Tips tricks Apple

How to transfer photos and videos from iPhone to Android, Windows PC, iOS, and Mac

Written by Jimmy Rustling

In this tutorial, we will share the easiest ways to get photos off your iPhone and transfer them to another iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android smartphone, or Windows PC.

All the wireless and wired methods mentioned here are free and work offline unless noted otherwise. We are also using only official tools from Apple, Microsoft, and Google unless no solid option was available.

Transfer photos and videos from iPhone to another iPhone or iPad

Thanks to AirDrop, sharing photos wirelessly from your iPhone or iPad to another iPhone or iPad is a piece of cake. Here’s how to use it:

1) Open the Settings app or Control Center on both iPhones or iPads and enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

2) Now, open the Photos app on your iPhone and select the pictures and videos you want to transfer.

3) After selecting, tap the share button.

4) Choose AirDrop.

5) Tap the person’s iPhone or iPad name.

6) Ask the receiver to tap Accept on their iPhone or iPad, which will begin the media transfer. The received photos and videos will appear inside the Photos app on the receiver’s iPhone or iPad.

Transfer photos and videos from iPhone to Mac

Using AirDrop

Apple’s AirDrop also works between iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, which means you can transfer photos & videos from your iPhone or iPad to a Mac. The steps are similar to what’s explained above. If you need assistance, have a look at our guide on using AirDrop to send files.

Using Image Capture

Image Capture is a free app by Apple that comes pre-installed on all Macs. So, when you have to transfer images from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac, you can use this incredible tool. Let me show you how:

1) Connect your iPhone or iPad to Mac using a Lightning cable.

2) Unlock your iPhone or iPad and go to the Home Screen.

3) Launch Image Capture on Mac by pressing Command + Space Bar to open Spotlight and search for Image Capture.

4) In a moment, you should see the connected iPhone or iPad appear in Image Capture. Click the Import To dropdown menu in the bottom left and decide where you want to save the transferred pictures & videos.

5) Select the images & videos by holding the Command key and clicking on them.

6) Once selected, hit Download. Image Capture will transfer the photos and videos from your iPhone or iPad to Mac.

Using the Photos app

Just like Image Capture, you can use the Mac’s Photos app to import images from an iPhone or iPad. These images will be saved and visible inside Photos, but from there, you can easily select and drag them to the desktop or any other folder. Here’s how:

1) Connect your iPhone or iPad to Mac.

2) Unlock your iPhone or iPad and go to the Home Screen.

3) Open the Photos app on your Mac.

4) Click your iPhone name under Devices in the left sidebar.

5) Hit the Import to dropdown menu from the top and choose an existing album, or create a new one where you want to import the pictures & videos.

6) Click the picture and video thumbnails to select them.

7) Once you have selected the desired files, click Import N Selected.

8) After that, look at the left sidebar and click the tiny arrow next to Albums > My Albums. Here, you should see the album where you imported the images & videos. Click the album name, and you will see the new files.


Transfer photos and videos from iPhone to Windows PC

Before you read further, open the iPhone Settings app and tap Photos. Now, scroll to the bottom and select Automatic under Transfer to Mac or PC. By default, your iPhone or iPad takes photos and videos in HEIF and HEVC formats which your PC may not be able to open. Thus, after selecting Automatic, your iPhone will automatically convert the images and videos to a compatible format before transferring them.

Using the Windows Photos app

The File Explorer method (explained below) shows your images in numerous folders, which can be confusing. Therefore, the better approach is to use the Windows Photos app to get iPhone pictures & videos onto your PC running Windows 10 or Windows 11.

1) Unlock your iPhone or iPad via Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode and connect it to your PC.

2) The moment you connect, you should see an alert on your iPhone saying, “Allow this device to access photos and videos?” Tap Allow.

3) You may also see an alert on your PC asking you to choose what to do with this device. You can go with import photos and videos. Or, open the Photos app on your PC by clicking the Windows Start button from the bottom left and choosing Photos.

4) Click the import button from the top right of the Photos app. When you connect your iPhone or iPad, it also shows a red dot signifying a new device.

5) Pick From a connected device.

6) Windows PC will now look for your iPhone photos and videos. It may take a while.

7) Once it has finished scanning, you will see a new Import items window. From here, look at the import destination and if you want to change it, click Change destination and pick the desired folder. Next, select your iPhone images & videos and click Import N of NN items.

Windows PC will copy the items, and when successful, it will show an Import completed alert. Click Ok to dismiss it. You can see the imported pictures and videos in the Windows Photos app and the folder chosen in step 7.

Using Windows File Explorer

1) Unlock your iPhone or iPad and connect it to a Windows PC.

2) Immediately after connecting, you will see an alert on your iPhone saying, “Allow this device to access photos and videos?” Tap Allow.

3) Now, Windows File Explorer should open automatically with your iPhone selected. If it doesn’t, open it manually and click your iPhone name from the left sidebar.

4) Open Internal Storage and go to the DCIM folder.

5) You will see many sub-folders here. They have your iPhone or iPad’s images. You can copy the files from here and save them to your Windows PC. To select multiple files, hold the Ctrl key and click the pictures or videos. You may skip coping AAE Files. AAE files contain the edit parameters for images you have edited on your iPhone.

iPhone not connecting to Windows PC?

Do the following if you don’t see your iPhone in the Photos app or File Explorer on Windows PC:

  • Unplug and reconnect the cable again. Retry a few times in different USB ports.
  • Make sure you keep your iPhone unlocked, and tap Allow on the popup alert. If you accidentally choose Don’t Allow, restart your iPhone and your PC, try again. If that doesn’t help, reset your iPhone’s location and privacy settings.
  • I connected my iPhone to my sister’s PC running Windows 10. Her PC doesn’t have iTunes installed. Still, I could see my iPhone in File Explorer and Windows Photos app. But if it fails for you, install iTunes on the PC first. And if it already has iTunes, make sure to update it.

