I took some video on my iPhone and would like to transfer it to my Mac. However, it happens that I don't have my iPhone-to-USB cable with me today, so how I can I do it? If it was a photo I would just get it from my PhotoStream in iPhoto, but it seems videos don't appear there.

This has been asked here, but the accepted answer just says to buy an app. It's also been asked here, but the accepted answer says to email it. This doesn't work, because I get a message saying the video is too long and asking whether I want to select a shorter clip from it. (I do not.)

It seems unlikely to me that there's no way to do this with standard Apple software - so how can I do it without installing anything?

If it makes a difference I'm using Mountain Lion on a Macbook Pro and iOS 6 on an iPhone 5. I have an unlimited data plan.

  • I don't have my cable with me.
    – N. Virgo
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:20
  • ...but supposing I did, how would I do that?
    – N. Virgo
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:22
  • I'm not 100% sure, but I think I did that once already. Assuming I did, how would I then access the videos from my iPhone? In iTunes the only iPhone-related things I can find are the menu items File->Devices->Sync "Nathaniel's iPhone" and File->Devices->Transfer Purchases from "Nathaniel's iPhone", both of which are greyed out.
    – N. Virgo
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:25
  • Nevermind above, it doesn't work. Do you have iMessage enabled? Simply send the video to yourself and you can open it on your Macbook.
    – Rob
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:27
  • That worked, but it massively lowered the quality compared to what I see on the iPhone screen, i.e. it converted my nice HD video into a tiny little SD one.
    – N. Virgo
    Feb 10, 2014 at 10:33

3 Answers 3


I know you say you do not want to install. But you can get a free Dropbox account.

Install it on you Mac and iOS device.

Then in the iOS Dropbox.

Tap the 3 blue circles in the Menu bar.

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Select the + Upload menu.

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Allow Dropbox to see you Photos if Asked.

Navigate to the camera roll or Album that contains you video.

Tap it/them to select it/them

Tap The Upload menu to upload.

Once done they should be on you Mac.


If you don't want to run iPhoto just for that, and you're happy looking at the files at a slightly lower level, then iFunBox is useful. It shows the Photo Album of the device as a digital camera (DCIM) directory so you can see all the files, then copy to/from your Mac.

There's a Mac version too, which has proved useful in the past.


Send a message to yourself in Messages. You might need to create a conversation with your Apple ID on the iMac to see the incoming message but it seems to work.

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