I'm trying to get photos from my iPhone to my computer, I've tried 3 ways so far:

  • Using the 'import photos' feature in Windows 11, this just produces a whole bunch of duplicates with no easy way to discern which is which, meaning I'd need to manually go through photos of photos/videos and delete them.

  • Dragging the photos directly from the phone using explorer, this leaves me with a whole load of AAE files and the originals, meaning any edits, crops, video trims etc are not applied.

  • Using the Photos app of my wife's Macbook - this is as close as I've gotten, the photos are all there and all seem to have copied across with the edits, but I have no way of then getting them to my PC, they're locked away in a 'Photos Library' and if I right click in finder to try to browse it, nothing works. If I open it in finder, it just opens up in the Photos app again.

Any suggestions please? I've spent so many hours trying to do this now and I'm at a loss. Thank you :)

2 Answers 2


If you have the photos in Photos on the Mac, select them in the Library then choose File > Export > Export n Photos…

The next dialog will allow you to choose the output format, size and other properties and you can then save the exported photos in your chosen location and transfer them to your own computer by any file sharing method.

Alternatively, depending on how many photos you need to transfer, you can select them in Photos on the iPhone and AirDrop them to the Mac, which should preserve the HEIC format - you may need to check whether this includes any edits you made on the iPhone or not, though.

Finally you could also email them from the iPhone, or add them to an iCloud photo album from which you can then download them to the other computer. If you have other apps installed on the iPhone that can be used for sharing images then they may also appear as options here; for example, I see Flickr and Evernote. If you have Dropbox you can upload photos there from within the Dropbox app.

  • Thanks! This is really helpful, although if possible I'd like to keep them in the HEIC format and just retain the video resolution which doesn't seem to be possible with the export option.
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 11:46
  • My wife doesn't have any iCloud storage left (she has a MacBook, iMac & iPhone which all use space) so maybe emailing is the best option. I'm amazed there's not a share to Dropbox or something option :(
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 11:47
  • @Nick - wrong way of thinking - Apple wants you to use Apple. You want to look in the Dropbox or Google apps to get data from Apple Photos - the photo roll can be imported into these. (I forget the details as I use iCloud)
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Dec 22, 2021 at 18:45
  • Airdrop to the Mac transfers the HEIC images, in think - see edit
    – nekomatic
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 13:38

Also Google Photos, installed on you Mac, can hoover up all the pics on your phone camera and sync them to the cloud.

BTW, in Photos on Mac OS X, you would not "Share to Dropbox" but Export to your wife's dropbox folder, which is usually in the Home folder. Export the pics to a newly created folder (Say "NickPics") and Dropbox should do the rest.

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