I need to migrate and merge the contents of 2 old iPhones (lets call them i1 and i2) to a new iPhone (i_new).

iPhones have built-in migration functionality, but AFAIK it doesn't allow to move stuff from multiple iPhones onto a single device.

So, I am planning to migrate the contents of one older iPhone i1 to i_new with that tool and then move the stuff from the other one (i2) to i_new manually. Specifically: Notes, photos & videos, safari tabs.

I can access the photos on i2 from a computer (within DCIM folder) using a USB cable.

My question is: If I move the contents of i2's DCIM to a PC, what would be the best way to add these photos to the i_new such that i_new would be able to accept them in its Photos App and properly sort them by the date taken within its "camera roll"?

Can I copy them from PC to i_new's DCIM, or is iPhone's storage read-only when connected via USB as a "flash drive"?

Also, are all photos and videos from the Photos App located within DCIM, or are there any photos/vids hidden elsewhere?


1 Answer 1


You cannot write photos to an iPhone except through the syncing mechanism exposed in Finder & iTunes.

Your best bet will be to enable iCloud Photos on each device and allow them to sync & merge, then disable iCloud Photos.

  • "Finder": I don't have a Mac. "iCloud sync": I have more than 5 gigabytes of photos/videos on each old iphone. Will it be able to sync if the iCloud capacity is only 5 GB? Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 10:43
  • I said Finder & iTunes because on Windows it uses iTunes and on Mac it uses Finder. If you don't have Finder, you'll use iTunes.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 13:43
  • That being said, photos synchronized using iTunes are read-only on the phone which in most cases isn't preferred.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 13:44
  • If you have more than 5GB of photos, no. You can pay 99¢ for one month to upload and download all the photos, but I understand it's not ideal.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 13:44
  • I guess "not ideal" comes with owning an Apple device... Commented Oct 23, 2022 at 1:28

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