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January 18, 2017 How-to-Guides, Mac Tricks , , , , ,

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac without iCloud

How to Import Photos from iPhone to Mac

You may have taken many photos using your iPhone and now the storage space is almost full. Want to reclaim some space by transferring those images to your Mac (or external disk) but don’t know how to do it properly? How to move your photo library from iPhone to computer for backup? In this tutorial we summarize several ways to import photos and videos from iOS device to Mac computer without using iCloud.

Apple provides many built-in tools to help users transfer photos from iPhone to Mac, including iPhoto, Preview, Image Capture, Aperture, Email, and Photos app. iCloud can sync your photos on different devices using the same account, but if you want to free up your iPhone storage occupied by bulks of photos, take the following methods.

Mac users can use built-in Photos app to import photos from iOS devices, but first of all it requires the connection between Mac and iPhone. Here are the detailed steps.

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac without iCloud1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using the USB to iOS cable.

2. Unlock your iPhone screen with the password if it is locked. If you see a prompt on your iPhone asking if Trust This Computer, tap Trust to continue.

3. By default, the Photos app will open automatically when you plug your iPhone into Mac. If not, launch this app from the Applications folder, Launchpad or Spotlight.

4. Click the Import tab on the top of the Photos app (or the device’s name in the Photos sidebar), and then all the photos and videos on your iPhone will be displayed.

5. Pick up the ones you want, and click Import Selected button on the top left.

6. Once the import is complete, a message box will ask if you want to delete or keep the photos on your iPhone. Click Delete Items if you want to remove those selected from your iPhone, or click Keep Items to only make a backup copy on your Mac.

Imported photos will appear in the Photos app’s Last Import album. You can also drag selected photos from Photos app to the location where you wanna store. After that, disconnect your devices from Mac. Note that the photos that are synced from computer to your iOS devices using iTunes can not be imported back to you Mac.

Besides, other Mac built-in apps can also accomplish this task. Continue reading.

Import photos using Preview: connect iPhone to Mac with USB cable > launch Preview app on your Mac > click the File menu at the upper left corner of the screen, and then choose Import from (your iPhone’s name)… option > pick up the photos in the pop up window, then choose a destination, and click on Import (All) button.


Import photos using Image Capture: after connecting iPhone to Mac, open Image Capture app on your Mac > when all photos on your iPhone are loaded in this app, select the ones you want to import, and click Import button to start the transfer. Also, you can check the box saying Delete after Import to remove them from your iPhone.


These apps can import bulks of Camera Roll photos from iOS devices to Mac computer. If you just want to transfer a few photos wirelessly, AirDrop (coming with Mac and iPhone) will be a good choice. See this AirDrop page if you are in need.

Additionally, there are many other third party tools that help you manage and transfer many types of data from iPhone to Mac (for instance, Wondershare Tunesgo).

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