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How to Backup iPhone Photos to Mac

By Emily Watson, Wednesday, December 20, 2017

What happens if there are thousands or even more photos stored on your iPhone? Your 16G or 32G iPhone probably could run out of storage space. One way to free up space on iPhone is to import storage-hogging photos, videos from iPhone to Mac. Also, with a backup of iPhone photos on Mac, you will always have your precious photos no matter what happens to your iPhone.

This article will shows you four ways to back up iPhone photos to MacBook, MacBook Mini, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac: back up iPhone photos to Mac with iOS Data Backup & Restore, transfer photos from iPhone to Mac with iOS Transfer, import iPhone photos to Mac with Photos (iPhoto) or Image Capture.

Backup iPhone Photos to Mac

FonePaw iOS Data Backup & Restore can back up iPhone data to Mac like iTunes does. But better than iTunes, the iPhone backup software enables you to select data to backup, for example, to back up only photos from iPhone. Also, before restoring the backed up photos, you get to preview the photos and select the needed photos to restore to Mac or iPhone. Unlike iTunes, iOS Data Backup & Restore won't delete data on your iPhone when restoring backup.

Free download iOS Data Backup & Restore on MacBook, iMac to back up photos from iPhone 4/5/5s, iPhone 6/6s/6s Plus, iPhone SE/7/7 Plus, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone X to Mac.


Step 1 Launch iOS Data Backup & Restore and connect iPhone X/8/7/6/5 to Mac

Step 2 Click iOS Data Backup and you can then choose to create a standard backup or encrypted backup. An encrypted backup needs to be restored with a password so that anyone without the password can't access your iPhone data.

Select Backup Mode

Step 3 Next you will need to choose the data type to backup. Tick Photos, App Photos, App Videos and click Next to back up photos, videos from Camera Roll, Photos Library and other apps to Mac.

Select Photos to Backup

Step 4 A small-size backup file of your iPhone photos will be created on your Mac. Choose iOS Data Restore and select the backup you just made, you can view the photos and restore the iPhone photos to Mac or iPhone.

Restore iPhone Photos to Mac

iOS Data Backup & Restore can store pictures from your iPhone in small size. It also allows you to import photos, videos from iPhone to Mac. You can delete the copies on iPhone to free up space.

Transfer Photos/Videos from iPhone to Mac

FonePaw iOS Transfer is a professional transfer tool to transfer photos from iPhone X/8/7/SE/6/5 to Mac/MacBook in a direct way, whether the photos are saved in Camera Roll, Photo Library or other photos albums. Apart from photos, iOS Transfer can also import music, videos, movies, podcasts, TV shows, voice memos and more from iPhone to Mac, from iPhone to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, iTunes.

Download the free trial version on Mac and begin to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac in these three steps.

Download Download

Step 1 Connect iPhone to Mac

Connect iPhone to Mac with a USB cable and the program will detect and recognize your device. You will see an interface below.

Main Interface of Mac version iOS Transfer

Step 2 Select iPhone photos 

Now you can choose Media > Photos to view image and videos on Camera Roll, Photo Library, Videos, etc. Tick the photos you want to save on Mac OS.

Preview Photos on Mac

Step 3 Export iPhone photos to Mac

After selecting the photos, click on Export to > Export to PC to backup them to your iMac/MacBook Air/MacBook Pro. Then you can go to the folder on your Mac to view your iPhone photos.

Import Photos from iPhone to Mac with Photo, iPhotos, Image Capture

Your Mac computer has built-in tools to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac. They are Photos app (iPhotos for Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9 or earlier) and Image Capture. However, you should know that Photos, iPhotos and Image Capture can only import photos from Camera Roll album to Mac, other photos on iPhone, such as photos synced to iCloud Photos Library, iTunes synced photos, can't be imported to Mac by these tools.

Import Photos from iPhone to Mac with Photos App

If your Mac is running on OS X Yosemite, El Capitan or macOS Sierra, High Sierra, you have built-in Photos app, which can import photos from Camera Roll album to Mac.

Photos App Import Photos from iPhone to Mac

  • Open Photos on Mac.

  • Connect your iPhone to Mac with USB cable and the device will appear on Mac.

  • Click Import and select the photos you want to export to Mac.

  • Choose Import XX Selected. The selected photos will be added to Photos app on your Mac.

Export Photos from iPhone to Mac with iPhotos

If your MacBook or iMac is on an older Mac OS, such as OS X Mavericks, instead of Photos app, you have iPhotos which can also copy iPhone photos to Mac.

iPhoto Import iPhone Photos to Mac

  • Connect iPhone to Mac and choose iPhotos.

  • Select the photos you want to copy to Mac and choose Import > Import Selected.

Download Photos from iPhone to Mac with Image Capture 

Image Capture on Mac can transfer images, video clips between Mac and devices that contain a camera, such as your iPhone.

Import Photos via Image Capture

  • Connect iPhone to Mac computer.

  • Open Image Capture and select your iPhone from the Devices list.

  • Navigate to Import To menu on the bottom and choose where to save the images.

  • Select your needed photos and click Import. Or click Import All to transfer all photos from Camera Roll to Mac.

That's the four ways to back up iPhone photos to Mac. To back up all photos from iPhone to Mac, you should choose iOS Data Backup & Restore, which can also backup contacts, messages and more on your iPhone, iPad to Mac.


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