Cameras on iPhones are getting better seemingly with every new generation released. They were the top-four most-popular smartphone cameras on Flickr. But as the image quality continues to improve and resolutions get higher, it means more storage space is required. Photography lovers who carry 16GB iPhones will find their devices running out of space way before their contracts are up.
The way to free up memory for more photos is to make it a habit to back-up those photos. Also, since phones are easily broken or lost, it’s always a good idea to back up your pictures anyway. The best way to do this is to put them on your computer, but there are many other ways get those photos off your phone – from cloud servers to social media and portable drives. Here are five steps to take; choose what works for your workflow.
If you have a Lightning or 30-pin USB cord handy, importing photos onto your Mac or PC is easy and fast.
Connect to a Mac computer
Step 1: Plug your phone into your computer using a USB cord (Lightning or 30-pin, depending on your iPhone), the same way you would when you add music. It may ask you to unlock the phone.
Step 2: Open iPhoto, Apeture, or Image Capture, depending on what you have. If you are working on a Mac, then iPhoto should open automatically when you plug in your phone, unless you told it not to.
Step 3: In iPhoto your phone should appear under the Devices tab in the menu on the left. Click it and you’ll see all your photos.
Step 4: If you want to import all the photos on your phone, hit the “Import Photos” button. You can also choose specific photos by clicking on them, which will set a yellow border around the selected photos; to select multiple photos, hold down the Command button on your keyboard as you click on the photos you want. Then hit the “Import Selected” button.
Step 5: It shouldn’t take long for the photos to import. When the import is done you can find the photos in the “Last Imported” folder. From there you can edit, print, email, or move photos to different folders.
Connect to a Windows 7 computer
Step 1: If you’ve never connected your iPhone to your computer before, you’re going to need to unlock it with a password. Your phone will ask you if the computer can be trusted, and presumably, if you want to export photos you should trust it. It will then ask for a password.
Step 2: On some computers, a window will appear automatically, saying “Import pictures and videos.” If you don’t get an automatic window then you’ll have to do it manually. Go to “Start” and then select “Computer.” Under the “Portable Devices” section you should see your phone. Right-click the icon and go down to “Import pictures and videos.”
Step 3: A window will pop up with a box that says “Tag these pictures.” You can fill that in, but it’s not necessary. Click the “Import” button at the bottom of the box. If you want to remove the photos from your phone after importing them, you can check the box that says “Erase after importing.”
Step 4: You can find your photos in the “My Pictures” folder. If you tagged them, they will be in a folder with that name, otherwise you can find them filed under the date of when you imported. You can now go through and change the image names and edit them.
Connect to a Windows 8 computer
Using a computer with Windows 8 isn’t too different than 7, but it is good to know there are some differences.
Step 1: Connect your phone and allow it to trust the computer, like you would’ve done with Windows 7.
Step 2: A window will come up, asking what you want to do with the phone. Click the window and a menu will pop up. Choose “Import photos and videos.” Doing this will open every photo from your phone in the Windows 8 photo app. From there you can choose to import all of them or only ones you’ve selected.
Step 3 - Hit import and the photos will be saved to the photo app.
Step 4 - If a window doesn’t pop up when you plug in your phone, you can still import photos. Go to “Start” and choose the photo app tile.
Step 5: Right-click anywhere inside the app and choose the “Import” option on the menu that pops up.
Step 6: A menu will appear with all the devices connected to the computer. Choose your phone.
Step 7: Like before, it will show all of the photos on your phone and you can choose whether to import all of them or selected ones.
Next Page: How to wirelessly upload your photos.
How to wirelessly upload your photos
Using a cord to connect your phone to a computer is efficient and easy, but we’re living in the 21st century: it’s time to get rid of those wires.
Using iCould with a Mac computer
Though using iCloud for photos has been met with some controversy lately, it is still a viable option for transferring photos.
Step 1: Set up an iCloud account. To do this, go to Settings, then scroll down to iCloud. Click on the banner at the top that says “Account,” and add your information. It takes a couple minutes, but your phone will connect to your account.
