How to Access iPhone Files on PC via USB for Free: 3 Ways

When you need to move a large number of files from iPhone to PC, then transferring files from iPhone to PC using USB cable is the most convenient way. This messages can help you complete the transfer efficiently.

Kathy by Kathy Updated December 13, 2023
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After using your iPhone for a while, you'll accumulate a growing collection of photos, videos and files. Whether it's for data protection or the desire to access and manage them on your computer, transferring files between your iPhone and Windows is essential. When dealing with a significant volume of data, USB transfer is often the best choice.

This article will guide you through three methods to access iPhone data on PC using USB cable with or without iTunes.

transfer files from iPhone to PC

How to access iPhone files on PC via USB with iTunes

iTunes lets you view some app documents on your iPhone from a PC using the File Sharing option. And this method does not allow you to transfer songs, photos, etc.

Step 1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes on your Windows PC if you haven't already. Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.

Step 2. Launch iTunes on your computer, then locate and click on your connected iPhone, which should appear in the upper left corner of the window.

Note: If your iPhone is stuck on the connected screen, you can find solutions in this page: Fix iPhone Stuck on Connect to iTunes Screen

Step 3. On the left side of the iTunes window, click on File Sharing. You'll see a list of apps that support File Sharing on the right side of the iTunes window. Choose the app to which you want to add files and click the Add File button to select the files.

share iPhone data with iTunes

Once the process is finished, your file will be transferred to your iPhone. And you can open the targeted apps to access them.

smileyEasily access app data on iPhone.
sadApple ID limitations. You can’t transfer files between two IDs.
sadFrequent iTunes error, such as iTunes error code 4013.
sadCan’t access photos and music on PC with iTunes.
sadThe interface is illogical for some users.

How to access iPhone files on PC via USB without iTunes

If you wonder about how to access files on iPhone from PC without iTunes using a USB cable, there will be two tools for you: FoneTool and File Explorer.

Transfer files between iPhone and PC with FoneTool for free

As an all-in-one iPhone data management app, FoneTool can be the best choice to transfer files from iPhone to PC using USB cable. You can easily access iPhone files including photos, videos, music and contacts on PC and All common file formats are supported.

With FoneTool's high transfer speed, you can effortlessly move large files quickly. For example, you can transfer 100 photos in just 3 seconds, all while maintaining their original quality. Unlike dealing with frequent iTunes errors, FoneTool is compatible with a wide range of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices.

So why not download it now and experience a seamless data transfer process between iPhone and PC?

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Step 1. Connect your iPhone to computer with USB > Launch FoneTool and choose Phone Transfer > iPhone to PC and click Get Started to continue. (If need, you can also choose PC to iPhone to transfer files from computer to your iOS device.)

transfer files

Step 2. Click + icon > Preview and choose the files you want to move to PC > Click OK to confirm.

choose songs

Step 3. Choose a destination from Transfer Settings to save your targeted files > Click Start Transfer to begin.

start transfer

smileySuper-fast transfer speed than iTunes and other similar apps.
smileyNo Apple ID restriction. It’s so easy for you to transfer data between different Apple IDs.
smileyEasy-to-use interface makes transferring between iPhone and PC more convenient.
 smileyFoneTool runs stably on iPhone 4 to iPhone 15, iPad/mini/Air/Pro and iPod Touch 1-7, as well as the latest iOS 17. So you can also access iPod Touch files on PC easily.
smiley FoneTool supports a wide range of file formats, including mp3, m4a, wav, aac, jpg, jpeg, png, heic, raw, mp4, mov, m4v, csv, vcf, and more.
smiley You can preview all files on PC directly.
sadOnly supports getting iPhone photos, videos, music and contacts on PC.

Transfer files between iPhone and PC with File Explorer

If you want to know how to access iPhone files on laptop or other PCs directly without third-party software, File Explorer on your computer is a straightforward process. And This method is specifically for accessing photos and videos in the Photos app, it doesn't provide access to other types of data on your iPhone.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to PC with a reliable cable. On your Windows PC, go to your taskbar and open File Explorer, then look for the Apple iPhone icon. It's usually located under This PC or Devices and drives.

Step 2. Double-click on the Apple iPhone icon to access your iPhone's storage > Go to the Internal Storage folder and then open the DCIM folder. Then you can find various folders containing your photos and videos. You can drag files on the computer to your iPhone or export photos and videos to your PC.

access files with files explorer

smileyDon’t need to install any software, you can directly access your iPhone files from PC.
sadOnly supports accessing photos and videos in iPhone Photos app.
sadTransfer speed is much slower than FoneTool.
sadThe files are organized into different folders based on their timestamps, requiring you to open each folder to browse them.


That’s all about how to access iPhone files on PC via USB, and iTunes, FoneTool and File Explorer all are available. iTunes can help you view apps data on iPhone. File explorer can access your photos/videos in iPhone Photos app directly. FoneTool can help you export iPhone data including photos, videos, music and contacts, etc. to PC and vice versa.

According to their pros and cons, hope you can choose the most suitable way as you like to get your files from iPhone to PC or PC to iPhone.

FoneTool - All-in-one iPhone Data Manager

Transfer, backup and manage data on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in an easy way.

  • iOS 17 Compatible
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  • Full/Selective Backup iPhone
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  • Fully compatible with iOS 17
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