Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I want to be able to move photos and videos from my iPhone onto my Windows PC, but the iPhone doesn't present itself like a compact camera. Because my existing import process works so well with normal compact cameras (they have drive letters!), I don't want to have to mess around with extra programs.

When I connect my iPhone, I don't get a new drive letter for it. Instead of e.g. K:\DCIM\800AAAAA I just get the very cryptic address Computer\Torbens iPhone 4\Internal Storage\DCIM\800AAAAA. Windows Explorer can navigate this path, but no programs can access the path.

How do I get Windows to assign a drive letter to my iPhone?

I am not interested in programs that can look into my iPhone and allow me to manually copy files from it to my harddisk. (iFunBox, DiskAid, Wifi photo transfer app, WinAmp - as mentioned in this recent question)
I want a drive letter! When I have that, I can continue to use my existing photo-importing applications that do everything with a single click! (Moving rather than copying, file renaming based on timestamp, etc.)

Is there some hack app that will make the iPhone present itself with a drive letter? This would probably not be a Windows application but rather an iPhone jailbreak app, but any solution is welcome.

I'm running Win7 and a jailbroken iOS 4.1.

share|improve this question
    
I also looked for such a solution and never found one. There's even a jb app that will partition a FAT which will work fine as a thumbdrive, but that's still far from what we wanted. I just doubt there's anything out there yet. –  Cawas Dec 23 '10 at 22:30
    
The link right below the link to this page: LOL code.google.com/p/iphonefs –  user28921 Sep 11 '12 at 17:35
    
@Jon: This looks extremely promising. Will try it out! If you change your comment to an answer, I can upvote it :) –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 11 '12 at 19:07
    
@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun Did you ever get this working on Win7? I've searched all over for a solution, but can't seem to find one. Can't believe it's this hard to access the iPhone through a drive letter. :( –  Jerad Rose Sep 14 '13 at 16:01
    
@JeradRose No my iPhone never got a drive letter. Thanks Apple for being a proprietary [redacted ;)]. Since posting this question, I've replaced Win7 with Ubuntu and my iPhone with an Android. Much happier now. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 14 '13 at 20:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I get a drive letter just fine under XP. Under XP a dialog pops up each time I plug it in, asking how it should be handled. By canceling it ends up being handled as a drive.

My guess is that there's a setting, probably related to cameras and photos, that will change how Windows 7 handles it by default. Unfortunately I've no Win 7 machine handy.


A couple of suggestions from Googling for answers:

  1. Many people have solved the problem by deleting any photos on their iPhone that weren't actually taken with the iPhone. Anything received in email, saved to disk in Safari, etc. After clearing those out the device again appeared as a drive.

  2. Reinstall the iPhone driver in Windows 7 by following instructions from Apple Support.


EDITED TO ADD WIN XP, AS REQUESTED


Getting Windows XP to Present Itself as a Drive-Like Camera

First, the way I have things set up, which may or may not affect how it works for you: I am running all of the XP service packs, updated regularly through Software Update, with no special drivers or applications. My account is an administrator on my PC. iTunes 10.1 is installed, though it is not involved with the camera stuff (it's possible that having iTunes installed does provide some kind of driver, I don't know). My iPhone is a stock iPhone 3GS, non-jailbroken, running iOS 4.2.1. Note that all of this worked identically with iTunes 9 and my phone running iOS 3.0.1.

Event Handling

The first time you attach your iPhone to your WinXP PC a dialog much like the following should appear:

WinXP Event Handler

Drive List

If you choose one of the Microsoft Office handlers, the Wizard, or another app like Photoshop, your phone will not present itself as a camera (more on changing that behavior below). If you click Cancel then the dialog will disappear and the camera will become available.

alt text

Windows Explorer Media Directory

If you then double-click on the iPhone icon all of the images and movies are presented:

alt text

You can freely drag photos and videos out of the directory. You can drag stuff in, too.

Changing the Event Handler

If at some point you chose an event handler rather than clicking Cancel you can change how XP handles the iPhone. You'll need to get to the phone's Properties, which may require opening the Scanners and Cameras control panel. Click on the dialog's Events tab to see this:

alt text

If you change your current setting to Prompt then you'll get that first dialog I showed when you plug in your device. You can also choose Take no action if you want it to always behave like a drive.

share|improve this answer
    
Well maybe the "solution" is to go back to Windows XP. That would solve a lot of other <strike>features</strike> "problems" too! Let's see if anyone else can provide Win7-specific information. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Dec 19 '10 at 11:45
    
@torbengb I added a couple of suggestions that seem to solve the problem for most everyone. –  Matthew Frederick Dec 19 '10 at 22:55
1  
Thank you Matthew, will have a look and report back. It may take a few days *<|:o) Have a Satisfactory, Non-denominational Capitalist, Wintertime Gift-giving Season. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Dec 20 '10 at 8:47
1  
@Cawas @torbengb I certainly can copy photos on and off my iPhone and iPad using the drive letter assigned under XP. I actually do it once or twice a week, so I speak with complete authority. –  Matthew Frederick Dec 23 '10 at 22:36
1  
Matthew, then I'd love to know how you do it! Read my comment on the question... I never could do it. Specially not even on the mac! Is your iphone even jailbroken? Maybe that's a feature of iOS 4, since I never really tried it. - btw, actually on the mac I can browse the whole iphone usinh netatalk, a JB app. but never withough jailbreaking! :| –  Cawas Dec 23 '10 at 22:45

I've successfully mapped a drive letter to the iPad on Win7 64 machine. Just install the Air Sharing app on the iPad and map using the Bonjour address.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.