I recently took photos and videos and am now unable to import photos over USB. Image Capture shows the iPhone without any photos, Photos says "No Photos". Image Capture was working fine until I went on a filming spree (48 photos and two 2-minute videos). I am also unable to move a video to the trash: the thumbnail disappears from the list, then the "Cancel" button freezes and has no effect, the video does not appear in the trash, and when I go back to "All photos" another video is selected. I can take new photos on the device but they are not saved to memory.

Unlike this thread, both devices are up to date: iOS 9.3.5 and macOS Mojave 10.14.5.

The same thing happened to a friend who had so many photos that the device complained of lack of space. My storage says 5 GB used and 7 GB available.

How can I transfer the photos and videos from the device?

2 Answers 2


Turning it off and on again

The first and easiest solution was to restart the iOS device (I found this while trying the second solution). Then both Image Capture and Photos were able to see and download the photos and videos, although Image Capture gave an error 50:

Error 50 in importing photos

I needed to restart the device to import a few remaining photos. Image Capture is still unable to delete photos from the device after multiple attempts: a gray box says "Deleting..." and it hangs. I am now backing up the data, restoring the firmware, and restoring the data.

Using the cloud

I set up iCloud on the iOS device and on the computer to share photos: Settings > iCloud > Sign in, then when asked for an iCloud passcode I entered the lock screen code (hint from discussions.apple.com, and I also had to enter the login password of the computer.

The media did not sync immediately, so I went into the iOS Photos application and realized it had hung, so I restarted the device and then Image Capture started working again. Nevertheless, iCloud photos did not sync the photos from the device.

Other alternatives are the Dropbox and Google Drive apps on iOS. Because I got the photos from the first solution above, I did not try these.

Update (September 2020): After one year of syncing photos with Image Capture and deleting them manually, I have toggled the delete behavior back to normal with some unknown reason. Now when I sync photos, they are deleted from the device. It may be due to the same problem, which caused the behavior again and toggled the problem back to normal. What I did this time was to unplug the cable during transfer of videos, then no photo would transfer and I was unable to delete photos on the device and a new photo would have the button "All photos" greyed out (even though I still had those videos), I restarted the device and now it is working again.


In the past when I have had that problem, I would disconnect the USB, restart both the phone and the client system, then reconnect the phone. Make sure you are logged on to your phone and it is open before you make the connection. When it asks if you want to share the content of your phone with the system you just connected to, be sure to answer yes.

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