How to Quickly Import Photos from iPhone to Mac

I love to capture multiple pictures every day on my iPhone. But earlier the thought of draining my storage space quickly used to limit me. Unless I realized how easy it is to import photos from iPhone to Mac.

The upsides of transferring photos from iPhone to Mac are not only restricted to saving storage space on your mobile device. But it is also convenient to view, edit and organize then on your Mac.

Mac offers great tools for editing pictures by adding effects, filters, corrections, etc, to them.

import photos from iPhone to Mac

Do you know where all your photos after being transferred from iPhone end up? The default settings store all the pictures in the “Photos” library on your Mac. So after you have imported your pictures, go check out the Photos gallery to have a look at them.

In this article, I will be sharing a list of one of the most effective ways to quickly transfer photos from iPhone to Mac. I have tried and tested all the different ways and found all of them equally useful depending upon the use.

For instance, if I quickly want to import a few pictures to edit I prefer using AirDrop. And when it comes to transferring all pictures at once, I use a third-party app.

But before that, I would like to suggest you check out how to clean junk files on your Mac so that it performs best at all times.

Effective Ways to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac

Importing photos from iPhone to Mac is quite easy. The reason being the different functions available for Apple products. Take, for example, AirDrop, iCloud, etc.

In this article, we will go over five main effective methods to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.

Here is an overview of all of them.

  • Use a USB cable
  • Share photos using AirDrop
  • Sync photos using iCloud
  • Use a third-party app
  • Share photos using Email

But before moving forward with the methods, let’s take a look at how you can clear unwanted photos from your iPhone.

Automatically Detect and Remove unwanted photos from iPhone easily

We all agree that when it comes to taking pictures, we capture a lot of pictures on one go. As it is easy to select and delete photos we don’t like.

Gemini photos cleaner app

But we hardly get time to review those pictures and delete the ones which are either blurred or exact copy of other photos. These unwanted pictures take up a lot of space on our iPhone with time.

Therefore if you want to get rid of this clutter you can use Gemini Photos: Gallery Cleaner App. This app does this boring work for you. And in the end, you can review them and move them to trash.

Bonus: Use Coupon – 4EDUCATION for a special deal!

We suggest you run the app on your iPhone before you transfer photos to your Mac. That will ensure that only useful photos are transferred and all useless photos end up in the trash bin.

So now when you are done detecting and cleaning the unwanted images, let’s check out how to transfer iPhone photos to Mac.

1. Share Photos from iPhone to Mac Using a USB Cable

Most people underestimate the usefulness of a data cable to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac. Although it might seem old to you, it is one method that never fails.

The three things you need in this method are your iPhone, Mac and a USB cable that you use to charge your iPhone with.

Follow the Steps Below to Transfer Photos Using a USB Cable.

  • Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to Mac
connect iPhone to Mac with USB cable
  • Unlock your iPhone to grant permission to your Mac to access files.
unlock iphone
  • A pop-up window will appear on your iPhone screen. Click on “Trust” to allow access.
trust this computer
  • Now take a look at your Mac’s screen. The “Photos” app on your Mac should automatically open.
  • But if by any chance the “Photos” app does not open, don’t worry. Just go ahead and click on the “Photos” app located on the Docs. Further click on “iPhone” from the left column of the application.
Photos app on Mac
  • If you want to import all the photos at once you can choose “Import All New Items” located at the top-right corner of the screen.
  • In case you want to import selected items you can choose “Import Selected” located next to “Import All New Items” at the top-right of the screen. Then you can further click on the images you want to select.
  • An additional function termed as “Delete Items after Import” is also located below the “Import All New Items” option. You can tick the box next to the option if you want to automatically delete items from your iPhone that you have imported to Mac. This feature is great if you are transferring a lot of images from iPhone to Mac and want to free up space easily.
  • After you are done importing photos from iPhone to Mac, you can disconnect your devices by unplugging the USB cable.

So this is the first method on how you can easily import photos from iPhone to Mac. Now if you are not a big fan of using a USB cable to transfer data, we have got more advanced ways to get the job done quickly.

Check out the methods below to see how it is done.

2. Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac Using AirDrop

Don’t want to carry your USB cable to transfer data? I agree it is an outdated method when we have wireless services available.

Talking about wireless services, AirDrop is one of them. It is available on all iOS and macOS operating systems. Thus it makes it easy to import photos from iPhone to Mac. Furthermore, there is no limitation when it comes to the size of files to be transferred.

When you enable AirDrop function, both the Wi-fi and Bluetooth are enabled automatically as both play a role in transferring data. You can successfully share images using this function.

Personally, I have faced issues when transferring huge data over AirDrop. But in case of limited files, this function works great.

Follow the Steps Below to Share Photos Using AirDrop.

  • The first thing to do is making Airdrop discoverable on iPhone. To do this choose “Settings” on the iPhone. Scroll down and click on “General”.
General Settings
  • Click on the “AirDrop” option. Now choosing “Contacts Only” will make it discoverable for your iPhone contacts only. By choosing “Everyone” this function will be discoverable for all. We will choose “Everyone” here.
AirDrop visible to everyone
  • The second important thing to do is making AirDrop discoverable on your Mac. To do this click on “Finder” located at the bottom left corner on Docs. Under favorites, you will find “AirDrop”. Click on it.
AirDrop enable
  • On the bottom of the AirDrop window, you will find “Allow me to be discovered by”. Click the downward arrow next to it. Choose “Everyone” from there. Now once Airdrop is discoverable on both your iPhone and Mac, let’s start with importing photos.
AirDrop visible for everyone
  • Now click on the “Photos” icon on iPhone’s screen. Choose “Camera Roll”.
camera roll iPhone
  • Click on the “Select” option located on the top-right corner of the screen. Now click on the images you want to select. Here, for example, I selected 12 photos.
select iPhone photos
  • Next, click on the upload icon located on the bottom left corner of the page. You will see your Mac device name under “tap to share with AirDrop”. Click on your device.
share photos from iPhone to Mac on AirDrop
  • If you are using this for the first time, you will receive a request to accept the files on your Mac. Click “Accept” on your Mac.
  • All your selected pics from iPhone will be transferred within seconds to your Mac. Next click on “Done” on your iPhone.

