3 Smart & Quick Ways to Transfer Photos From iPhone to Mac

Transfer photos from iPhone to MacIn case you were looking for the most efficient ways to transfer or remove photographs from your iPhone using your Mac, here’s the right place. We show you three fastest ways to do it. Best thing is that you don’t need to download any extra app. We’ll be using apps already on your Mac. iPhoto users may read on for a faster alternative.

Apple has made downloading images from your iPhone to your Mac a painless deal. I will be showing you how to accomplish this task using three applications – iPhoto, Image Capture and Preview app on Mac OS. Also, with the new generation of iPod Touch and its inbuilt cameras, iPod Touch users will be needing this guide too.

How to Transfer photos from iPhone to Mac OS:


While iPhoto has some great features available it’s a little slow if you just need a screenshot or temporary image transfer. However, if you wish to keep the photos for long and want to keep them organized in albums this is the best way to do it. iPhoto will help you browse photos as albums or event.

Also, you have a nice set of editing and slideshow tools available to further enrich the experience. Most of you are already familiar with how to import photos using iPhoto. For those not, here’s how. Open iPhoto, Connect your iPhone over USB. In less than 30 seconds, your iPhone should appear in the device list.

Trust me on this, running iPhoto first and then connecting iPhone is the best way to do it. Once you see the iPhone appear select as many or all pics and click on import.

Import photos iPhone Mac


The photos will be copied to iPhoto album and you will be asked whether to delete them from the phone or not.

Delete iPhone photos

There are times when I don’t want to save them in the iPhoto album (temporary images like screenshots) and just wish to save them manually and quickly. For that, we have the following two ways to attain the task.

Image Capture

Believe it or not, this app has always existed in your Mac’s Applications folder. Just go to Applications > Image Capture or use Spotlight to search for the same.


Your iPhone will appear under the list of devices on the left. Just select the pics you want and click on import. Alternatively, drag the pics out to any finder window or your desktop and you’re done. Yes, it’s that simple. In fact pretty much the way you have been doing it on windows to transfer iPhone pics. You can also delete as many pics as you want by clicking the small red button in the bottom.

Image Capture Mac photo import

Preview Application

How could we miss this out. Preview lets you view practically anything on the Mac right? Right from PDFs to images. Now let’s use it to transfer pictures from the iPhone. Just run Preview, in case it already isn’t.


Hit the file menu and click on import from iPhone. The name of the device depends on what you called your iPhone in iTunes. The process of importing and deleting pictures remains same as that in the previous case of Image Capture.

Mac Preview app

I’m sure just like me, most of you did not yet know about all of the three ways to import iPhone photographs. Go ahead and try it out for yourself. If you run into any issue feel free to use the comment box.

13 thoughts on “3 Smart & Quick Ways to Transfer Photos From iPhone to Mac”

  1. Great tip. Been frustrated with the fact that iLife didn’t come bundled with Mac OSX 10.5 so iPhoto was a no go. Since, I’ve been racking up over 1,000 pictures and videos on my iPhone 4 with no convenient way to get them onto the Mac.

    Mac’s “Preview” app works but it won’t import more than one picture at a time, even if I select more than one and they’re highlighted. Don’t know if this is a glitch or if that’s just the way it is.

    Nevertheless, thanks for mentioning “Image Capture.” That was definitely something I’ve always overlooked, and I’ve been a Mac-head for decades. Soโ€ฆit’s slow, but it gets the job done for now, much faster than the one-by-one deal I would’ve had to do with Preview. I just wish it’d take care of the videos. Maybe in future versions.

    Thanks once again, you’ve been a great help.

  2. you welcome. i don’t remember if it works for videos so I’ll check. probably it does support that too already

  3. Wow, awesome app at only $2.99. Haven’t downloaded it yet, but will definitely consider if my MobileMe software (which I haven’t installed yet) won’t do the trick. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi there, just wondering if this can be done only on Snow Leopard OS? I can’t seem to see my iPhone4 on any of the app even after I connected it. The only app that it shows up on is iTunes. Please help. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks.

  5. sorry. thank for the info before. but how if i have plug in my iphone, but the iphoto, image capture and the preview can’t detect my iphone?

  6. gr8 man… bt i wanna import fotos frm photo library present in ipod touch (8gb)
    Your tips are working absolutely cool with camera roll bt not with photo library..
    any suggestion..

  7. Thanks Harsh,

    This was very useful, Image capture worked perfect I didn’t even know I had it. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve been emailing images to myself 5 at a time. Thanks again

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