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What’s the best way to extract iPhone photos to your iMac?


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With my Leica M9 I just whip out the SD card, put it into the slot, select the picture file and upload it to the desktop. Couldn’t be simpler.

 
But trying to do the same with the iPhone is problematic. I hooked up a USB cable, and the iMac didn’t recognize it. I had to hunt around and then could only open pictures in Photos. I just want the photos on the desktop. Yes, I can also use airdrop but you have to do them picture by picture, which is slow. 
 
I seldom do this, but want to help a friend load her iPhone pictures (several thousand from a European trip!) onto her laptop (possibly a Widows machine). So what’s the best way to do it?
 
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Sync via iCloud, but this may involve paying a subscription to Apple for sufficient space.

I’m coming round to thinking these subscription cloud storage plans are very good value if you cost the time you would otherwise spend doing backups, copies of backups, off-site storage of backups, recovery from disk failures, sharing between your devices, ...

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Before I used Lightroom CC on android, I used a dropbox account. On the phone the dropbox app allowed you to automatically add camera photos, which then appeared in dropbox on my desktop. I don't know if the same facility is available on iPhone

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Coming from a more ancient computer world*, I find the way iOS communicates with the outside world surprisingly user-unfriendly. I know many people who send everything by E-mail. A simple file manager would do for me (which I can get under Windows but not unter MacOS).

 

Stefan

 

 

 

*The first computer I used was my sister's Apple II (no Mac). The first e-mail I sent was on a VAX in 1987. I've read somewhere, that older people go into the internet, while younger people live there. When I was visiting friends in the early 1990s, it was usual to go to the next university computer centre to check e-mails. The internet was indeed a place where one had to walk physically to back then.

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Yes, I can also use airdrop but you have to do them picture by picture, which is slow. 

 

 

No, you can airdrop as many photos as you wish (though I accept that it is not a method for moving a thousand photos). Downloading via USB direct to the Photos.app on the iMac is another option if your friend hasn't got LR.

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I just select Airdrop then tick the boxes of the ones I want to transfer - job (almost) done. After the files have appeared in Downloads on my iMac (and/or MacBook) l import them into LR as normal. Have never bothered trying via USB.

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I just select Airdrop then tick the boxes of the ones I want to transfer - job (almost) done. After the files have appeared in Downloads on my iMac (and/or MacBook) l import them into LR as normal. Have never bothered trying via USB.

If Airdrop doesn't work, email them to yourself.

 

 

The OP was trying to help a friend move "several thousand" photos taken on a trip. I use airdrop all the time for moving up to a dozen or so photos at a time but I wouldn't want to use it (or email) to move large numbers of photos to my desktop.

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If you connect an iPhone to a PC, via a good USB cable, the phone will ask whether you trust the PC. Say "yes" and the phone mounts as an external drive.

 

Double-clicking through the phone in Windows Explorer (or whatever it's called) will get you down to the image storage directories and you can then drag and drop the images from there into a new directory that you have created on your desktop

 

On a Mac, provided the cable is a good one, you could also use the Image Transfer program to do the same job.

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Thanks all for replies. Yes, I tried using my iPhone for practise. Yes, I can use Airdrop or open them with Photos but what I was really wanting was an easy way of just copying pictures onto the desktop like I can with a regular photo SD card. I would really prefer not to go through intermediate software. (And I no longer have Lightroom as it's now subscription only which makes it far too expensive.) 

 

I also tried connecting a Samsung Galaxy to a PC with a  USB cable and I was able to locate and upload pictures quickly without any hassle. Dunno why iPhone and a Mac make it harder.

 

Image Transfer sounds like a good idea for Mac, I'll check it out. 

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Image Capture couldn't find the iPhone, no idea why. But I used good old Graphic Converter, selected "browse images" and I could copy them en masse to the desktop. I can then save them onto a thumb drive for my friend. Good to practise first! Will do them tomorrow.

Edited by NZDavid
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I seldom do this, but want to help a friend load her iPhone pictures (several thousand from a European trip!) onto her laptop (possibly a Widows machine). So what’s the best way to do it?

 

 

 

Dropbox.

 

When you set it up on the phone it will ask you if you want to sync photos from your phone; say yes. They will appear in your Dropbox account in a folder called "Camera Uploads". 

 

If you then install Dropbox on your Mac the Camera Uploads folder will be there.

 

Works a treat.

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There are several useful ways to move photos from iPhone into macOS:

 

1- connect the iPhone via cable and run Image Capture. You can put the files wherever you want to.

2- Same as above with Photos.

3- AirDrop the files to the Mac ... put them anywhere you want to.

4- Connect via cable and use Lightroom.

5- Use DropBox ...

6- Use Flickr.com ...

 

And so forth. I use 1, 3, and 4, depending on how many photos I need to move and what happens to be convenient at the moment.

Edited by ramarren
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Thanks again all, other options should work fine but I am uploading using Graphic Converter as I type. Trouble is, our friend has several thousand pictures and movie files (late model large capacity iPhone) and I am connecting using  USB cable, so it is taking quite some time! Transfer speed is about 4-5 MB/s -- dunno how that compares but i seems slow. Maybe the last USB-c would be faster, and not sure if there is an iPhone cable? While iPhone photos can be handy, I still prefer SD cards that I can transfer quickly at full size. 

Edited by NZDavid
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Total file size was 22GB. iPhone has 128GB of memory, so she could have stored loads more! I got a new 32G USB drive and it takes about 15 minutes to copy files -- compared with about 10 times as long with USB cable. 

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