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After reading this article, you will learn all the workable ways on how to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows/Mac or without a computer. Apply one of the methods to back up your iPhone photos to an external hard drive within minutes.
Compared with the size of an iPhone storage, the capacity of an external hard drive is generally much larger. Common external hard drives from Seagate, Western Digital, and Toshiba range from 500GB to 2TB. In addition to the large storage capacity, external hard drives also have the advantages of an excellent read and write speed, high portability, long life, and more. Thus, it's reasonable that an external hard drive is the choice of many users when they want to back up their iPhone photos.
When it comes to importing photos from iPhone to an external hard drive, you can get it done either with or without a computer. Here are the details:
To transfer photos on your iPhone to an external hard drive on a Windows PC, you have four ways to choose from. After you learn the tips in detail, you will know which one fits your needs best. Whether you want to transfer photos from iPhone directly to an external hard drive or get photos from iPhone to an external storage device without using a USB cable, you can find the way you need from the paragraphs below.
Do you want to transfer all photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive at once? Do you want to copy other files like videos, audio files, messages, books, and more together with the pictures from your iPhone to the external drive to make a backup? If you do, the iOS data transfer software - EaseUS MobiMover will help.
EaseUS MobiMover supports transferring files between iPhone and Mac or PC or between two iOS devices. Thus, it also allows you to transfer files between an iOS device and an external storage device like an external hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, and more.
To transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows:
Connect both the iPhone and the external hard drive to the PC and make sure these devices are recognized by the computer. Afterward, launch the photo transfer tool and click "Phone to PC" > "Next."
Check "Pictures" among all the supported categories. If you need to, you can also transfer other files from your iPhone to the external hard drive, together with photos. Besides, since the default destination is the desktop, you need to click the storage path to change it to your external hard drive.
Click the "Transfer" button to start importing photos from the iPhone to the external hard drive. When it has done, go to the selected folder on the hard drive to check these items.
If the photos are lost on your iPhone someday in the future, you can use this tool to transfer photos back to your iOS device from the external hard drive.
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On Windows 8 and Windows 10, there is a built-in app on PC called Photos, which will help you manage the photos on the computer and import photos from a folder or a USB device to PC.
To import photos from iPhone to an external drive on PC:
Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Unlock your iPhone and connect your device to PC running Windows 10 or Windows 8. (Make sure the external storage device can be recognized by the computer.)
When a prompt appears on your iPhone asking you for permission, click "Allow".
On your PC, open the "Photos" app and click "Import" > "From a USB device" to let Photos find the items on your iPhone.
After finding all the photos and videos on your iOS device, there will be a window in Photos asking to select the items you want to import. Select the photos you want to transfer.
Then click "Import setting" > "Change the import destination", choose a location on your external hard drive, and then click "Done."
Click "Import Selected" to start transferring photos from iPhone to the external hard drive.
Windows 10 Photos app not working? Don't worry. Follow the fixes to make it work again.
The last way that is suitable for both Windows and Mac users is to use iCloud Photos. By enabling iCloud Photos on both your iPhone and the computer, you can transfer your iPhone photos to the computer, and then download the items to the external hard drive.
To upload photos from iPhone to an external hard drive via iCloud:
Turn on iCloud Photos on iPhone: Go to "Settings" > [your name] > "iCloud" > "Photos" and switch on "iCloud Photos".
After the syncing process, the photos on your iPhone will be transferred to the external hard drive successfully.
Using File Explorer in Windows 10 or Windows Explorer in Windows 8/7 is an exclusive solution for Windows users. With File Explorer, you can copy the photos to an external hard drive directly without any software installation. However, you can only transfer photos in the DCIM folder, which contains the photos taken by the iPhone camera only. Thus, the photos from other sources or albums won't be imported using File Explorer. If you attempt to transfer photos from all albums, try the other solutions instead.
To import photos from iPhone to external hard drive:
Unlock your iPhone and connect the iPhone and the external hard drive to your Windows PC using a USB cable. (Make sure the USB cable is a good one.)
Then a prompt will pop up on your iPhone asking for your permission. Click "Allow" to continue.
Go to "This PC" > "Apple iPhone" > "Internal Storage" > "DCIM" > "100APPLE" and you will see all the photos in your iPhone Camera Roll.
Copy the photos on your iPhone and paste them to the external hard drive. By doing so, you can back up photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive easily and quickly.
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If you are a Mac user, there are two more solutions for you in addition to using iPhone transfer software or iCloud.
Image Capture is a program on Mac that enables users to take pictures and upload photos to Mac from digital cameras, iOS devices, and other devices that have a camera. Therefore, you can move photos and videos to an external storage device from your iPhone/iPad with the help of Image Capture.
How to back up photos from iPhone to external hard drive:
Connect the hard drive to your Mac with a USB cable and make sure it is recognized by the Mac.
Connect your iPhone to the Mac with a USB cable.
Open "Image Capture" on your Mac and choose your iPhone from in the "Devices" section.
Click the "Import To" pop-up menu, then choose to save the images to your external hard drive.
Choose "Import All" to transfer all the items or select the photos you want to transfer and click "Import".
On Mac OS X 10.10.3 or later, there is also an app called Photos. It's the replacement of iPhoto in earlier versions. The Photos app enables you to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac using a USB cable. And thus, it will also allow you to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive on Mac.
To transfer photos from iPhone to external hard drive on Mac:
Connect your iPhone and the external hard drive to the Mac.
Run Photos for Mac, go to the "Devices" section and select your iOS device.
Click the "Import to" option and choose to save the imported photos to the external drive.
Click "Import All New Photos" or select the photos you want to transfer to the Mac and then click "Import [number] Selected".
For more workable solutions to import photos from iPhone to external hard drive on Mac, refer to the guide on how to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac.
There are times when you don't have a computer available and need to transfer photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive without a computer. Actually, with the growing trend to connect an external storage device to an iPhone or iPad directly, it's common that there will be a USB-C cable included when you purchase an external hard drive.
With that cable, you will be able to connect the external hard drive to your iPhone or iPad without a computer and exchange data. Even if you don't have such a cable, you can use Apple's Lightning-to-USB camera adapter to help you connect these devices.
To import photos from iPhone to external hard drive without a computer:
Connect the external hard drive to the iPhone with a USB-C cable or via an adapter.
On the iPhone, go to "Files" > "Browse" to check whether the external hard drive is attached successfully.
Go to the Photos app, choose the pictures you want to move, tap the "Share" button, and then choose "Save to Files." Tap "On My iPhone" and select the external hard drive.
By doing so, you can move photos from iPhone to an external hard drive directly without a computer. Besides, you can copy files from the external drive to your iOS device if you need to.
These are the proven ways to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive. Whether you want to use a computer or not, you can find the solution you need. All of the solutions can be applied to transfer photos from iPhone to computer. Command these tips to help yourself out whenever you need to perform data transfer between an iPhone/iPad/iPod and a computer/external storage device.
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