I have an iPhone SE and a five year old iMac running El Cap. I use iPhoto on the iMac. Since the iOS 11 update, whenever I import photos I get both the edited and the unedited version of the photo on my computer. I used to just get one version. Here's an example of what I see now. I'm fine if it imports the unedited version since that is what I am used to. Is there a setting I need to change somewhere? Would prefer to do this without a 3rd party app since it's a fairly frequent workflow for me. Thank you!

two images next to each other, one is edited/cropped. the same filename except one has an E next to it

Note: I do not use iCloud for photos (terrible upload speeds) so this is just coming in via connected cable.

  • 2
    iOS 11 introduced new formats for photos and videos: HEIF and HEVC. Just a hunch, but maybe your new photos are being stored in the new format, and this is somehow leading to the issue? You can check what format you're using in Settings > Camera > Formats. If it's set to High Efficiency, switch to Most Compatible and test.
    – Adam Rice
    Nov 9, 2017 at 4:18
  • Nope - only iPhone 7 and later take photos in the new formats.
    – Adam Rice
    Nov 9, 2017 at 4:20
  • This setting might be involved? Settings > Photos > Transfer to Mac or PC. It's new in iOS 11, and it's there to make working with the new file formats easier, but perhaps it's also leading to your issue?
    – Adam Rice
    Nov 9, 2017 at 4:24
  • OK I've changed it from "Automatic" to "Keep originals" and I'll see what happens. Nov 10, 2017 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


I understand your frustration with this issue! When you edit a photo on iOS, it keeps the original and creates a text file with an .aae extension containing instructions of the changes/edits made to the original file. iOS renders the original file per .aae file which makes it look like it’s an additional image. The Photos & Lightroom MacOS applications do the same.

I use the native MacOS application Image Capture to import my media. You can click on your device, select the photos you want and drag and drop them to whichever directory. This method also exports the associated .aae file separately as a text file. If you happen to export a live image, this method will also extract the cover image as an image and the motion of the Live Photo as a video file.

If you want to extract/save an edited file, just make sure you share, copy or upload the edited file somewhere like your mail or messages.

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