I have an iPhone 12 Pro with several thousands of photos and videos inside of it that I would like to offload onto an external hard drive. I need to reduce the amount of data on the phone before I can back it up with iTunes.

I have a Mac Mini 2011 running High Sierra.

I plugged in and unlocked the iPhone and opened Apple's Image Capture.

I dragged the photos I wanted to copy to a folder where I wanted to back them up, several thousands at a time (there are over 20'000 photos on the iPhone), and always get errors such as:

enter image description here

I cannot see the list of files that are not transferred (it clips after 5). There is no "retry" button or explanation.

Even when I try dragging smaller batches, I have the error even dragging just one file at a time.

Sometimes the transfer stops because the phone was going to sleep and needing to be unlocked again, which made the process more cumbersome.

I tried another, third-party app called SendAnywhere which resulted in an error message when attemptimg to transfer over 2'000 photos, but it helped me find out that the files that are not copying with Image Capture are not corrupted because they transferred fine.

I also wanted to try another 3rd party app called iMazing, but it requires an iTunes backup to work and I don't have enough local hard drive space for that now.

Although I am very curious and intrigued as to why this error occurs on a software created by the company that claims to have invented drag-and-drop (corrupted data on the files? Lightning cable issue? Bad software?), I would very much like to be able to transfer large amounts of data from my phone back to my computer.

How can I do that?

2 Answers 2


ImageCapture core error 9937 means that the items you are importing are not compatible with your Mac. If your iPhone's iOS version is 11 or later, it may be using HEIF format for photos and HEVC for videos. Depending on which version of High Sierra your Mac has, it may or may not be able to handle these formats. Try this:

On iPhone, open Settings > Camera > Formats > select Most Compatible. After this, in Settings > Photos > Transfer to Mac or PC > check mark Automatic.

  • Thanks, that's great help. Unfortunately, I don't think that this situation is what happens (I mean, maybe it happens sometimes but other times it's something else). For example, I had two .mov files recorded consecutively and one of them would transfer ok and the other one wouldn't. Same file formats, same day, same camera app, same everything. Commented Jun 10, 2022 at 21:54
  • Give the above a try and see what happens. A more detailed explanation can be found here: macworld.com/article/234342/…
    – MacEater
    Commented Jun 11, 2022 at 18:30
  • The question I ask has to do with photos and videos that have been already taken onto a Mac. Are you saying it doesn't transfer the elements because it assumes they are not compatible with the output Mac? I don't understand the "Automatic/Keep originals" setting. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 16:09
  • If photos taken on iPhone aren't compatible with an old Mac, you'll get this error. On 'Automatic', the iPhone will export them in a format your Mac can read. In rare cases (as the link I sent above explains at the end), you may need to select Original.
    – MacEater
    Commented Jun 16, 2022 at 8:47
  • I see. I think "Compatible" is very much Apple's point of view - anything is compatible with anything if you have the right software... thanks for the help. So I should chose "Automatic" before transferring? But then the data will not be the same that the Phone captured? Commented Jun 17, 2022 at 19:20
  1. I have always found Dropbox to be more reliable and faster than iCloud

  2. With iOS, you can now plug in external hard drive (or even SD card readers) so you could try doing it old school like that. (See https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/ipad/ipad75b7b23f/ipados)

EDIT: Is it in Files or Photos?

EDIT2: Above link is for iPads. For phones, see here: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/iphone/iph95baac91f/ios

  • Is dropbox free for the ≈190Gb of photos I have? The link you sent is iPad specific Commented May 24, 2022 at 15:49
  • Sorry re link: support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/iphone/iph95baac91f/ios You can get a far cheaper dongle on the usual sites. Not sure what territory you are in. Dropbox is free, I think, up until 100GB. Perhaps you could do it in 2 or 3 goes. Commented May 24, 2022 at 15:58
  • do you have another link to explain how to do that? I’ve never seen a lightning to external hard drive cable before. And how does one move photos to the HD in iOS? Commented May 24, 2022 at 16:09
  • A lot of this has only been available since IOS 14. Try and get something like this: amazon.com/dp/B08R651L68/… Commented May 25, 2022 at 14:24
  • HD's often use up too much electricity, SSD's less so. Your best bet is perhaps using an SD card and transfer it that way. There is an app called "Files" which, since iOS 14, should see your external media. If it is already in Files, you can just copy them over. If they are in Photos you may need to export them. Commented May 25, 2022 at 15:52

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