to transfer to the iCloud. Wait until the photo transfer is complete before continuing. If you already have iCloud Photo Library turned on, all of the photos you’ve taken will already be uploaded to the iCloud.

Step Three: How to Download Your Photos from iCloud on a New iPhone

  1. Now, on the new iPhone (the iPhone receiving the photos), open Settings.
  2. Select your name at the top (if running iOS 11 or later).

    Open SettingsSelect your Apple ID
     
  3. Select iCloud.
  4. If you haven’t already logged in, do so using the same Apple ID as used on the older iPhone.
  5. Tap Photos.

    Tap on iCloudTap on Photos
     
  6. Toggle on iCloud Photo Library.
  7. Then select either Optimize iPhone Storage or Download and Keep Originals.

Now you can open your Photos app and select All Photos to view all of your photos. If you’re here because you just want to transfer some photos from your iPhone to a friend or family member’s iPhone, that’s even easier. I’ll show you how below.

How to Set Up AirDrop to Transfer Photos from iPhone to iPhone (Peer-to-Peer)

 

YouTube video: How to Use AirDrop to Transfer Photos from iPhone to iPhone (Peer-to-Peer)

In order to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone with Airdrop, you’ll need an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 7. If you’re transferring photos from your iPhone to a friend's iPhone, they too will need to have an iPhone 5 or later running at least iOS 7.

First, make sure both you and the person you're sending the photos to have AirDrop turned on. To do this:

  1. On iPhone X or later, swipe down from the upper-right corner to of the screen to open Control Center.
  2. On an iPhone 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center.
  3. Press and hold the network settings block on the upper left corner of the Control Center.


     
  4. Tap on AirDrop in the expanded tile that pops up.
  5. Select either Contacts Only or Everyone. If you select Contacts Only, only the people in your Contacts will be able to send or receive AirDrops to or from you.

How to Use AirDrop to Transfer Photos from iPhone to iPhone (Peer-to-Peer)

Now, let’s send those pictures from iPhone to iPhone. To use AirDrop, you and your friend need to be near each other within both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range. Once you are in range, you can AirDrop your photos. To do this:

  1. Open the Photos app and find the pictures you want to send to another iPhone.
  2. Tap the Share icon in the lower left corner once you’ve selected the photo(s).
  3. You’ll see the option to Tap to share with AirDrop at the top, and this is where you'll find your AirDrop contacts.
  4. Locate the person you want to send the photo to and tap their contact bubble.

The other iPhone will receive a notification you’re trying to send it something via AirDrop. Once the owner of that iPhone taps Accept, the photo(s) will be added to the Photos app on that iPhone.

 

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It's easier than you think to transfer your photos from one iPhone to another, but there are some important steps to take to make sure you get it right.

Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.