I have a very large video on my iphone that is pretty important to me, its over an hour long around 8 gigs big.

I usually use image capture or iphoto to download my videos from my phone to my mac. However, I am having an issue with this video today. When I try to download it through Image Capture it says:

An error occured while importing. The item ‘IMG_1226.MOV” was not imported.

When I do it with iPhoto it says:

iPhoto cannot import your photos because there was a problem downloading an image.

I was don't know what's wrong with the video because I can perfectly watch it on my iPhone, so I am not sure whats wrong with this.

To try to repair this the only thing I really tried was to update my iPhone's OS and hope it does the trick. I am using iOS 8.1 which is the newest and it did nothing.

I am not sure how else to transfer it somewhere else so that I can have a copy of it on some other device. How does the community suggest I solve this?

Some ideas I've had (but have not tried yet because I am not sure how to do them):

  1. Send it to Dropbox somehow by internet... might be possible? Remember, its stuck on my iphone for the time being, so I need to send it through my phone.
  2. Make it an mp4 or some video format as is smaller (in my phone), compress it and send it to myself somehow, by mail or Dropbox (or see if the compressed video can be sent directly, remember, I can't do it on a computer for the time being, its stuck on my phone).
  3. upload the WHOLE thing to youtube on my phone (though I can't right now cuz it gigantic so my iphone only lets me do it by parts...). but then i would have the problem that I can't download it back... right?
  4. Go to the Genius Bar at an Apple Store...? But what could they do that I can't though...?
  5. one potential solution I thought was "editing" the video on my phone with some app that saves it a copy of it and then downloading it. I just don't know what good apps to edit videos exist for iPhone. The only issue with this is that, saving a copy that is as big will be a problem because I am already running out of space on my phone and I don't want to delete the videos until they are saved somewhere!

Some further restrictions I have.

My phone has 32 Gigs and 24 Gigs are already used. 15.4 GB of them are because of the videos. The rest is information I am willing to erase if I can save those videos.

  • 1
    Does the Mac you want to download the video to have 8 GB of disk space left?
    – nohillside
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 14:34
  • Can you import the video using Image Capture?
    – ajkblue
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 14:40
  • @ajkblue no i cannot do it with image capture, I thought I said that in my question, thats the the usual way I download things. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 16:15
  • @patrix I only have 12 GBs left. Interesting, maybe thats why? I will try to delete stuff and see what happens. If you know how to compress videos that might do the trick too to mp4 Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 16:18
  • 1
    @Frizlab this is very strange, I guess 5 days later after I couldn't download the videos, image capture finally agreed to work... :S no idea what happened. I am happy but again a little sad that I couldn't paste the error. For fairness of everyone's efforts, I will try to use the methods bellow and give the bounty to the one that works the easiest, even though I don't need it anymore right now (I might need it in the future though, hopefully my iphone will wok and I wont need any weird hack). Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 6:31

4 Answers 4


You might want to try iExplorer. Because it can directly access your iPhone as a disk device, iExplorer may be able to move the movie file to your Mac without any of the problems associated with other apps.

iExplorer can also open and read iTunes backups, which may be another way to extract the movie. My wife inadvertently wiped her iPhone a few months ago, but I was able to recover all her photos, which included a few movie files, from an iTunes backup.

A free version or iExplorer is available, but if it works for you, purchasing the app is a great idea. I'm not sure what restrictions are on the free version, though.

Transparency: I'm just a very satisfied user of iExplorer, and will obtain no financial gain should you purchase a copy.


You should try the following:

  • If you have it, do try with iMovie. (Menu “File” -> “Import Media…”)
  • Try AirDrop. You have to be on iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite for AirDrop to work between an iPhone and a Mac though.
  • If you can successfully make a backup of your iPhone using iTunes, I can walk you through the retrieving of the video from the iTunes backup.
  • If you can upload the video to YouTube, there are ways to download videos from YouTube. It’s way easier than you might think actually.

Don’t hesitate to comment for questions and precisions.

By all means, if you can get the reason why the transfer fails with Image Capture, please tell us, it will probably help (see my comment on your question).


Try a peer-to-peer file transfer service to move the video directly from your phone to computer, like BitTorrent Sync. This would be faster then using a cloud solution like uploading to Dropbox or YouTube and then downloading it again. It's very simple to use too, just download the BitTorrent Sync app on your phone and Mac, turn on the Camera Roll backup feature from you phone, and then send the link to your Mac to begin the transfer. This is the probably the fastest way to transfer files with out a wired connection.


I use Photo Transfer app http://www.phototransferapp.com to transfer photos and videos between my iDevices and my Mac, though I admit I haven't tried to transfer as large a file as you need to do. It supports lots of formats and preserves the metadata, too. It uses WiFi or Bluetooth.

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