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iPhoto '11: Import your photos

Import your photos
Get Started: Import photos

Before you can use iPhoto to organize, edit, and share your photos, you need to import (copy) your photos into iPhoto on your computer.

Import photos from a digital camera

  1. Using the cable that came with the camera, connect the camera to the USB port on your computer, as shown here, or if your Mac has an SD card slot, you can insert the SD card in your computer and then import from the card.

    Image of camera connected to a Mac computer
  2. If the camera is not on, turn it on, and make sure it’s set to the correct mode for importing photos.

    For information on which mode to choose, see the instructions provided with your camera. If your camera has a “sleep” mode, make sure it’s disabled or set to a time increment long enough to allow your images to download.

  3. Open iPhoto, if it’s not already open.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To import all the photos from your camera, click the Import All button.

    • To import only some photos, press the Command key while you click each photo you want to import, and then click the Import Selected button.

      Image of iPhoto window showing connected camera
  5. After the import process is finished, click the Eject button or drag the camera’s icon to the iPhoto Trash in the Source list (along the left side of the iPhoto window, shown above).

    Image of Source list
  6. Turn off your camera, and disconnect the camera from your computer.

When you import photos, they are automatically grouped into Events, based on when the photos were taken. You can always reorganize the photos in a way that suits you best, or create albums to group together photos around different themes.

If you don’t have a digital camera

If you have photos in digital form (sent to you in an email, taken with a camera phone, or on a CD, for example), you can still import them into iPhoto. You can also turn printed photos into digital form by scanning them or taking them to a store that offers digital imaging services. For film rolls, simply take them to a store that offers film processing and have the photos saved on a CD or DVD.

For more information on importing your photos, including how to modify the way photos are grouped when you import them, and how to import from sources other than a digital camera, click the Browse Help button above and see the topics in “Import photos.”

Last Modified: Jun 7, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Jun 7, 2013
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