Have you ever wished downloading photos from your phone was as simple as plugging the phone into your Mac? Why does iPhoto/Photos have to get involved? And why is iTunes trying to come to the party? I JUST WANT TO DOWNLOAD MY PHOTOS.
In fact, it CAN BE as simple as plugging your phone into your computer though! I was a Mac user for YEARS before I discovered a handy program was hiding in my Applications: Image Capture. It comes automatically loaded onto every Mac.
It’s as simple as opening Image Capture (from Finder/Applications) and plugging in your phone. You’re then able to select individual photos and videos (or select all!) and download them to any destination you wish (like an external hard drive, or in a folder right on your desktop). Image Capture also works for cameras, memory cards, and other devices like scanners.
Here’s a quick tutorial (this is an excerpt from my Backup Bootcamp course):
the easiest way to download phone photos to your mac
Pro Tip: If you need to copy A TON of files, turn off the auto-lock feature so your phone doesn’t go to sleep and interrupt the transfer (under Settings/Display & Brightness on your phone).
Now, one thing that will complicate the process is iCloud. By default, iCloud is setup to maximize the storage space of your phone, which means that even though you SEE all of your photos on your phone, not all of them are actually SAVED there. So when you plug your phone into Image Capture, it will only identify the photos that are being saved locally on your phone. You can change your iCloud settings to download everything to your phone (Go to Settings / [your name] / iCloud / Photos and select “Download and Keep Originals”). However, if your phone doesn’t have enough space to hold ALL of these photos, I have tutorials for downloading your iCloud photos in my Backup Bootcamp online course.