7 Ways to Import Photos from iPhone to Mac (HEIC Incl.)

By Alice Yang to iPhone Management | Last Updated on Dec 7, 2018

Whether you are trying to save space on an iPhone and need to back up photos to your Mac before deleting them, need to copy iPhone photos onto your Mac in order to edit them using Mac software, or you want to move your photos onto someone else's Mac, importing photos from iPhone to Mac can be essential. However, in daily, iPhone photos can't be synced to Mac? No effective solution to import photos from iPhone to Mac? Chill down! The silver lining comes to you. MacX MediaTrans can make iPhone pictures to Mac transfer easy to be done.

Q: Photos from iPhone won't sync with Mac! Normally when I connect my iPhone, iPhoto opens up automatically and gives me an option to upload photos to computer. Tonight it is not doing that. What can I do to get these photos on my iPhoto?

A: To ensure iPhone photos successfully import to Mac, you can try the following pathway:
1) Unplug your iPhone, shut down iPhoto, close iTunes and then plug your iPhone back in and restart both iPhoto and iTunes.
2) Get your MacBook or iMac to recognize your iPhone via Image Capture.
3) After connecting your iPhone to Mac, shut down your iPhone and restart your Mac at the same time. Afterwards, unplug your iPhone USB cable from Mac, wait 3 or 5 seconds and then plug it back to Mac. If the first time doesn't work, try a few times more than once.

sync iPhone photos to mac

Why Not Import iPhone Photos to Mac in An Easier Way?

MacX MediaTrans is an awesomely simple tool to transfer pictures from iPhone to Mac, 8 seconds to transfer 100 photos from iPhone to Mac in 4K Ultra HD. Also the same fabulously fast speed applies to add photos from Mac to iPhone iPad iPod.
That's not the end. It can auto convert heic (HEIF) to jpg format upon export so as to make heic playable on your Android, Windows or other image editor tools.

  • Photo
  • Music
  • Video
  • iBook
  • Ringtone
  • Flash Drive

Try the above-mentioned methods to check if it works for your iPhone to Mac photo transfer. If you think it's too troublesome or of no avail to your case, you are suggested to have a bash at iPhone transfer app - MacX MediaTrans, which can help you import photos from iPhone (iPhone X/8 Plus/8/7/6s/6/5s/SE) to macOS (macOS High Sierra) without iPhoto, iTunes or Image Capture engagement.

Centered around iPhone management, this promising iPhone photo transfer app enables users to transfer photos from iPhone to MacBook, iMac 4K/5K or transfer photos to iPhone 8/Plus, iPhone X, iPad iPod without syncing to iTunes before or any third party app help. It also performs as an all-round iPhone manager to bulk delete iPhone photos, transfer photos, videos, music, ringtones, iBooks, Memos, iTunes U, Podcast, etc. between iPhone and MacBook iMac with world's No.1 fast speed (Intel QSV). Now, the upgraded version supports you to delete photos from iPhone photo library, including Camera Roll, selfie, panorama, etc.

How to Move Photos from iPhone to Mac (macOS High Sierra MacBook iMac)

Prior to importing photos from iPhone to MacBook or iMac, you need to check your iOS and Mac OS device first. This iPhone picture backup program supports iOS 7 or higher iDevice, Mac OS X 10.7 or higher (macOS High Sierra included) and iTunes 11.2 or later version.

iPhone Picture Transfer Tool
Step 1
Free Download iPhone Photo Transfer App

Free download this iPhone photo transfer program on Mac and then fire it up. Next, connect your iOS iPhone to Mac computer.

Note: there will pop up a window to advise you to properly set iTunes lest your iOS device data gets lost. So please follow the prompts to set iTunes first.

import photos from iPhone to Mac
Step 2
Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac Now

Click "Photo" icon to get the photos from iPhone Camera Roll. Choose the photos you wanna transfer and then press "Export" button to get photos off iPhone to Mac.

Note: You're allowed to import photos from iPhone to Mac in album or batch. Arrange your pictures, selfie, screenshots according to the time order (Day/Month/Year) and then sync photos from iPhone to Mac with the whole album just a click away. To transfer HEIC photos from iPhone to Mac as HEIC or JPG, click the Export button at the top, and select "Export heic to jpg" or "Export".

In addition to sync photos from iPhone to Mac by copy and paste, this software provides more useful features as an iPhone manager. Specifically, it will manage and transfer photos, pictures, music, mp3, audio, 4K movies, videos from iPhone to Mac and vice versa, and delete any photos from iPhone Camera Roll, Photo Library, self-created photo album, synced photo album etc.

If you stick to other methods for photos syncing, you can scroll down to learn about how to import photos from iPhone to Macbook Pro/Air, 4K/5K iMac, iMac Pro, etc. with Preview, iPhoto, Email, Image Capture, AirDrop, iCloud.

