I want to copy photos from iPad to PC (iTunes). On iTunes, I click the iPad icon, and then click "Photos" from the left panel. It shows "Sync Photos" on the right. But the problem is that when I click the Sync button, the pictures on the iPhone are not copied to the PC. Only the reverse was true (PC -> iPad).

Doesn't Apple support copying photos from iPad to PC? Or did I do something wrong? How can I copy photos from iPad to a PC on the same home network wirelessly?

If possible, I do not want to use the USB cable, because it is cumbersome than Wi-Fi Sync. I do not want to use iCloud as a middle man (iPad -> iCloud -> my PC) either, because I know a lot of people's pictures were leaked through iCloud.

  • 3
    People's pictures are not "leaked" through iCloud. People give-out their password or have very simple passwords that were socially engineered to give out. iCloud is extremely secure and when used properly, would keep your photos safe. You can use iCloud to keep your photos in sync with your PC, if you want. Otherwise, there's a lot of 3rd-party applications that will run on either your PC or iPhone and can transfer your photos.
    – fsb
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 13:35
  • Or have very simple and publicly shared answers to their "security" questions. Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


iTunes can't download pictures from iOS devices to your computer, not even when connected via USB. The sync option allows you to upload pictures from a selected folder from your computer to the device.

On Windows, you can use the system camera import option –some methods on how to enable it if it's not working are described here–, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Photos app on windows 8 and 10, and a long list of apps; all of them require you to plug your device to your computer.

There appear to exist pure wireless alternatives, one called "Wifi Photo Transfer" - link to CNET review; and "Wifi Transfer App" - link to the App Store; look at the "Customers Also Bought" section as there appear to be a lot of apps that do what you want. I haven't tried any of them.

If you'd rather never worry about manually syncing, and don't want to use iCloud Photo Library marvelous service, that even takes care of reducing the space used by your pictures, I suggest you try Dropbox that does what you want –via internet though, and if you either have bad passwords, reuse them, or, god forbid, Dropbox passwords are leaked or stolen and you don't react quickly you may be in trouble. Google has another alternative, closer to iCloud Photo Library in functionality, but you'll have to install Google Drive on your PC and activate the Photos folder inside Drive in order to have a hard copy on your computer. Also, depending on your settings and how many pictures you have, you may have to pay with Google or Dropbox (and iCloud as well).

Lastly, you may enable My Photo Stream, which in my opinion is very complicated but it automatically copies your pictures (via iCloud) to your computer; if iCloud Photo library is off there is no way to view your pictures online thus your fear of your pictures leaking is at least minimized because a third person looking to steal your pictures will have to set up a device with your iCloud credentials in order to retrieve said pictures, and it will alert you of that event on all signed in machines.

You can also add Two-factor or two-step authentication to your device if you are worried about your privacy.

  • Photo Stream is both visible on the web and is on its way out as a thing, being replaced by iCloud Photo Library. (The only reason it still exists, I believe, is to support older devices that don't support iCloud Photo Library, such as Apple TV 3rd gen.) I wouldn't recommend using it.
    – tubedogg
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 20:23
  • I agree that it may be on it's way out, but I don't think you can see it on the web, as stated on the answer I linked, and on the Photo Stream FAQ (support.apple.com/en-us/HT201317). Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 20:28
  • Thank you for the detailed answer. Now I know it is impossible, I will look for alternative ways such as the apps you have mentioned. I just wonder, why apple does not support it natively. Since iTunes supports PC=>iPad photo transfer, it must be technically possible to support iPad=>PC photo transfer, too. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 7:11
  • My guess is that they find it cumbersome on one hand, and it runs against their business model on the other. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 2:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .