Dr.Fone - Phone Manager

One Click to Transfer Files from Mac to iPhone

  • Transfers and manages all data like photos, videos, music, messages, etc. on iPhone.
  • Supports the transfer of medium files between iTunes and Android.
  • Works smoothly all iPhone (newest model included), iPad, iPod touch models, as well as iOS 17.
  • Intuitive guidance on screen to ensure zero-error operations.
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How to Transfer Files from Mac to iPhone?

Alice MJ

May 29, 2024 • Filed to: Manage Device Data • Proven solutions

Transferring files from your Mac to iPhone is useful for moving over documents, photos, videos, or other media that you want readily available on your iOS device. While there are several ways to make this file transfer happen, some are quicker and easier than others. In this guide, we'll cover the top methods for sending any file from your MacBook or desktop Mac to your iPhone either wirelessly via AirDrop or using a wired Lightning/USB cable connection.

girl using iphone and mac

Whether you need to move a single important file or want to transfer entire folders full of images and videos, we've got you covered. We'll walk through simple step-by-step instructions for fast, reliable file sharing using AirDrop, Dr.fone,iTunes file sharing, and others. You'll also learn quick shortcuts for copying, moving or sharing files from Mac to iPhone.

With so many options for wireless and wired file transfers, you can instantly send documents, photos, videos and more from your Mac to iPhone with just a couple clicks. We'll show you the easiest ways to get those files off your Mac and onto your iPhone using built-in apps and tools you already have access to. So read on to learn how to quickly transfer any file from your MacBook or iMac straight to your iPhone using Dr.Fone, AirDrop, iCloud Drive, USB cable, and other handy file sharing methods.

Part I: Transfer Files From Mac To iPhone With USB Cable

usb cable connecting to iphone

Step 1: Grab your iPhone and Macbook, along with a USB or USB-C cable. Plug one end into your iPhone and the other end into your Macbook to physically connect the two devices. This creates a direct wired connection to transfer files between the devices.

Step 2: Once connected, look at your Macbook screen and find the Finder app icon in the Dock at the bottom. Click to open up Finder. In the left sidebar, you should now see your iPhone listed under the Devices heading. Click on it.

iphone name on finder

Steep 3: In the Finder window, you will see a button bar near the top. Click on the "Files" button in this bar. This will display a list of apps on your iPhone that can accept file transfers.

files button on finder window of mac

Step 4: Now go back to Finder. Find the file or selection of files that you want to transfer in a Finder window. Simply click and drag the file(s) on top of the app name in the list that you want to receive the transfer. For example, drag a photo onto the Photos app name.

Step 5: Once dropped onto the destination app, the file transfer begins immediately. The files will now be available in that app on your iPhone. If you click the little arrow next to the app name, you can preview and manage files already transferred to your device through that app.

preview of all files transferred from mac to iphone

Part II: Transfer Files From Mac To iPhone With iTunes

person listening to music from iTunes on mac

Step 1: Grab your iPhone and MacBook/iMac, along with a lightning USB cable. Plug one end into your iPhone and the other into your computer to physically connect the two devices.

If iTunes doesn't automatically open on your computer, go ahead and open it manually. You can find it in your Applications folder or Dock.

Step 2: In iTunes look on the top left. You should see a little phone icon symbol next to the dropdown menus. Click on that.

phone icon on iTunes

Step 3: This will bring you to the Phone Summary screen for your connected iPhone. On the left sidebar, click on the "File Sharing" option.

file sharing option on iTunes

Step 4: A list of apps that can transfer files will appear. Click on the app that you want to transfer files into on your iPhone. So for example, click "Photos" if you want to transfer photos.

Step 5: Now you can drag and drop files like photos or documents from anywhere on your Mac straight into the iTunes window for that app. The files will immediately be transferred into that destination app on your iPhone.

file sharing option on iTunes

Part III: Transfer Files From Mac To iPhone With Airdrop

airdrop homepage on mac

Step 1: On your Mac, open up a Finder window by clicking the smiling blue face icon in your Dock or Applications folder.

Step 2: In the Finder sidebar on the left, click on AirDrop.

