How do I download photos to my Apple iPhone?
I have a new Apple iPhone and am having fun with it, but I can't figure out how to download photographs or pictures onto it. Is there some trick or technique? Also, in case it makes a difference, I don't use iPhoto to manage my photo albums.
Like getting photos onto a video iPod (see how to add photos to your ipod), the only way you can add pictures to your new Apple iPhone is through iTunes. But iTunes is a bit fussy about what it will and won't sync. You can choose a "roll" of pictures from iPhoto but since you -- like me -- don't use iPhoto, you'll need a workaround to get this going.
Fortunately, it's pretty darn easy!
What I do to manage my iPhone photo album is create a new folder in my Pictures folder called "iPhone Pic Sync" and then copied the photos I wanted to have on the iPhone there (you copy a file, rather than moving it, by holding down the Option key while dragging and dropping):
Notice here that I not only have a new folder in my Pictures directory, but I also dragged the folder onto the left navigational shortcuts area in the Finder too, so the folder is easily accessible anywhere I'm working on my Mac. Saves finding that folder again, ya know!
Now you can simply drag and drop images in that you'd like to have on your phone and eventually you'll have a nice little library, as I do:
When you have a bunch of pics you like, hook up your iPhone to your computer and after it autosyncs, it'll show you the Summary view of how things are set up:
Click on the "Photos" tab here and by default it'll offer up the ability to sync your iPhoto library:
You don't want that, though, you want to choose "Select Folder..." from that pop-up and select the new iPhone photo sync folder. Once you do that, it'll look like this:
That's all there is to it. Click on "Sync" and you'll see that iTunes is smart, it even adjusts images to work optimally on the iPhone. The sync flies past:
and now your iPhone has a spiffo new photo library of the images you desire.
Want to add or delete images? Just add or delete them to your new iPhone Pic Sync folder and they'll automatically be synchronized with your iPhone every time you plug it in.
Still learning about your iPhone? We have lots of iPhone help here on the site!
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Reader Comments To Date: 148
I just did this without any problems whatsoever on an iPhone 4. If you go into your photos icon on the phone, they don't appear in the Camera Roll but seperately. My one has a Sunflower with "Photo Library" next to it. And no, I didn't have to re-start the phone for it to appear either.
Hi Alan - simple solution to a nasty problem. Thought of exact samen solution (introducing an iphone sync folder in the "pictures" folder) for the reverse problem; getting pictures from my iphone to this folder. That does not work (folder remains empty after synchronising while pics are still on iphone). Do you know a way around this?
Thanks...I found this really useful and so simple after having been explained!
Yu made it so easy to understand as A B C ..ty for ur help :)
I've photo's on my Iphone that I downloaded from another computer (which now has crashed). I'm trying to get those photo's copied in to my Mac (iphoto's) but I can't make it work. The only photo's that are copied are the one's I've taken with my Iphone cam.
Could you please help me out.
The easiest way I have found to transfer photos from the computer to iphone4 is to select the photos on computer, send them by e-mail to your own e-mail id. open your e-mail on iphone4, copy the photos and delete your e-mail. you will find all photos in your camera roll.
While what Prabodh is saying is true, but this way you can store pictures only in the camera roll but not the photo library. whereas by connecting the iphone to camera with the leed, you can down load through itunes on to photo library. Only problem is any subsequent down load or transfer to iphone over rides what is already in the library. Any solution for this problem?
will this work for music FROM pc TO iphone?
Thank You Soooooooo Much!!!!!!
it worked thanks but i copied a picture that i didnt want how can i delete it plz help :::::::(
I just got a iPhone 4S, and these hints worked like a charm ! PERFECT 10 !!!!
Transferred my old photos to the PC, copied them into a separate folder, choose that folder in the sync-option under Pictures in iTunes....10 seconds later ...or so :) ...all my old photos were in place in my brand new 4S
kisses from Lise in Norway ;)
thanks heaps dave, big help. -roland
Great info Dave - thanks! Used this to transfer photos onto my new iPad2. Question, though, is how can I get new photos off the iPad onto my computer. iTunes doesn't appear to be able to go backwards.
Dumbfounded why when synching pictures from my MacBook Air to my iPhone (from a single folder), I get two folders imported, each with the same 18 pictures I wish to copy.
Thanks, Dave. I just followed your very clear instructions and was able to upload photos from my PC to my I-Phone....
Thanks Dave, this is clear explanation and work great.
Just email the pics to yourself, then save to iPhone. Much faster.
Hi, it worked fine for me, all downloaded onto iphone, one thing....... i can delete them on the iphone. once downloaded it doesn't give me the option to delete if you click the 'Edit' in the 'Photo album' nor will it let you delete the photo individually. can you please tell me how to delete if need be. i have also tried plugging my iphone to my computer but it will not let me see the images on my computer
Get PhotoSync for the iPhone / iPad and the client on the MAC. Could not be easier.
Ok maybe I'm stupid or something, but I just got my iphone 4s today and the above is almost working backwards?? What was mentioned by others where rather than the photos showing up on the iphone, they get an "iphone photo cache" folder showing up on their PC and an empty photo album on their iphone...that's also happening with mine.
