How do I get photos off my iPhone?

April 29, 2009

How do I get photos off my iPhone?There are two main ways to move the photos taken with your iPhone onto your computer, one way for Mac OS X users and another for Vista PC users. We’ll look at both below.

It should be simple to move photos from your iPhone to your computer, and it actually is. However, it is not immediately apparent how to perform this somewhat simple process. If you are using a Mac running OSX, the process is fairly automated. To get started, plug in your iPhone like you were syncing it or charging it. Either cancel the sync or wait until iTunes finishes the job.

Then run the iPhoto application, which is probably in your toolbar. In the menu at the upper left of the iPhoto screen, you will find a category for “Devices.” Under that entry, you will find an entry which represents your iPhone. Click on that entry  and the photos on your iPhone will appear. In order to keep things simple, I check the box “Autosplit events after importing.” If you do not want iPhoto to handle this automatically, uncheck this box and fill in an event name and description to be used by iPhoto. Also check the box marked “Hide photos already imported.” Then the only photos you will see are those that have been taken since you last last imported from the iPhone.

If you don’t want to import all of the iPhone photos shown, you can use the normal methods to select one or several of the photos to be imported. If you have selected some of the photos to import to the computer, click on the “Import Selected” command button to import the selected photos. If you want to import all of the photos on the iPhone, click on the “Import All” command button.

After the import is complete, you will be given a choice whether you want to “Delete Originals” which will erase the photos from the iPhone, or to “Keep Originals” which will leave the original photos on the iPhone. Select the command that represents the choice you want to make and click on it. That’s all there is to it.

In Windows Vista, you can copy your photos off the iPhone in much the same way that you would remove photos from any other digital camera without a photo management application in place. Syncing photos with the iPhone using iTunes has proven problematical at best on both the Mac and the PC. You are much better off to use this simple method to copy photos.

To get started, plug your iPhone into your Vista PC, using the cord that came with the phone. Vista will detect the iPhone as a device, and will display an options window allowing you to select the action that you want to take. Select the top option, “Import Pictures” from the list. You should probably not select the box in front of “Always do this for this device” just in order to always keep your options open.

You will then see a window asking you to add a tag to the pictures you are importing to make them easier to find later. This is a good idea. Try to include three things: an event keyword or key-phrase, the date, and the word iPhone. For example My-Birthday-June-2008-iPhone. Then, later, it will be easy to find this particular batch of photos using one or more of those keywords. Under “Options” you can choose whether or not to erase the photos from your iPhone after the copy is complete.

Finally, click on the “Import” button at the lower right of the window. Vista will copy your photos to your hard disk, and then will use its Photo Gallery application to display the photos that you have copied from the iPhone to your PC. No need to sync, just a simple automated copy of photos, and you’re done.

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