7 Ways to Import Photos from iPhone to Mac

Camera Roll Photos
Photos taken with your iPhone

Photo Stream Photos
Photos shared from other devices

Photo Library Photos
Photos synced from your computer to your phone

Photo Album
Build photo albums on iPhone and transfer photo albums from iPhone to Mac

MacX MediaTrans




Image Capture



Part 2: How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac with Preview

import iphone photos to mac

You only need to connect your iPhone to Mac with a USB cable > make sure the Preview is launched > Click Files on the upper left corner > choose Import from your iPhone > Select the target photos by clicking Import or Import All > Choose the destination to save your photos.

Part 3: How to Copy Photos from iPhone to Mac with iPhoto

Copy Photos from iPhone to Mac

Launch iPhoto on your Mac > Click the iPhoto at the upper left corner of your screen . Click Preferences > Click General to open the General Setting Page > Choose the iPhoto on the Connecting camera opens pop-up menu.

Then click Import Selected (if you select some photos) or Import XXX Photos (If you want to transfer all iPhone X or iPhone 7 photos).

Note: iPhoto is not working for you Mac any more, since Apple has discontinued to develop iPhoto. Instead, consider to use iPhoto alternatives to manage and sync photos.

Part 4: How to Download iPhone Photos to Mac with Email

Send iphone photos to Mac

If you have a small batch of photos or iPhone 8 wallpapers you make by yourself and you want to import from iPhone to your Mac, sharing them to Mail is a quick way to get them on your Mac computer. I use this option a lot daily. To do this,

  • Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  • Tap Select and choose the pictures you want to download.
  • Tap the Share icon.
  • Select Mail.
  • Send the photos to your own email account and tap Send. It will give you the option to resize them, but I usually select actual size.
  • Open the email you send yourself on your computer. The you can download photos from iPhone to Mac in whatever folder you'd like.

Part 5: How to Move Photos from iPhone to Mac with Image Capture

Move Photos from iPhone to Mac

The built-in OS X application, Image Capture, is handy if you're not using iCloud and makes for a simple way to both move mass quantities of photos from your iPhone X/8/Plus or older iPhone 7/6s/6 to Macbook Pro/Air, iMac etc. You just need:

Connect your iPhone to Mac with USB cable > Run Image Capture on your Mac > Select your iPhone from the device list if it is not selected > Set the output folder for your iPhone photos > Click Import or Import all to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.

Part 6: How to Import Photos from iPhone to Mac with AirDrop

Import Photos from iPhone to Mac with AirDrop

To use AirDrop, both your iPhone and Mac need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, and both need to have Bluetooth turned on. Your Mac needs to be running OS X Yosemite or newer for iOS-to-OS X AirDrop to work; your iPhone needs to have iOS 8 or later installed.

1. Open Finder and click on AirDrop in the sidebar. Make sure AirDrop is enabled by selecting either "Contacts Only" or "Everyone" from the dropdown menu.

2. Open Photos, then select the album and the photos you wish to send to your Mac

3. Select the Share icon at the bottom of the screen

4. Select your Mac computer from the list of devices that appear in the AirDrop section. The photos will automatically transfer to the downloads folder on your Mac.

Part 7: How to Sync Photos from iPhone to Mac with iCloud

Sync Photos from iPhone to Mac with iCloud

You can use iCloud to automatically transfer new photos to all of your iCloud devices when connected to Wi-Fi using either iCloud Photo Library or Photo Stream; although, we recommend using them in conjunction. BTW, if your iCloud storage is full, you need to free up space of it before you start, or simply purchase more storage as you like.

1. First you need to enable iCloud Photo Library and Photo Streaming on your iPhone. Open the Settings app, and tap iCloud. Tap on Photos from the iCloud menu. Toggle on iCloud Photo Library and Upload to My Photo Stream.

2. Log-in to iCloud on your Mac. Open System Preferences and iCloud. Next to Photos, click Options. Make sure the iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream boxes are checked, and click Done.

3. To view the photos in your Photo Stream, open the Photos app on your computer. Tap Albums at the top and select My Photo Stream. You'll find your iCloud Photo Library photos in the Photos app on any of your devices as well; you can also access your photo library online here.

Well, you got 7 ways or more to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac. But have you noticed that some of the iPhone transfer like iPhoto, Preview can only be only applied for iPhone camera roll photos. If you wanna transfer other albums such as Photo Stream, Photo Library, it's nail-biting. And you can trun to MacX MediaTrans instead to convert HEIC image format and import other iPhone album photos (heic & jpg) to Macbook Pro/Air, iMac etc. at one click.

MacX MediaTrans - Move iPhone Photos (heic/jpg) to Mac No.1 Fast

With Intel QSV supported, this iPhone transfer tool enables you to super fast import photos (heic, jpg, live photo, 4K UHD image) from iPhone to Mac and auto convert heic (HEIF) to jpg for free playback on Windows, Android, photo editor, etc.

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For any questions with MacX MediaTrans, please feel free to contact our support team.

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Seconds to Import iPhone Photos to Mac? The Right One Made it!