• I take photos with my iPhone SE running iOS 10.2.1.
  • I edit the photos in the native Photos app (cropping and filtering).
  • I sync to my MacBook Pro running OS X 10.11.6 (El Capitan) using the native Photos app via USB.
  • Only original versions of the photos appear in Mac Photos. Where are the edited versions? They still appear as edited-only in iOS Photos.

My workaround is to view each photo individually and upload to Dropbox, then download to my Mac and import into Mac Photos, but this is extremely tedious.

Is there a better workaround, or even an actual solution?

  • Photos should import the edits too. (Just clarifying in case you or @fsb think this is expected behaviour.)
    – grg
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 11:04
  • I expect that the Photos app native to OS X should import any edits I make in the Photos app native to iOS (why wouldn't anyone expect this, what would be the point of allowing editing if the changes aren't saved?).
    – 2540625
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 18:48
  • Yup, it works great for me, it imports the edits non- destructively so I can get the original image back or modify certain aspects of the edit. Sorry I can't be more help, no idea why it's not working like that for you. I don't use iCloud Photo Library.
    – grg
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


Apple has a support page about this.

Most programs will show the original, unedited version of the image.

Images you import to your computer directly from your iOS device will show up as the original image in iPhoto, Aperture, and in the Finder.

To import edited photos to your computer

If you want to view the edited version of a photo on a Mac or PC that doesn’t automatically import the edited version:

  1. AirDrop or email the photo to yourself.
  2. Or, if you've enabled iCloud Photo Library, download it from the Photos web app at iCloud.com.

This will save a copy of the edited version on your computer, but you won't be able to revert to the original, unedited version.

  • I'm using Photos app, not iPhoto app.
    – 2540625
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 3:13
  • It shouldn't matter, the steps are the same. Have you tried these steps? Did it work? If not, what errors are you seeing?
    – fsb
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 5:50
  • Transferring photos individually via AirDrop, email, Dropbox, etc, preserves the edits. But this is impractical for dozens of photos per month.
    – 2540625
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 18:51
  • 1
    Enabling iCloud Photo Library would "automatically upload and store your entire library in iCloud to access photos and videos from all your devices". iCloud syncing many thousands of photos taken across a lifetime isn't practical for simply importing recent photos from one device to another with edits preserved.
    – 2540625
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 18:58
  • Regardless of whether or not you believe it's practical, this is the way the Apple set it up. You can provide feedback to Apple about this at apple.com/feedback/photos.html.
    – fsb
    Commented Feb 25, 2017 at 20:13

I bought a little app for this purpose and it does even more than that. The app is called PhotSync (by touchbyte GmbH) and it can be used in combination with a companion app that runs on your Mac or Windows PC. Also it supports many network protocols for file transferring (FTP, SMB etc) and it can transfer all or only the selected photos over WiFi in both their edited or original state. All the edited photos will have the same filename as the original with "_edited" appended at the end of their filename. It can also be used to take incremental backups of your new photos too after you take a full backup.

  • How precisely does this app import the edited(and only th edited) photos?
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 3:34

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