I'm transitioning to using Photos.app on both iOS and OS X - with the intention to use iCloud Photo Library...

Before making this change I had to move a bunch of photos off an iPhone to free up space. I did so using Image Capture on the Mac - and I've ended up with .JPGs paired with .AAEs (the latter, as I understand it, containing the image edits).

(So, I moved the photos off the iPhone to a folder on a Mac, duplicated on external disk, did a back up, then deleted the images on the iPhone)

I've read this Q&A with tells of a method to use a python script to apply of the filters to the corresponding images.

What I'd like to know: is it possible to import both the .JPG files and .AAE files so that the original image is still available in Photos? E.g. so that the revert option would still be available...

1 Answer 1


best way to do this is via AirDrop, its super fast and doesn't require a internet connection (bluetooth and WIFI need to be switched on though). Works with iPhone5 or up, maybe 4S as well but i didn't try.


  • AirDrop definitely has nice behavior in that it transfers the rendering of the filtered file as it displays in the photos app rather than the base image and its corresponding AAE file. AAE's are an interesting way to preserve these edits in the whole plist xml data, however without an app to recreate the rendered image one is sort of left hanging with a useless file. This is particularly acute when you want to view photos taken in portrait on your desktop, you lose the blurred background.
    – jxramos
    Commented Apr 12 at 7:47

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