I have an iPhone XR running iOS 16.3.1 and a laptop running Windows 10 v1903.

I would like to copy photos from the phone to the laptop, keeping them in the folders ("albums") into which I have arranged them on the phone.

How can I do this using a lightning to USB cable to connect the phone to the laptop, and without using iCloud or iTunes?

At the moment I can see the phone's folders on the laptop, inside a folder called DCIM, but they are organised into folders by month, e.g. 202006_ for all photos created in June 2020.

  • Is it this you're trying to do? discussions.apple.com/thread/…
    – Thinkr
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 19:54
  • Yes, and without iCloud or iTunes.
    – user343263
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


I recommend PhotoSync.

This is an iPhone app which communicates with the PhotoSync Companion apps running on a Windows PC or a Mac. This works over your LAN using Wi-fi - so no need for a Lightning to USB cable.

On your iPhone you can select a complete Album of photos to send to a folder on your PC. Once you have it working, it is simple to use and fast to transfer.

The only thing to watch for is that the upload to your PC will, by default, put the photos into a single folder. So you will want to move them on your PC before doing another upload. Alternatively dive into the settings on the iPhone app to specify using Album subfolders.

The Companion apps are free, but you will need an in-app purchase for the iPhone. Get the Pro upgrade, not the Premium. Without the upgrade, you will not be able to transfer at full resolution. "Free" is just for testing.

I use PhotoSync to upload photos from my iPhone to my Mac, but the Windows connection works the same way.

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