Step 3: Make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled on your Mac. If not, you’ll see options here to turn them on.

Step 4: At the bottom of the window, set “Allow me to be discovered by” to “Contacts Only” or “Everyone” depending on your preference.

Step 5: Now grab your iPhone. Swipe up from bottom on home button iPhones or down from the top right edge on newer iPhones to open the Control Center.

airdrop manage control center on mac

Step 6: Make sure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled here as well. Also confirm Personal Hotspot is turned off.

Step 7: Long press on the AirDrop icon in the Control Center. Set it to “Contacts Only” or “Everyone” to match your Mac.

Step 8: You can open Finder on your Mac, find your files, and literally drag them on top of the iPhone name in the AirDrop sidebar window. Then choose to Accept on your iPhone.

Step 9: Alternatively, you can right click the AirDrop icon in Finder and select “Open in New Tab”. Drag files to this tab from another Finder window instead.

Part IV: Transfer Files From Mac To iPhone With iCloud Drive

cloud logo on mac

Step 1: On your Mac, find the file you want to transfer in the Finder window. Copy this file by right-clicking on it and selecting "Copy". Then open the iCloud Drive folder and paste the copied file into it by right-clicking and selecting "Paste". This uploads the file to iCloud.

Step 2: Now pick up your iPhone and open the Files app from your home screen. This is where you will access files from iCloud.

Step 3: In the bottom right corner of the Files app, tap the little file icon that says "Browse".

Step 4: From the locations that appear, choose iCloud Drive.

Step 5: In the top right corner of the app, tap the three dots to open more options. From this menu, choose "Select".

Step 6: Tap on the file you copied from your Mac to select it.

Step 7: Once selected, you'll see a square icon with an upwards arrow in the bottom left. Tap this "Share" icon.

Step 8: A menu will pop up allowing you to transfer the file in different ways. Choose the option for what you want to do with the file.

Part V: Recommended: Transfer Files From Mac To iPhone With Dr.Fone

Dr.Fone provides an intuitive and visual interface that makes moving your media between devices a breeze. With the ability to organize your music, photos, videos, and other files during transfer, you can keep everything tidy on both your Mac and iPhone.

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Dr.Fone Basic

Backup & Restore iOS Data Turns Flexible.

  • One-click to back up the whole iOS device to your computer.
  • Preview and selectively restore files to any device with simplicity.
  • Export what you want from the backup to your computer.
  • Your device's data remains intact during the restore process.
  • Supports iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and the latest iOS version.
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Step 1: Take your iPhone and use a lightning cable to connect it to your Mac. This will allow the two devices to communicate.

Step 2: Once your iPhone is plugged into your Mac, open the Dr.Fone application on your Mac. This is the program we will use to transfer files.

transfer files from mac to iphone with dr.fone

Step 3: In the Dr.Fone application, click on the "Phone Manager" module. This will open the file transfer tools.

transfer files from mac to iphone with dr.fone

Step 4: Now look at the tabs across the top of the Dr.Fone window. Click on the tabs for "Music", "Photos" or "Videos", depending on what type of files you want to transfer.

transfer files from mac to iphone with dr.fone

Step 5: You will now see thumbnail images of all the albums, playlists, and photos stored on your iPhone. Dr.Fone gives you a nice visual interface to work with. You can even see information like Live Photos and iCloud status icons.

transfer files from mac to iphone with dr.fone

Step 6: To add new files or folders from your Mac to your iPhone, click the first icon that looks like a plus symbol above the "Name" column. This will let you select files to transfer over.

Step 7: Dr.Fone allows you to organize your transfers too. You can create new playlists for music, new albums for photos, and more. It aims to make file management seamless between your devices.


Transferring files from your Mac to your iPhone is easy with the right tools. Whether you want to sync an album of photos or copy over an entire music collection, Dr.Fone streamlines the process so you can spend more time enjoying your content and less time fussing with file management. With just a USB cable to connect the devices, a few clicks to select files, and simple organization tools within the app, you’ll be transferring files seamlessly in no time.

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Alice MJ

staff Editor

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