Transfer photos and videos from iPhone to Android

iPhones have AirDrop to share files with other iPhones and iPads. Similarly, Android phones have Nearby Share to send and receive files from other Android smartphones. Sadly, these two wonderful transfer tools have no cross-platform support, which makes transferring photos & videos from your iPhone to your Android phone and vice versa unintuitive.

But that doesn’t mean you’re locked out. So let me share some (relatively) easy, offline (that is, no upload/download to/from cloud storage), and free ways to transfer photos and videos from your iPhone to another Android phone.

Using ShareDrop

Follow these easy steps to transfer photos and videos from your iPhone to an Android phone:

1) Open Safari on your iPhone and visit

2) Tap the plus button from the top right, and you will see a URL and a QR code. Share the URL with the Android phone via text, WhatsApp, or any other messaging app, and visit it in the Android phone browser. Alternatively, open the camera app on the Android phone, and scan the QR code visible on iPhone to visit the ShareDrop room.

3) Scroll down the QR code screen on your iPhone and tap Got it to exit it.

4) Now tap the Android phone’s nickname on the ShareDrop screen inside iPhone’s Safari and choose Photo Library.

5) Select the photos and tap Add.

6) Tap Send.

7) Finally, tap Save on the Android phone’s ShareDrop screen to receive the incoming files. All selected pictures & videos will be sent to the Android phone. You can see them inside the Android Files app or the gallery app.

You can also use ShareDrop to transfer files from iPhone to Mac, PC, or other devices and vice versa.

Using Zapya and similar apps

Cross-platform apps like Zapya, ShareIt, Xender, ShareKaro, etc., can send and receive photos and videos from your iPhone to an Android phone, and vice versa.

These apps transfer files at incredible speeds even when both phones aren’t on the same Wi-Fi network or if both phones aren’t connected to any Wi-Fi. The app does this by creating its own Wi-Fi hotspot on the Android phone (no internet needed), and then your iPhone joins the Android phone’s hotspot. Next, the file transfer happens over that Wi-Fi connection.

In the steps below, I’m assuming the iPhone and Android phones are not on the same Wi-Fi network. After installing the app, you can go ahead and turn off mobile data on your iPhone and Android phone for increased privacy. Even then, file sharing will work via these apps.

Follow these steps to quickly transfer photos & videos from your iPhone to an Android phone without internet or active Wi-Fi:

1) Download Zapya – File Sharing on your iPhone and Android phone.

2) Open Zapya on your iPhone and allow it to access all your photos or just the selected ones. You may choose not to allow it to access your contacts. But if you wish to send videos from the Photos app, the app needs permission to access your Media & Apple Music; so allow that. Next, open Zapya on your Android phone and allow it to access photos and media on your device.

3) Once you’re inside the Zapya app on your iPhone and Android phones, tap the red arrow button from the bottom center of the screen on both phones.

4) On iPhone, give the app access to your camera, and then tap Scan. It will open the camera interface, which you have to use in step 6 below.

5) On the Android phone, tap the tiny two-arrow button and then tap Receive. Enable Wi-Fi, if not already, and grant it the location permission. After that, you will see a QR code.

6) Scan this QR code using your iPhone (step 4). After that, you will see “Zapya” Wants to Join Wi-Fi Network “DIRECT-WD-Random Alphabets”? Tap Join. Within seconds, both phones should connect, and you will hear a tone.

7) Now, make sure you’re in the Photo section inside Zapya on your iPhone. From here, select the pictures you want to send by tapping the tiny black dot in the top right of each photo thumbnail. Once you finish selecting, tap Transfer All (N).

These selected photos will be sent to the connected Android phone. Next, you can tap Video from the top and follow the same steps to send video clips from your iPhone to the Android phone.

Photos sent from iPhone received on Android.

Besides Zapya, you can also use:

  • SHAREit (iPhone, Android): Excellent app for media transfer. But, it may be unavailable in some countries, like India.
  • Xender (iPhone): Available on App Store but not Google Play Store. Therefore, you will have to get the APK file from its official website for Android.
  • Send Anywhere (iPhone, Android): It uploads the files and lets you download them on Android.

Using a Mac or PC

If you have a computer, transferring photos and videos from an iPhone to an Android phone becomes simpler. Here’s how:


  • Transfer photos & videos from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac using one of the methods mentioned above.
  • Download and open the Google Android File Transfer app on your Mac.
  • Connect your Android phone to your Mac. You will see an alert on the screen or the Notification Center. Choose File Transfer.
  • After this, you should see your Android phone inside the Android File Transfer app. Just drag the photos and videos from your Mac’s Finder folder onto the Android phone’s storage folder.
Android File Transfer app on Mac.


  1. Connect your iPhone and Android phone to a Windows PC.
  2. Now, use the File Explorer method to see your iPhone Photos on your PC. From there, copy the files and paste them into your Android phone.
  3. Alternatively, you can use the Windows Photos app to import your iPhone photos and videos to the desktop or a folder. Next, connect your Android phone, locate it in File Explorer and move the files from your PC to the Android phone.

Common methods

Besides the above ways, you can also use the following methods to share files from your iPhone to another iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC, or Android phone.

Use iCloud link

If you use iCloud Photos on your iPhone, you can create a shareable link for several photos, and anyone (even if they don’t use iCloud Photos) can download the images on their device using that link. Here’s how to quickly share iPhone photos with a link.

Use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Photos, Dropbox, etc.

Add your iPhone photos to any third-party cloud storage services. Next, create a shareable link for the album or folder and send it to your friend or family. They will be able to see and download the contents of that folder or album.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.