Can’t import photos from iPhone to Windows? Some Suggested Fixes

Life can be smooth until you try to mix Apple and Windows devices. Although these two very different ecosystems are generally able to find a common language, it is not uncommon for errors to arise.

Many users report problems while transferring photos from their iPhone to their Windows 11 or 10 PC. Let’s find out how to fix these transfer issues and save your image files in one go.

Can’t import photos from iPhone to Windows 11

Your Windows 11 computer does not detect your iPhone when you connect it with a USB cable? Or does your image transfer fail every time? Here are some tweaks that may help.

Check your cable

Before trying any of the more complicated solutions, check your USB cable. If your iPhone only charges when you connect it to your PC and you can’t access its storage space, try a different cable. Not all USB cables are suitable for transferring data, and the one you are using may fall into this category.

If you’re sure your cable is the correct type, the problem may be with your USB port. Try a different port – often USB 2.0 will work better than USB 3.0. If you’re using a USB hub, try plugging your cable directly into the port instead.

Finally, make sure you don’t touch or move the cord once it’s plugged in. Moving it may disturb the connection during the transfer.

Make sure your iPhone is unlocked

Another common problem is trying to connect the iPhone while it’s locked. As long as your iPhone screen is locked, you won’t be able to access its content from your PC. Make sure to unlock the device before trying to transfer your images. When you have successfully connected your iPhone, a message asking for permission will appear. Mark your PC as a trusted device to access content on your phone.

Upload iCloud Pictures

iCloud Photo Library is a useful iPhone feature. It allows you to store your photos in the cloud while having access to them from your phone. It’s easy to forget that the photos aren’t actually on your device when this feature is enabled. If you found your photos folder empty when you access it from your PC, it might be because your pictures are stored in the cloud. If so, you will need to download the images before you can copy them to your PC.

  1. Open your Settings app and go to “iCloud”.
  2. Select “Pictures”.
  3. Tap “Download and keep originals”.

Another solution is to turn off iCloud Photo Library. To do this, just toggle “iCloud Photo Library” on the same screen.

Keep the originals

Another iPhone setting that can interfere with your ability to transfer your images concerns the original files. Here is what you need to adjust in your settings.

  1. Go to your iPhone settings and search for “Photos”.
  2. Scroll down to find “Transfer to Mac or PC”. Change it to “Download and keep originals”.

Close all running apps and reconnect your iPhone to your computer. You will now be able to transfer your files without any problem.

Update Drivers

A faulty driver can also easily turn importing photos into a nightmare. Check if your driver needs to be updated as follows.

  1. Open your PC’s Start menu and search for “Device Manager”.
  2. Find “Universal Serial Bus Controller” and click the arrow to expand it. “Apple Mobile Device USB Driver” should be below.
  3. If you see an exclamation point next to its icon, right-click it and select “Update Driver”.

Tone it down

Even if none of the above solutions worked, you don’t have to ditch the USB transfer completely. Trying to copy 10,000 items at once can naturally cause problems. But many users report that they can transfer a smaller number of photos at the same time. It’s a good idea to save your photos frequently and only copy a few hundred at a time.

Can’t import photos from iPhone to Windows 10

If your Windows 10 PC doesn’t detect your iPhone when it’s docked, or you’re still having trouble trying to transfer your photos, here are some tips that might help.

Take care of your USB flash drive

First, ask yourself if your cable could be the cause of your transfer problems. Is it your original iPhone cable or another USB cable? Not all USB cords are capable of transferring data. Some of them will only charge your device. If your iPhone charges when you plug it in but your Windows doesn’t detect the device, change the cord to see if that fixes the problem.

Second, faulty USB ports can also cause communication issues between devices. Try another USB port. If possible, opt for a USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0 port. And skip the USB hubs and plug the cable directly into your PC. Also, don’t move the cable once you’ve connected your iPhone, as this could potentially disrupt the connection.

Unlock your iPhone

The next important step before you can transfer pictures from your iPhone to your PC is to unlock your phone. You won’t be able to view content on a locked iPhone. Make sure to unlock your screen and allow your PC to access your device. Only once your computer is marked as trusted on your iPhone will you be able to transfer data.

Disable iCloud Photos

iCloud Photo Library is a service that lets you store your pictures in the cloud. This means that your photos may not actually be on your phone, making it impossible to copy them to your PC. You’ll need to download each photo from your iCloud before you can access it in your phone’s memory.

Alternatively, you can globally turn off iCloud Photo Library so you don’t have to in the future.

  1. Go to your Settings app, then “iCloud”.
  2. Tap “Pictures”.
  3. Disable “iCloud Photos”.

Activate “Keep originals”

The next thing you can do is make sure “Keep Originals” is enabled in your iPhone’s photo settings.

  1. Open your iPhone’s Settings app.
  2. Find the “Photos” option.
  3. Select “Transfer to Mac or PC”. Change the current setting to “Download and keep originals”.
  4. Close all running applications.

Connect your iPhone to your PC again and you will be able to access your photos.

Adjust your Photos app

Sometimes, when you can’t import photos, the problem lies with the Windows 10 Photos app. A simple app reset can help in this case.

  1. Click on your start menu and search for “Apps and features” and open it.
  2. Locate the “Microsoft Photos” app.
  3. Click “Advanced Options” below.
  4. Find “Repair” under the “Reset” option.

This should fix the bugs, but if you’re still having issues, you can try the “Reset” option. Be aware that this will delete app data.

Refresh your Apple services

If you use iTunes, it’s also a good idea to refresh the service behind it whenever something isn’t working properly. Here’s how.

  1. Open your start menu and search for “Services” and open it.
  2. Double-click “Apple Mobile Device Service” in the list.
  3. In the new window, stop the application, then restart it.

Make sure “Startup type” is set to automatic so you don’t run into any issues in the future.

Keep loads low

Are you still having trouble transferring large amounts of data despite the above adjustments? You may need to limit the number of photos you try to import at a time. Transfer your files in smaller batches to see if that does the trick.

Import your iPhone photos

Technology can seem like a nuisance when you can’t perform a simple task like importing your photos. The tips mentioned above will help you fix the problem and you will be able to copy your files to your Windows PC.

Which solution solved your iPhone transfer problems? Do you have any tips for other users? Let us know in the comments section below.

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