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I have an iPhone 4 that does not update anymore, works deadly slow, and has zero free space on it. For some reason (subject for another question), I has to use it and, to make using it more comfortable, I want to free some space.

I found that decent amount of space is occupied by photos and videos, that I cannot afford to loose, so I want to move these photos and videos to PC, i.e. to copy them from iPhone to PC, and then remove them from iPhone.

I've connected iPhone to PC via USB cable, and Windows (I also have MacBook, but tried on Windows; let me know, if on MacBook my task is easier to solve) recognized it as external USB drive with two folders:

  • one folder named DCIM, and

  • another named something like File Transfer

In these two folders there were more than a hundred photo and video files. I successfully moved all of them to PC, so now, Windows does not see any files on iPhone.

The problem is that iPhone still has zero free space and if I tap on Photo icon in it, I still see lots of photos and videos there. So my goal was not achieved. I don't know whether photos I still see on iPhone and photos I now have on PC are the same or not.

Could you help me?

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You need a way to transfer original photos and videos from your iPhone to your PC. First copy/import them from your iPhone to Windows, then proceed to delete them from within the Photos app on your iPhone.

To copy/import using a Mac, connect your iPhone to your MacBook, and use a macOS built-in app called Image Capture. Upon launching, Image Capture will list your iPhone in the left pane. Selecting it will display all the photos and videos available on your iPhone. Simply select the desired ones and drag them into a folder of your choosing to copy them to your Mac. Once copied, you can also delete them from the iPhone using the Image Capture app.

For computers running Windows, you can download a 3rd party app called iExplorer to easily browse through and transfer all your photos and videos from your iPhone to your PC.

Developers of iExplorer have shared a tutorial article listing instructions on how to transfer photos from your iOS device to PC:

Note: No affiliation whatsoever to the developer of iExplorer.

  • I already transferred many photos and videos just by using Windows Explorer (actually I used Total Commander, but there should be not a much difference), but this didn't help to free any space in iPhone, which was my primary goal. Do you think specialized software will help me to free space? – Mikhail Vladimirov Apr 15 at 9:23
  • @MikhailVladimirov Have you deleted the media from within the Photos app from your iPhone? – Nimesh Neema Apr 15 at 9:25
  • I already deleted them from iPhone using Windows Explorer (Total Commander actually), so now Windows does not see them. What is left is probably some other photos/videos. I need to somehow compare what I still have on iPhone with what I now have on PC to make 100% sure these are the same. – Mikhail Vladimirov Apr 15 at 9:26
  • I'm totally confused now. If photos are still in iPhone, than what I've deleted from it via Windows Explorer (I've deleted arount 1GD of files)? If photos are still in iPhone, how may I download them again from there (Windows does not see any photos on iPhone anymore)? – Mikhail Vladimirov Apr 15 at 9:30
  • @MikhailVladimirov I'd recommend copying them using Image Capture app onto your Mac and once copied, delete it via Image Capture app itself. Its a sure-shot and dead simple approach to copy original images from iPhone and then to delete them from your device. – Nimesh Neema Apr 15 at 9:32

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