iOS 13 Photos app on iPod touch 7Source: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore

If you have an iPhone, you more than likely take a lot of photos with it. After all, the best camera is the one with you, and who goes without their iPhone? While there are great photo editing apps out there, maybe you just prefer to do your photo editing on your Mac instead (and don't forget about how to transfer photos from your Mac to your iPhone). Wondering how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac? There are a few different ways to go about this, so let's dive in.

Use iCloud Photo Library

One of the easiest methods to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac, with no cables required, is to turn on iCloud Photos. When this is enabled, you should be able to access all of the photos and videos that you have across all of your devices — including iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Save big on these VPN services ahead of Black Friday

However, you will need to have enough storage space in your iCloud account, which you may not have. Apple provides 5GB of free space for every iCloud account, which is hardly anything these days. If you want to use iCloud Photos, you may need to upgrade your iCloud storage plan, which starts at $2.99 a month for 200GB, or you can get 2TB for $9.99 a month. The 2TB option can also be shared with up to six others through Family Sharing. For most individuals, the 200GB should suffice. However, you should keep in mind that this iCloud storage is not just for iCloud Photos — it's for everything you store in iCloud, including iCloud backups, which can take up quite a bit of space.

To use iCloud Photos for importing your photos over to your Mac from your iPhone, you'll first need to make sure that all of your devices have iCloud Photos enabled.

Turn on iCloud Photos on your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Photos.
  3. Tap the toggle for iCloud Photos to ON (green).

    Turn on iCloud Photos on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Settings, tap Photos, tap toggle for iCloud Photos to ONSource: iMore

Turn on iCloud Photos in the Photos app on your Mac

  1. Launch the Photos app on your Mac.
  2. Click Photos in the upper left corner of the menu bar.
  3. Click Preferences (you can also easily access the Preferences by pressing cmd and , on your keyboard).
  4. Click on the iCloud tab.
  5. Click the checkbox on iCloud Photos to turn it on.

    Turn on iCloud Photos in Photos app on Mac by showing steps: In Preferences, click iCloud, then click the checkbox for iCloud PhotosSource: iMore

Once iCloud Photos is enabled on all of the devices you want to use it on, your images should sync automatically across everything. However, it may take up to 24 hours after turning it on for everything to get synced over, so you may need to be patient. After that, though, everything should be rather seamless when it comes down to how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac.

Import via the Photos app on Mac

If you use the Photos app on your Mac to manage your photos and edit them, but you don't want to use iCloud Photos, then you'll have to manually plug your phone in and import it the old fashioned way. Here's how.

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac via a USB cable.
  2. Open the Photos app on your Mac.
  3. The Photos app should automatically be on the Import screen with all photos and videos on the connected device. If not, just click on the device name in the sidebar.
  4. Select the photos you want to import.
  5. Click Import Selected. If you did not select photos, click Import All New Photos.

    Import via the Photos app on Mac by showing steps: Click your device in the sidebar, select photos you want to import, then click Import Selected or Import All New Photos if you didn't select any specific imagesSource: iMore

  6. Photos app will begin the process. Once it's completed, you can disconnect your iPhone or iPad from your Mac.

Before iCloud Photos was a thing, this was probably the best and most straightforward way on how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac.

Transfer the photos with AirDrop

Don't use the Photos app on Mac? No problem. Another quick way on how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac is to utilize AirDrop. With AirDrop, you're using Bluetooth Low Energy to basically create a point-to-point WiFi network that can transfer data between two Apple devices, such as an iPhone and a Mac, an iPhone to another iPhone, an iPhone to an iPad — you get the idea. AirDrop is fast, power-efficient, and secure.

It's also incredibly easy to use!

  1. Launch Photos on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find the photos and videos that you want to send to your Mac. You can do it for individual images or a batch of multiple photos.
  3. Tap the Share button in the bottom right corner.

    Transfer photos via AirDrop on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Photos, find the photos you want to AirDrop and select them or view them individually, tap the Share buttonSource: iMore

  4. Tap AirDrop.
  5. Select the Mac device that you want to send the images to.

    Transfer photos via AirDrop on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap AirDrop, tap the Mac you want to send the images toSource: iMore

  6. On your Mac, the AirDropped image should appear in a Finder window.

If you use AirDrop enough, it will begin to show up as the first choice in the top row of sharing options. You can just tap it to send to your most frequently AirDropped device, which may be your Mac.

I honestly use AirDrop every day to complete work here at iMore. It's the fastest way to for me to get iPhone and iPad screenshots, product review photos, and more, without having to deal with iCloud Photos or the Photos app on Mac.

Utilize the Files app

If you want to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac, but don't want to use iCloud Photos and Photos on Mac, then you could use the Files app instead. Importing a file into the Files app on your iPhone means you can access that photo or video file from your Mac via iCloud Drive, or even another third-party syncing service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

How to add a third-party syncing service to the Files app

If you prefer to use a third-party service, such as Dropbox, you'll need to turn that on first.

  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the Browse tab.
  3. Tap the "..." button in the upper right corner.

    How to add a third-party syncing service or app to Files on iPhone and iPad by showing: Launch Files, tap Browse, tap the "..." button in the upper right cornerSource: iMore

  4. Tap Edit.
  5. Under Locations, tap the toggle for the third-party service or app you want to enable.
  6. Tap Done.

    How to add a third-party syncing service or app in Files on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap Edit, tap the toggle on the app or services you want to use in Files, tap DoneSource: iMore

Now that your service or app is enabled in the Files app, you should be able to browse all of your stored files directly, without having to use a separate app.

Of course, third-party services like Dropbox also have standalone apps that can handle your Camera Roll uploads automatically themselves as well.

How to set photos and videos to automatically upload to a backup

How to send a photo or video to the Files app

  1. Launch Photos on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find the photos and videos that you want to send to Files.
  3. Tap the Share button.

    How to send a photo or video to the Files app from Photos on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Launch Photos, select the photo or video you want, tap the Share buttonSource: iMore

  4. Scroll down and tap Save to Files.
  5. If you have multiple locations saved, choose the location you want to save to.
  6. Tap Save.

    How to send a photo or video to the Files app from Photos on iPhone and iPad by showing steps: Tap Save to Files, tap where you want to save the image or video to, tap SaveSource: iMore

How to view your photo or video in iCloud Drive on your Mac

Once you have imported your photos and video to the Files app in your specified location, it should be easy to find them on your Mac.

  1. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  2. Click iCloud Drive in the sidebar. If you chose a different location, like Dropbox, click Dropbox in the sidebar.

    View your photo or video in iCloud Drive on Mac by showing steps: Launch Finder, click iCloud Drive or even Dropbox in your sidebarSource: iMore

  3. Your photo or video should be there. It may be easier to sort by Date Added or Date Modified if you have a lot of files.

Questions?

These are the best and easiest methods when it comes to how to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac. Do these tips work for you? Or do you have another method that you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.