If you’re like most people, you’ll love taking pictures on your phone and looking back at them later. However, if you’re only keeping one copy of your photo library on your iPhone and not backing it up somewhere else, there’s always a chance you could lose your entire photo collection.

Do you want to preserve your iPhone photo library on your computer? I’ll show you how. I’ll be showing you multiple ways to transfer photos from iPhone to your PC.

Now let’s get started…

Connect iPhone to PC with a USB

I’m using Windows but it pretty much works the same whichever version of Windows you’re using. The first thing you want to do is plug in your iPhone using the USB cord. If this is the first time you’ve done that on your pc, you’re going to get a message and it’ll ask you what you want to happen every time you plug this device. If you want to use this method, you have to allow it to access your iPhone and use the photos.

Here’s how to access the iPhone:

1. Go to File

2. You’ll see that your iPhone on the left

3. You want to click on that

When you connect your iPhone, you’re going to get a popup message and it’s going to ask you if you want to allow the device to access your photos and videos and you want to click allow.

After you’ve done that go ahead and double-click on internal storage. Once you’ve clicked on the iPhones internal storage on your computer, you’re going to see a file called DCIM so you want to double-click.

DCIM folder

Once you do this, you’re going to see two folders. One says 100APPLE and one says 101APPLE. These folders are the ones that are storing your photos, videos and any other images that you’ve got.

100APPLE folder

In my case, I’ve got quite a few folders rather than just two. This may also be the case for you. You can go ahead and select one of the folders and this will usually be the 100APPLE folder. It’s going to take a while for your pictures to load so just be patient. If you have under 1000 images/videos, it shouldn’t take that long for your images to load but anything over that, it’s going to take up to 30 seconds.

After all of your photos are loaded, you’ll see all of your photos lined up in two Columns.

Storing Files on your PC Directly

First of all, you can store these either on your PC directly or you can use an external hard drive. My choice usually is to use an external hard drive but I’ll show you how to do both. To do this you want to directly on your PC:

1. Right click on your desktop

2. Scroll down to new

3. Create a new folder

Creating a folder for images

You want to name this folder something you resonate and something you can easily locate whenever you’re looking for it. Once you’ve done this you can take your photos from your iPhone either one by one by clicking one image at a time then dragging it over to the folder, or you can do multiple photos at one time.

If you want to do this in one go and keep all the images in order, here’s what to do:

1. Click the first photo

2. Hit your shift button and click the first photo on the list then the last photo at the bottom

3. Then drag those over

If you have individual photos that aren’t in the order you want, click ctrl and hold it. You can select the different photos you want or if there is a group of photos, you can just highlight those specific group of images. Once you’re finished, drag them into the folder.

It’s that simple, that’s one way you take your pictures directly from your iPhone or your iPad and get your photos on to your PC.

Using an External Drive

If you’ve got an external drive, just go ahead and hook up your external drive and you’ll see it on the left of your file explorer. The process for an external drive is pretty similar to storing the files directly. Here’s what you want to do:

1. Right-click and scroll to the new folder

2. Name the folder something you can easily find again. E.g. iPhone Photos. If you’re transferring files over from one folder to another, you want to open another file explorer window. You can do this by:

3. Right-clicking on Apple iPhone in the left

4. Click open a new window so you can access both folders at the same time.

You can now follow the same steps as earlier: internal storage, DCIM, 100APPLE, then let it load your photos. The process is the same, you can both drag and drop each photo individually or you can hit control and just select the photos you want then just drop them into the folder you created. You can also hold shift, select the first photo then select the last photo at the bottom. This is going to highlight all your images so you can transfer all of them to the folder you created.

So that’s one you can transfer your photos either from your iPhone or iPad directly to your PC or you can use it on an external drive as well.

Using iCloud for Windows

This method makes it easy to have your photos automatically imported from your iPhone to your PC. To begin setting this up:

1. Open the web browser on your PC and search for download iCloud for Windows

2. Click the link to the iCloud for PC download page

3. Click download to get the free software on your PC

You need to wait for the download to finish then click on the download to run the Installer. This download may take quite a while. When the installation is complete, you can open your PC Start menu and click iCloud to launch the software. After you’ve opened iCloud, you can sign into the same Apple ID account you use on your iPhone.

You now need to click options in the photo section of the window that appears on your screen. Click the checkbox labelled iCloud photo library to enable automatic download of your photos stored in iCloud to your PC then click apply.

In order to have your photos sync between your devices, you’ll also need to enable iCloud photo library on your iPhone. To do this you need to:

1. Open your iPhone settings then

2. Scroll down and tap photo

3. Tap the switch labelled iCloud photo library to have your photos and videos automatically upload to your iCloud storage space then allowing them to be synced on your PC.

When the switch is green the feature is enabled. To view your photos on your PC, open your Start menu and click iCloud photos.


The second method you can use is to download your photos from the iCloud website. This one allows you to pick and choose which photos you want to save to your PC rather than automatically downloading your entire photo library. The first step to this method is to enable iCloud photo library on your iPhone the same way I showed you in the last method. Then you want to:

1. Open your computer’s browser and go to iCloud.com

2. Log into your Apple ID account

3. Click the photos icon to access your pictures and videos

4. Scroll through your library to find some pictures you want to save

5. Click on a photo to select it. If you want to save more than one photo at once hold down the control button on your keyboard while selecting photos

6. Once you’ve selected some pictures you want to save to your PC click the download button

The photos will be saved to your PC’s downloads folder.

Using Third-Party Software

Another method you can use to transfer photos between your iPhone and PC is to use a third-party software. There are tons of options but one I highly recommend is Dropbox. You can download the software for your PC and the app for your iPhone.

The app will automatically guide you through importing your photos the first time you open it.

Email Attachments

The last method I recommend using is to simply attach photos to an email and sending them to yourself. To do this on your iPhone:

1. Open the Photos app (gallery)

2. Tap select in the top right corner

3. Tap each photo you’d like to send to your PC

4. Tap the share icon in your gallery

5. Select mail

In your email, be sure to enter your own email address in both the to-and-from boxes so you can open the email from your PC then tap send. Once the pictures have been sent you can open up your email inbox on your PC to find the email you’ve sent to yourself, then you simply download the images you attached to the email and save them to your PC.

If you’re a Gmail user like I am, click the downwards arrow icon to download the pictures. If you use a different email service look around your screen for a download button.