How to Get Photos off iPhone onto PC (Windows 11/10/8/7)

This guide will show you how to get photos off iPhone onto PC in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7. Whether you want to transfer all or selected photos, you will find a way to do it here.


By Lena / Updated on April 24, 2023

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The powerful camera of iPhone helps you capture everyday moments. However, those high-resolution pictures will fill up your iPhone sooner or later. And when that day comes, you need to get photos off iPhone to free up space.

Get photos off iPhone onto PC

Fortunately, the process is not as complicated as you might think. Here in this guide, we will discuss all the possible ways that can help you get photos off iPhone onto PC, flash drive or external hard drive. I’ll show you the pros and cons of each method to help you find the best way to get photos off iPhone.

Part 1. How to get photos off iPhone via File Explorer

If you do not want to download any program, you can rely on File Explorer to get photos off iPhone onto PC. With File Explorer, you can access the DCIM folder, from where you can find all the cameral roll photos and copy them to computer.

However, your photos are stored in different folders so you need to open these folders one by one to find the images you need. It may not be a good choice if you want to transfer photo albums from iPhone to PC.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer via the USB cable > Enter your passcode on iPhone to trust the PC.

Step 2. Open This PC > Find your iPhone under Devices and drives > Double-click it.

Step 3. Go to Internal Storage > DCIM and you will see all the subfolders that store your photos > Open these folders to find the images you need and copy them to your PC or external drive.

DCIM folder

Pros: Requires no programs

Cons: It won't show albums, need to spend time to find the photos you need

Part 2. How to get photos off iPhone via FoneTool

Although File Explorer lets you access iPhone photos on PC, you need to spend time finding the photos you need. If you want to view all your albums on PC, you can use FoneTool, one professional iPhone data management tool for Windows PC.

FoneTool provides an easy way to help you get photos off iPhone onto PC:

It is able to transfer photos between iPhone and computer/external hard drive/flash drive.
It will list photo albums on iPhone which makes it easy for you to find the photos you need.
It will transfer full-resolution photos from iPhone to PC without compressing the quality.
It is able to transfer live photos - save live photos as video or save them in .jpg or .heic format.

With just a few clicks, the selected photos will be moved to the selected destination. It can be the best way to get photos off iPhone. Let’s start to see how to use this tool.

Step 1. Click the download button to get FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to computer via USB cable.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 2. After FoneTool recognizes your device, choose Phone Transfer > Go to iPhone to PC and click Get Started.

iPhone to PC

Step 3. Select Photos and uncheck Music/Videos/Contacts > Select the photos you need and click OK. You are able to select the entire album.

Select photos

Step 4. Click Start Transfer > Select a storage path > Click Transfer to get photos off iPhone.

Start Transfer

When the transfer is complete, you can click Ok and check your photos.


💡 FoneTool also offers two useful tools to help you better manage your photos: HEIC Converter and Photo Deduplication.

  • HEIC Converter can help you convert HEIC to JPG/JPEG/PNG. In this way, you can post or edit photos without any limitations.
  • Photo Deduplication can help you detect duplicate photos on iPhone and PC. It will list all duplicate photos and you can delete the unwanted ones to free up space.

HEIC Converter

Pros: Preview and select the photos; Easily find photos in different albums; Supports transferring Live Photos

Cons: Need to download the software on PC

Part 3. How to get photos off iPhone using Photos app

If your PC is running on Windows 8, 10 or 11, then you can use Photos app to get photos off iPhone. It is one built-in photos manager for Windows that was first included in Windows 8. You can rely on this tool to transfer camera roll photos. In addition, you can edit, delete or share your photos.

Step 1. Launch Photos app and plug in your iPhone.

Step 2. In Photos app, click Import > Select From A USB device and wait for the app to detect your photos.

Step 3. Uncheck the photos you want to transfer to computer > Click Import settings to choose the destination folder or choose to delete imported items from your device.

Step 4. Finally, click Import selected to get photos off iPhone onto PC.

Photos app

Pros: Automatically delete photos from iPhone that have been moved to PC

Cons: Only supports transferring camera roll photos

Part 4. How to get photos off iPhone with iCloud

If you want to transfer photos from iPhone to PC without USB, then iCloud can do you a favor. The files stored in iCloud can be accessed on any device. You can first upload photos from iPhone to iCloud and then download photos from iCloud to PC to achieve the transfer.

However, please note that iCloud only offers 5 GB of free storage space. If you have a large photo library, you can choose to make multiple small transfers. Let’s start to see how to get photos off iPhone via iCloud.

Step 1. Upload photos to iCloud

If you want to get off all photos on iPhone, you can go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Choose Photos > Turn on iCloud Photos or Sync this iPhone. When your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi, it will automatically upload all photos to iCloud.

iCloud photos sync

If you want to transfer selected photos, you can go to Photos app to select the photos you need > tap the Share button > select Save to Files > choose iCloud Drive as the destination.

Save to iCloud Drive

Step 2. Download photos from iCloud to PC

On your computer, open a browser and go to > Log in to your account > Choose Photos or iCloud Drive to check your photos > Select the photos and click the Download button to save them to computer.

Download photos from

Pros: Do not need a USB cable

Cons: The free storage space may not be enough to save all photos; Requires a stable Wi-Fi connection

💡 You can also use other cloud storage services like Google Photos, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc. to get photos off iPhone.

Part 5. How to get photos off iPhone via “AirDrop”

You may often use AirDrop to share photos with family and friends. In the blink of an eye, photos will be transferred to another iPhone. AirDrop is only available for Apple products, therefore, you cannot AirDrop photos from iPhone to PC. But in fact, there are many AirDrop-like apps that allow you to transfer files wirelessly between iPhone and PC.

Snapdrop, Xender, SHAREit are the most recommended ones. These tools use their own technology to connect your iPhone and PC. Here we take Snapdrop as an example to show you how to get photos off iPhone onto PC. You do not need to download any app.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone and PC to the same Wi-Fi.

Step 2. Open a browser and go to on iPhone and PC. When it’s ready to transfer files, you will see a computer icon on iPhone and an iPhone icon on computer.

Step 3. On your iPhone, tap the computer icon and you will be given three options > Choose Photo Library to select the photos you want to transfer.

Get photos off via Snapdrop

Step 4. On your computer, accept the transfer and that’s it.

Pros: No need to download any app

Cons: It may fail if you transfer a large number of photos at once; Requires a stable network connection

💡 If you are interested in AirDrop-like apps, you can refer to these guides to learn more:

[2023 Guide] How to Use AirDrop on Windows 11 

AirDrop for Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 PC Free Download 

How to AirDrop Files from iPhone 14 to Windows 11/10/8/7 

Final words

That’s all about how to get photos off iPhone onto PC. Each method has its disadvantages and disadvantages. Hope you can find the best way to get photos off iPhone according to your situation. By the way, if you need to transfer a large number of photos, then you can use File Explorer, FoneTool or Photos app. After all, wired transmission is more stable and faster than wireless transmission.