Note: Your iPhone’s “Personal Hotspot” and “Wi-Fi” will remain deactivated while you are using Airdrop. So after you are done with using AirDrop, Turn it off to use other useful features on your iPhone, like “Wi-fi” and “Personal Hotspot”.

3. Sync Photos on iPhone and Mac Using iCloud

What if you don’t wish to manually transfer photos from your iPhone to mac?

Then we have got just the right solution for you. You can sync photos on your iPhone and Mac with the help of iCloud service.

iCloud is an online file storage provider developed by Apple. You can enable the iCloud function across your iPhone and Mac at the same time so that the photos available on your iPhone can be accessed from your Mac. What it needs is only logging in with the same Apple Id on both the devices.

iCloud Photos is compatible with all devices running on iOS 8.1 or later and OS X Yosemite (Version 10.10) or later. One cool thing about iCloud storage is that it keeps all your photos stored in the original resolution.

And you can choose to keep a copy of your images at low-resolution on your device. This allows you more storage on your device.

Note: iCloud offers 5 GB of free online storage to users. You can also extend that storage by buying online storage space which can be extended up to 2 TB.

Follow the Steps Below to Sync Photos Using iCloud.

  • Click on the “Settings” icon on your iPhone. Now click on the arrow right next to your name on the top of the screen.
iCloud Settings
  • Scroll down and choose “iCloud”. The page will display the storage space utilized on the top. Under it, you will find “Apps using iCloud”. Choose “Photos” app on the top.
photos app iCloud
  • Toggle “iCloud Photo Library” On so that it turns Green. Make sure the space occupied by your photos is under 5 GB or you will be asked to buy additional storage first.
iCloud photo sharing
  • After enabling iCloud on your iPhone, its time for your Mac. Click on the “Photos” app from the Dock on your Mac’s desktop.
photos app mac
  • Navigate to Apple Menu on the top-left corner of the desktop and choose “Photos”. Next click on “Preferences”.
  • You will get two options, “General” and “iCloud”. Choose “iCloud”.
  • Check the box next to “iCloud Photo Library”.
icloud photo library mac

That’s it!

You do not need to do anything else. Now all your photos will be available on both the devices automatically. But remember that if you make any changes on either device it will be updated on others as well.

For example, if you delete photos from Mac from the photos app, the change will be updated on your phone as well. To disable this you can repeat the steps on your iPhone and Mac and deactivate the iCloud sharing feature.

You can also check out how to recover deleted contacts from iPhone using iCloud.

4. Use a Third-Party App to Import Photos

If you are photos are occupying more than 5Gb of space on your iPhone and you do not want to buy additional space, we have another great option for you.

This is our personal favorite. You can import photos from iPhone to Mac using a transfer tool – iMovie AnyTrans for iOS.

If we compare transferring all our photo library from iPhone to Mac, we found this tool to be highly effective.

Let’s see how it works.

Follow the Steps Below to Import Photos Using AnyTrans.

  • Visit AnyTrans website and then click on Free Download of AnyTrans for iOS. After downloading the software, run it on your Mac.
download AnyTrans to transfer photos
  • Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac.
  • Click on the “Device Manager” option. Now click on “Connect to Mac” located on the right side of the window.
AnyTrans device manager
  • Click on the “Select All” option to uncheck it, so that you can select the folder containing files you want to transfer.
  • After selecting the folder you want to transfer data from, click on “Next” located on the bottom right corner of the screen.
select files
  • Give it a few seconds to complete transferring the files. After it is done click on “View Files” to have a look at all the files transferred to your Mac.
view files

If you want to transfer selected items you can open the folders containing the photos and select individual items and then choose “next” to transfer them. The rest of the process is the same.

5. Share Photos Using Email

Our last method to import photos from iPhone to Mac is by email service. We only recommend this method if you are not near your Mac and need to transfer photos without being physically present near your Mac.

You can select images easily and send them as attachments to your email address. Later you can open your email on your Mac and download them to your Mac.

Note: Make sure that your email attachment size does not extend the size your email service provider allows you to send. For example, Gmail users can send up t 25MB of file attachments. If the size of your file exceeds the limit you will have to try by sending smaller size attachments.

Follow the Steps Below to Share Photos Using Email.

  • Create a temporary folder on your iPhone to store all the images you want to transfer.
  • Now select the temporary folder, or select individual images, as per your choice.
  • Tap on the upload icon located on the bottom left corner of your screen.
upload images
  • Select “Mail” from the sharing options.
share images from email
  • Add the email address of the receiver, subject, and other useful information. And click on “Send” located on the top-right corner.
  • Your images will be sent.
  • You can later check the email on your Mac and download them from there.

This is how you can easily send images through email service from your iPhone to Mac. You can also check out “Best Gmail Alternatives for Better Security“.


This article was a complete guide on how to import photos from iPhone to Mac. We listed all the effective methods such as transferring photos with a USB cable, AirDrop service, iCloud service, AnyTrans third-party app, and email service.

Be sure to check all the methods carefully as each has its own significance. Some are useful for transferring limited images quickly, while other methods are great for transferring a complete photo gallery.

We hope you found this article useful. If you have tried any of the methods above, let us know in the comment section below. You can also suggest us to add some new method that you have tried and has worked for you.

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates!