Choose where you want to keep your photos and videos
First, decide where you want to keep your collection of photos and videos. You can make them available on all your devices with iCloud Photos. Or you can choose to store them locally only on your Mac or PC.
With iCloud Photos, you can access your photos and videos from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV on iCloud.com, and even your PC. Your latest shots are automatically added to iCloud Photos, and any organisational changes or edits you make are always kept up to date across all your devices.*
Before you begin:
- Make sure that the software is up to date on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, your Mac and your Apple TV.
- Set up iCloud on all of your devices. If you have a PC, download iCloud for Windows. Make sure that you're signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID on all of your devices.
- Make sure that your device is connected to Wi-Fi.
Turn on iCloud Photos:
- On your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Photos, then turn on iCloud Photos.
- On your Mac, go to System Preferences > iCloud. Click the Options button next to Photos, then select iCloud Photos.
- On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Accounts > iCloud > iCloud Photos.
- On your PC, follow the steps to set up iCloud Photos.
If you've already synced photos to your iOS device from iTunes, and you then turn on iCloud Photos on your iOS device, you'll see a message that says 'Photos and Videos Synced from iTunes will be Removed'. The photos and videos that you synced from your computer will stay on your computer, but they're removed from your iOS device.
You can get these photos and videos back onto your iOS device by turning on iCloud Photos on your Mac or PC. When you do that, the photos from your computer upload to iCloud so that you can access them on all of your devices. After you turn on iCloud Photos, all photos are in iCloud and accessible from the Photos app on your Mac or a folder on your PC.
* The photos and videos that you keep in iCloud Photos use your iCloud storage. Before you turn on iCloud Photos, make sure that you have enough space in iCloud to store your entire collection. You can see how much space you need and then upgrade your storage plan if necessary.
Import to your Mac
You can use the Photos app to import photos from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your Mac without using iCloud Photos. These steps also work for importing images from digital cameras and SD cards.
- Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes on your Mac. Importing photos to your Mac requires iTunes 12.5.1 or later.
- Connect your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or digital camera to your Mac with a USB cable. If you're using an SD card, insert it into the SD slot on your Mac, or connect it using a card reader.
- You might need to unlock your iOS device using your passcode. You might also see a prompt on the iOS device asking you to Trust This Computer. Tap Trust to continue.
- On your Mac, the Photos app automatically opens. If it doesn't, open the Photos app.
- The Photos app shows an Import screen with all the photos and videos that are on your connected device. If the Import screen doesn't automatically appear, click the Import tab at the top of the Photos app, or click the device's name in the Photos sidebar.
- To import a selection of photos, click the ones you want, then click Import Selected. To import all new photos, click Import All New Photos.
- You can now disconnect your device from your Mac. If you imported photos from an SD card or other USB device, safely eject the device first.
In macOS High Sierra or later, imported photos appear in the Photos app's Import album. If you're using an earlier version of macOS, you'll find them in your Last Import album.
Photos and videos that you sync from your computer to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch using iTunes can't be imported back to your computer.
Import to your PC
You can import photos to your PC by connecting your device to your computer and using the Windows Photos app:
- Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes on your PC. Importing photos to your PC requires iTunes 12.5.1 or later.
- Connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to your PC with a USB cable.
- You might need to unlock your iOS device using your passcode.
- You might also see a prompt on the iOS device asking you to Trust This Computer. Tap Trust or Allow to continue.
Then, follow the steps in these Microsoft knowledge base articles to learn how to import photos to the Windows Photos app:
When you import videos from your iOS device to your PC, some might be rotated incorrectly in the Windows Photos app. You can add these videos to iTunes to play them in the correct orientation.
If you have iCloud Photos turned on, you'll need to download the original, full-resolution versions of your photos to your iPhone before you import to your PC. Find out how.
Photos and videos that you sync from your computer to your iOS device using iTunes can't be imported back to your computer.
Get photos from your computer to your iOS device
You can choose among several options for transferring photos and videos from your computer to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch:
- Use iCloud Photos with Photos for macOS or iCloud for Windows to keep your photos safely stored and up to date on all your devices.
- Use AirDrop to wirelessly send photos and videos from your Mac to your iOS device. This is a quick and easy Mac-only option for sending a few items. When you send photos and videos to an iOS device via AirDrop, they appear in the device's Photos app.
- Sync your photos manually with iTunes. Each time that you sync your iOS device with iTunes, the photos and videos on your iOS device update to match the albums on your computer.
- Use Time Machine to back up all of your files, including your photos and videos, to an external hard drive.
- Import photos and video from storage media, like a hard disc or SD card, to Photos for macOS.
- Use a scanner and Image Capture to import photos that were taken with a film camera.
- Use the Move to iOS app to transfer your photos from an Android device to an iOS device.
- Import your images directly to a folder on your Mac with Image Capture.