I prefer backing up and syncing my photos locally vs using iCloud and as such I have been trying to automate the process of locally syncing newly taken photos on an iPhone to my PC but have not been able to find any obvious solutions. One of the additional challenges is i'm looking for a solution that would work for sometimes alternating imports of two (or more) different iPhones.

Preferred Solution Should:

  • Automatically copy any new photos (and video) from the Camera Roll to a pre-configured folder after the phone is plugged in
  • Keep the original filenames as they are on the phone
  • Keep photos from different phones separate (ideally just sync them to a different folder)
  • I'm looking to sync from iPhone -> PC only as i can already sync edited photos and albums from PC -> iPhone via iTunes
  • Use native/free/scripted functionality

I can live with:

  • Having a couple of mouse clicks to start or approve the transfer
  • Doing the transfer over WiFi instead
  • Don't mind if the folder structure from the phone is replicated or the photos are copied flat

Currently i manually do a copy via Windows Explorer and just tell windows to not copy any existing files but this is not very efficient and i have to remember to do it every time i plug the phone in.

Closest solution i have found that doesn't quite work for multiple devices is to use the Import functionality in Windows Photo App. This is also the listed method for importing pictures on the Apple Support Page

A non free solution i think may work is to use something like MTPDrive which exposes the phone as a drive and then script a SyncToy/copy script when the drive is available.

  • Last I looked iTunes on Windows allowed you to pick a folder to sync with. Granted that was a couple of minor versions ago but still.... Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 12:01
  • @SteveChambers AFAIK that sync only goes the other way (eg. i Sync my "Pictures" library and can see all those photos on the iPhone). Even Apple FAQ says to use Windows Photo Gallery support.apple.com/en-au/HT201302
    – mundeep
    Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 12:26
  • Strange, when I used it it was a two way sync... Commented Dec 6, 2017 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


The Windows Photos App solution will be the most efficient for you. It'll offer exactly what you requested and you can be assured that it'll not mix up photos or have duplicated copies since its intelligent enough to label these photos.

Or you can use the file explorer. iMore has a great breakdown of the steps you should take if you want to save your photos. As well as other options.


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