Sorry, I was used to the Droid where all I had to do was copy and paste, it just had folders like a PC, much easier ;)
I don't have/know a THING about iPhones, Mac's etc. but I think I've got the problem in reverse. My daughter wanted to download all of her iPhone photos to my W7 PC. We did the sync thing, and now I've got a big "iPhone Photo Cache" file in a folder on my Pc, and she's apparently got one big photo file instead of 6 directories. I can't open the iphone photo cache file with anything. How can I view and manipulate the photos on the cache file?
Thanks very much the plan worked.
I have an iPhone 4s. I was making folders in my "photos" on my phone to organize it, but the pictures that I transfer to the folders stay in the camera roll. I would prefer to have the different folders without having duplicate pictures. When I try to delete them from just the camera roll, it deletes them everywhere. Just wondering if there's any way to remedy this? Thanks.
Yay! it worked! thank you so much!
Hello I have an iphone 3g and just updated my software to 4.1.2 so, now when I look on itunes, I can see that I have about 900 pics, but only 30 miscellaneous pictures show on my phone.Is there a solution?? i really need the pictures
i didnt use the itunes restore back up beacause its from octuber 2011 :S
I did all this with the sync folder in the finder, etc. and did an apply and sync and the photos will NOT got to the iPhone.
What do I do?
Was just passing through and really liked your website. Just thought I’d mention an App I found recently called FBBackgrounds which allows users to download multiple photos with relative ease and then helps you use them as their Wallpapers/Lock Screen etc.
Keep up the good work fella! I’ll buy you a cuppa coffee! HA!
I have a 4s and I'm also organizing photos to different folders but photos remain in camera roll. Is there a way to just move the photos and not have copies in camera roll ?
I needed to find out how to put photos on my iPhone. Your site made it SO EASY!! Why can't Apple do that? Brilliant - many thanks.
I have posted three photos via facebook Mobile and they all posted to my wall fine. The 3rd one was posted tonight and than I deleted the post from my computer because I posted the wrong description. Than I went to repost it and it posted it to the mobile uploads album but never showed up on my wall/news feed. I have no idea why it would do this. I went on my girlfriends android on facebook app and posted a pic from there and it posted to my wall/newfeed. So I don't know why its doing this. I already tried deleting the app and reinstalling and that did nothing. If you have any ideas please let me know cause its annoying not showing the picture on my wall/newsfeed.
It works real quick. Cheers.
Your advice worked well after the ipod manual confused the heck out of me. Simple, effective, brilliant advice! Thank you!
Thank you mate, it worked!
I want to convert the pics that are already on my iphone to jpg, gif, or png files. how do i do that
Hey Dave, I accidentally trashed my iPhoto Library along with iPod Library and, when I restarted iPhoto I lost all of my 6970 photos and albums. Ahhhh!
Is there any way I can undo this action and get my photos and albums back?
Alternately, how can I bring the Albums - not just the Camera Roll - but all the Albums in my iPhone back to my computer?
THanks for the pic info!! It was SUPER easy once I saw what to do!!
Your directions were wonderful! I know the procedure might seem easy to you, but for someone like me who knows NOTHING about her iphone, I truly appreciate directions like this! Thank you so much!
yeah...it half worked for me. I'm trying to copy 24 pics from my laptop to my iphone. It copied a few of them but not all. And the ones it did copy, it made 3 copies of the same picture. I don't know what I'm doing wrong here. I don't know why it would copy some of the pictures in the folder but not others.
Hey, Dave, love your site!! It was very helpful for showing me learn how to use ITunes to download pics from my pc to my IPhone 3GS. Wow, you surely make it so uncomplicated!!! Now I am having trouble setting up my email account on my phone so I once again came to your site!! I don't see anything posted. Have I just missed it or is this not available? Thanks! Kim
Actually, I don't know that I've written about that, Kim. What account are you setting up? Gmail? Or a POP/iMAP account for work?
Not sure if it's already mentioned. You could email those photos to yourself, then open that message on iphone (scroll to bottom, and click "Download Full Message"), then click the save icon, choose save xx images. Works well for up to 10-20 pictures that already been sized down.
Thank you, worked perfectly
Thanks Dave, TOTALLY brilliant. They all said this was impossible. Regards Frank.
I updated my iphone operating system from 4.0 to 6.0. Upon completing the update all my photos were gone. I was looking around and see a folder "iphone photo cache", how would I get to transfer photos from this to itunes and then back to my iphone?
Also, how can I view them on my computer and save to CD so I dont run into this awful problem again.
Thank you very much for your assistance.
This was what I needed and it was so easy....Thanks Dave.....Have had so much trouble doing it but now I know what to do...Dave get a A++++++
This method compresses the photos. I have a 30,000 x 640 pixel website mockup i want to see at full resolution so I can observe what my websote might look like when complete. How do i prevent compression and achieve full screen width in portrait mode on my iphone 5. Ive looked at 1000 apps and google results so far and nobody knows.
I do have a lot to say, and questions of my own for that matter, but first I'd like to say thank you, Dave, for all your helpful information by
buying you a cup of coffee!||
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