Question from Donna: My iPhone’s storage is almost full because of all the pictures and videos that are on it.
I want to copy all the existing photos and videos from the phone to my HP Envy 13 (2019) Windows laptop and then delete them from the iPhone to make room for new ones.
I know I could upload them to iCloud and then download them onto my computer, but I don’t trust cloud storage and I never use it. I have iCloud syncing disabled and I’d really prefer to keep it that way.
Can you tell me how to transfer the photos and videos from the iPhone to my laptop without using iCloud?
Rick’s answer: I can certainly understand your hesitancy about using cloud storage, Donna. And truth be told, plenty of other folks feel the same way.
Luckily, it’s very easy to transfer photos from an iPhone to a Windows PC. Just follow these steps:
1 – Use a Lightning to USB cable to connect your iPhone to an open USB port on your PC.
The same cable you use to connect your phone to its charger should work as long as the USB end matches a USB port on the PC and the cable was designed to transmit data as well as power.
Not all charging cables are capable of transmitting data too. The easiest way to find out is to plug yours into your iPhone and PC and see if it works.
If the cable you have doesn’t work you can purchase a Lightning to USB charging/data cable at your local electronics retailer or at Amazon (#ad). They are quite inexpensive.
2 – Once the iPhone is connected to the computer you should see one of the following messages on the phone (depending on which version of Windows your PC is running):
a) “Allow this device to access photos and videos?“
If you see this message, respond by tapping Allow.
b) “Trust this computer?”
If you see this message, respond by tapping Trust.
3 – Press the Windows+E key combination on your computer’s keyboard to open a File Explorer window.
4 – Click on This PC. If all went as planned you should now see your iPhone listed as a removable drive in File Explorer.
5 – Right-click on the Apple iPhone icon and select Import pictures and videos.
The computer will now scan your iPhone’s storage and take an inventory of all the photos and videos that haven’t already been imported into the computer at some time in the past.
Since you have never imported photos before it should automatically flag all existing photos and videos to be imported.
6 – Select Import all new items now, then click the Import button.
All the files will now be imported to the computer’s hard drive or SSD and placed in a new sub-folder under the existing “Pictures” folder.
7 – (Optional) You’ll have the option to immediately erase all the photos from the iPhone after the importing has been completed. If you want to do that simply check the box beside “Erase after importing”.
I recommend that you think long and hard about choosing this option. If you choose to have the files immediately erased from the iPhone you’ll have no way to go back and retrieve any photos or videos that the import procedure ends up missing (and that does happen on rare occasions).
To skip the automatic erasure simply leave that box unchecked.
That’s all there is to it. If all went well a copy of all the photos and videos that were on your iPhone should now be in a new folder under the Pictures folder.
If you declined the automatic erasure option you can now check the imported files to make sure they are all on the computer. Once you have confirmed that they are you can proceed with erasing them from your iPhone.
I hope this helps, Donna. Good luck!