Step 2: Scroll down and toggle the files you want sent to the cloud; in this case, choose “Photos,” followed by “My Photo Stream.” You can also choose “Photo Sharing,” which enables you to share photos with friends or family.
Step 3: Go to iCloud on your computer. If you’re using an Apple computer, open System Preferences from the Apple menu. Click on iCloud and enter your account information. Choose the services you want to enable, making sure to check “Photos.”
Step 4: Open iPhoto and click “Enable iCloud.” Doing this will pull in all the photos you have on iCloud. You can choose to import all of them or just a few.
Using iCloud with a Windows 7 or 8 computer
If you’re using a Windows computer, follow steps one and two from above to activate iCloud on your phone.
Step 3: Click on the boxes you want to be able to access from the cloud.
Step 4: You can view the photos you added from your phone, and from here you can download them to your computer.
Nothing goes better with an iPhone than apps, and of course there are free ones that facilitate photo sharing. Download any one of these apps and get rid of that USB cord.
Dropbox is one of the most popular file sharing apps, and it works on Apple and Windows. This is a particularly good app because it can share many kinds of files and you can even connect with friends and family to pass photos along that way. It is the most comprehensive product out there right now.
Step 2: Create an account with your email and password.
Step 3 - Go to Photos in the bottom menu and click “Enable Camera Upload.” Upload the photos you want.
Step 4 -Install Dropbox for you computer and log in with the account you made on your phone.
Step 5 - From here you can transfer the photos to your computer and do whatever you want with them. You can choose to have every photo you take with your phone go directly to your computer or you can set it up so you choose the specific photos you want uploaded.
If Dropbox isn’t your thing, there are other free apps that deal specifically with photo sharing, such as Flickr, ThisLife, Carousel, and Photobucket. The process for these is similar to Dropbox – you download the app on your phone and computer (or log into a Web portal), create an account, and move photos from one folder to the other.
A quick and easy way to share photos with yourself is through email. iPhones come with an email app, so you’ll need to ensure your e-mail is set up. If it is, skip ahead to step 3. Note that some email services have a cap on how large a file size can be sent.
Step 1: Go into “Settings” and select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.” Under “Accounts click “Add Account.”
Step 2: Choose your email provider and enter your email address and password. You now have email. If you don’t want to use the iPhone app, you can download a separate one like Gmail or Yahoo Mail.
Step 3: Go into your Camera Roll and select the photo you want to send to your account.
Step 4: Hit the button in the lower left-hand corner that looks like a box with an arrow.
Step 5: Tap the Mail button, put in your email address, and hit send.
Step 6: Open the email on your computer and download the photo
Look, we know the main reason many people take photos is to put them on social media, so cut out the middle man and take them directly from your phone. If you want, you can download those photos once you get to a computer from services including Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Remember that everything you post on social media is publicly available to some degree, so this isn’t the option to choose if you don’t want other people seeing your photos.
Sometimes, nothing else will do besides a good ol’ fashioned external storage device. As connectivity in smartphones increases, so do your options for connecting to different storage methods.
If you find yourself on the go all the time, the Leef iBridge Mobile Memory drive is awesome for easily transferring photos between devices while expanding the storage space on your phone. The drive plugs into the phone’s Lightning port (sorry, older iPhones with a 30-pin connector aren’t compatible). You can use the companion app to copy files onto the drive, or have photos saved directly to the drive after it’s shot. Plug it into your computer’s USB port, and you can easily drag-and-drop the photo files; it works with other types of files too.
Taking a ton of photos? Western Digital’s My Passport Wireless provides tons of storage, wireless connectivity, and portability into a single package. With Wi-Fi, you can connect your iPhone to the drive (via the WD My Cloud app) and easily copy photos over, as well as music, video, and document files. The built-in battery can power the hard drive for up to 20 hours of standby time, or 6 hours of continuous video streaming. There’s a built-in SD card slot too, to back up the photos from your digital camera without a computer.