Languages

iOS: Unable to import photos to computer

Symptoms

Your computer does not recognize an attached iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as a camera, preventing you from importing photos to your computer. The steps below may resolve the issue.

Resolution

Collapse All | Expand All


  1. Verify that there is a photo available to be imported:
    • Save a screenshot by pressing the Home button and the Sleep/Wake button at the same time (the screen should flash briefly). Manually open your photo-management software to determine if this software can recognize the device and import photos.
  2. Try using the photo-management software built in to your computer's operating system:
    Mac OS X: Open Image Capture (located in the Applications folder).
    Windows XP: Open the Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard by choosing Start > All Programs > Accessories.
    Windows Vista: Open Windows Photo Gallery by choosing Start > All Programs.
    Windows 7: Choose Start > Computer. Right-click on the logo of the device under Portable Devices (if present) and choose Import Photos.
    Windows 8: Move the cursor to the upper-right corner, click the magnifying glass, type Computer, and press Return. Right-click the logo of the device under Portable Devices (if present) and choose Import Photos.
  3. Check for software updates to your photo-management software.
  4. Verify that iTunes and your iOS software are up to date. Download and install any updates that are available.
  5. Check for and install any available operating system updates. (On Mac OS X, select Software Update from the Apple Menu. On a PC, run the Windows Update application.)
  6. Try using a different computer to import your photos.
  7. Email photos to yourself if you wish to keep them. Then, delete them from your device and reconnect the device to your computer.
    Note: If you have a large number of these photos on your device, you may delete them from your device a few at a time and reconnect to the computer until the device is recognized.

Windows only: Check for the camera drivers and the Media Feature Pack

On Windows, the drivers responsible for recognizing an iOS device as a camera are built in to the Windows operating system. The steps below may help identify a driver-installation issue and resolve it by reinstalling these drivers. Before starting, find out if you have Windows 7 N edition. If so, see the additional information section below for a required Media Pack to recognize cameras.

Windows XP

  1. Connect the device to the computer.
  2. Quit iTunes if it launches.
  3. In the Start menu, right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
  4. Click the Hardware tab, then click the Device Manager button. The Device Manager window should open.
  5. Click the plus (+) icon next to Imaging Devices or Other Devices to expand these selections.
  6. Locate an entry representing the iOS device as a camera. This may say any of the following:
    • iPhone
    • Apple iPhone
    • iPod
    • Apple iPod
    • iPad
    • Apple iPad
    • Digital Still Camera
  7. If any of these entries exists, ensure that they correspond with the iOS device by disconnecting and reconnecting the iOS device. The entry should disappear when the iOS device is disconnected, and reappear when reconnected. You may also see Apple Mobile Device USB Driver in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section. Leave this entry alone. If you do not see any camera entries corresponding with the iOS device, skip this section and test on a different computer.
    Note: If you see a camera entry that does not disappear when your iOS device is disconnected, it likely represents another camera device, such as your computer's built-in web cam. Do not modify it.
  8. Right-click on the camera entry representing the iOS device and choose Properties. If there is an error code, see this Microsoft article for more details on troubleshooting this issue.

If you are instructed to reinstall the driver, or if the error code is not listed in the above article, reinstall the camera driver using these steps:

  1. Right-click the iOS device's camera entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver from the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Hardware Update Wizard that appears, select "Yes, this time only" to allow Windows to connect to the Windows Update Website. Click Next. Search automatically for updated driver software.
  3. Select "Install the software automatically (Recommended)" and click Next. Windows searches for updated drivers and installs any it finds. If Windows is unable to find updated drivers on its own, continue with step 4.
  4. Click Back.
  5. Select "Install from a list or specific location (Advanced)" and click Next.
  6. Select "Search for the best driver in these locations". Deselect "Search removable media (floppy, CD-ROM…)" and select "this location in the search." Then, type the following in the field below your selection:
    C:\Windows\System32
    Note: If Windows is installed on a drive letter other than C, enter the appropriate drive letter in the path.
  7. Click Next. Windows searches this location for drivers and installs any it finds.
    Note: During installation, if a message appears stating that the software you are installing "has not passed Windows Logo testing" click Continue Anyway to continue installing the drivers.

Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8

  1. Connect the device to the computer.
  2. Quit iTunes if it launches.
  3. Open the Device Manager:
    Windows Vista and Windows 7: In the Start menu, right-click Computer and choose Properties. Click Device Manager in the upper-left corner. The Device Manager window should open.
    Windows 8: Move the cursor to the upper-right corner, click the magnifying glass, type devmgmt.msc, and press Return. The Device Manager window should open.
  4. Click the plus (+) icon (or disclosure triangle for Windows 7 and Windows 8) next to "Portable Devices", "Imaging devices" or "Other devices" to expand these selections.
  5. Locate an entry representing the iOS device as a camera. This may say any of the following:
    • iPhone
    • Apple iPhone
    • iPod
    • Apple iPod
    • iPad
    • Apple iPad
    • Digital Still Camera
  6. If any of these entries exists, ensure that they correspond with the iOS device by disconnecting and reconnecting the iOS device. The entry should disappear when the iOS device is disconnected, and reappear when reconnected. You may also see "Apple Mobile Device USB Driver" in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section. Leave this entry alone. If you do not see any camera entries corresponding with the iOS device, skip this section, and test on a different computer.
    Note: If you see a camera entry that does not disappear when your iOS device is disconnected, it likely represents another camera device, such as your computer's built-in web cam. Do not modify it.
  7. Right-click on the camera entry representing the iOS device and choose Properties. If there is an error code, see this Microsoft article for more details on troubleshooting this issue.

If you are instructed to reinstall the driver, or if the error code is not listed in the above article, reinstall the camera driver using these steps:

  1. Right-click the iOS device's camera entry in Device Manager and choose Update Driver Software from the shortcut menu.
  2. In the Hardware Update Wizard that appears, click "Search automatically for updated driver software."
  3. Windows searches for updated drivers and installs any it finds. If Windows is unable to find updated drivers on its own, continue with step 4.
  4. Click Back.
  5. Select "Browse my computer for driver software."
  6. Type the following in the "Search for driver software in this location" field:
    C:\Windows\System32
    Select "Include subfolders."
    Note:
    If Windows is installed on a drive letter other than C, enter the appropriate drive letter in the path.
  7. Click Next. Windows searches this location for drivers and installs any it finds.
    Note: During installation, if a message appears stating that the software you are installing "has not passed Windows Logo testing", click Continue Anyway to continue installing the drivers.

Download the Media Feature Pack if necessary for Windows

Windows 7 and Windows 8 (N edition or KN edition) might not recognize iOS devices as cameras if the Media Feature Pack isn't installed. You can download the Media Feature Pack from Microsoft using the links below, but first, find out which version of Windows you are using. This update is for Windows 7 N SP1, Windows 7 KN SP1, Windows 8 N, or Windows 8 KN only.

Test on a different computer

If no camera entry appears in the Device Manager above, test your iOS device on a different computer if possible.

  • If another computer recognizes the iOS device as a camera, refer to Microsoft, or whoever supports Windows on your computer, for additional troubleshooting for this issue.
  • If the same issue occurs on a different computer, continue to the next section to restore the device.

If you are using iOS 5 or later, you can use Photo Stream

For information on using Photo Stream to import photos from your device to your computer, see this Photo Stream FAQ.
This document will be updated as more information becomes available.
Important: Mention of third-party websites and products is for informational purposes only and constitutes neither an endorsement nor a recommendation. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of information or products found at third-party websites. Apple provides this only as a convenience to our users. Apple has not tested the information found on these sites and makes no representations regarding its accuracy or reliability. There are risks inherent in the use of any information or products found on the Internet, and Apple assumes no responsibility in this regard. Please understand that a third-party site is independent from Apple and that Apple has no control over the content on that website. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Mar 6, 2014
Helpful?
Yes
No
  • Last Modified: Mar 6, 2014
  • Article: TS3195
  • Views:

    226681
  • Rating:
    • 20.0

    (1 Responses)

Additional Product Support Information

Start a Discussion
in Apple Support Communities
See all questions on this article See all questions I have asked