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How To Move iPhone Photos To An External Hard Drive: Ultimate Guide

Alice MJ

Jun 03, 2024 • Filed to: Manage Device Data • Proven solutions

With all the photos and videos we take on our iPhones, it's easy to run out of storage space quickly. Rather than paying for iCloud storage or deleting precious memories, one of the best solutions is to move photos and videos from your iPhone to an external hard drive. This keeps your memories safe while freeing up space on your iPhone.

In this guide, we'll show you how to easily transfer photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive in just a few steps. All you need is a computer, iPhone cord, and a hard drive or flash drive with enough storage capacity for the photos you want to move. With just a little time and effort, you can enjoy all the space freed up on your iPhone again by safely storing photos on a compact external hard drive.

hard drive connected to a pc

Part 1: Why Move iPhone Photos To An External Hard Drive?

As we continue to take an increasing number of photos and videos with our iPhone's powerful cameras, it doesn't take long before the phone's limited storage capacity fills up. Transferring these photos and videos to an external hard drive has thus become a popular solution for freeing up precious space on your iPhone.

One of the biggest benefits of moving your iPhone photos to an external drive is being able to free up storage space and prevent constantly having to manage space on your phone. With photos and videos taking up so much room, even models with large capacities can quickly max out. Storing these files on an external drive instead keeps all that storage open on your iPhone.

Beyond just freeing up space, external drives provide excellent backups of your images in case something ever happens to your phone. Storing important photos and videos on an external drive gives you the peace of mind that you have a separate copy that is safe and secure if your iPhone is damaged, lost or has files corrupted or deleted.

External drives also allow you to view and access your photos on a bigger screen when connected to a PC or TV. You can enjoy your photos and home videos in higher resolution when viewing them from the external drive on a larger screen.

connecting hard drive

Finally, using an external drive allows you to keep all your photos neatly organized in one place, rather than scattered across multiple devices. With vast amounts of storage space, external drives are a great way to build a complete photo archive that brings all your images together in one easily accessible place.

Part 2: Transfer Photos From iPhone To External Hard Drive On Windows PC

image on windows PC

Transferring photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive is a great way to free up storage space while also backing up your photos collection. On a Windows PC, you can use either the Photos app or File Explorer to easily move photos to external storage.

Method 1. Through Photos App

  • First, connect your iPhone to your Windows PC using the charging cable. This allows your computer to access the photos on your phone.
  • Next, go to the Photos app on your computer. This comes pre-installed on Windows 10.
  • Click on the Import button and select the photos you want to transfer from your iPhone. You can choose individual photos or select all.
  • Now choose the external hard drive as the location where you want to store the imported photos.
  • Finally, the photos will copy over from your iPhone to the external drive.

Method 2. With File Explorer

  • Connect both your iPhone and external hard drive to your computer using USB cables.
  • Open File Explorer on your PC.
  • Navigate to the DCIM folder on your iPhone - this is where your photos are stored.
  • Select the photos you want to transfer and simply drag and drop them over to your external drive.
  • The photos will now copy from your iPhone to the external storage device.
  • You can create folders on the external drive to organize photos by year, events, etc.
  • When done, safely eject the iPhone and external drive.

Part 3: Export iPhone Photos To External Hard Drive On Mac

hard drive connected to Mac

Using the Photos app or an image capture on your Mac makes it easy to transfer photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive. Follow these steps:

Method 1: Through Mac Photos App

  • Step 1: Connect your external hard drive and iPhone to your Mac using the cables.
  • Step 2: Click on the Photos app on your Mac.
  • Step 3: In the sidebar, click on your iPhone under Devices.
  • Step 4: Click "Import To" and select the external drive.
  • Step 5: Click "Import All New Photos" or select certain photos.

Method 2: Using Image Capture

  • Step 1: Your Mac needs to be connected to your external hard drive and iphone.
  • Step 2: Open the Image Capture app on your Mac.
  • Step 3: Choose your iPhone in the Devices list.
  • Step 4: Set the destination to your external drive.
  • Step 5: Click "Import All" or select certain photos to transfer.

Part 4: Transfer Photos From iPhone To External Hard Drive Without Computer

external hard drive with cable

Method: Using USB Cable

You can actually export iphone photos to an external hard drive without using the computer in just a few steps.

  • Step 1: Make sure you have an external hard drive designed for iPhones or a lightning to USB adapter. These allow you to connect your iPhone directly to the drive.
  • Step 2: Make sure you connect your external hard drive and your iphone using the appropriate cable or adapter.
  • Step 3: Open the Files app on your iPhone and select Browse to confirm the drive is detected.
  • Step 4: Go to the Photos app and pick the photos you want to transfer.
  • Step 5: Tap the Share button and select 'Save to Files'.
  • Step 6: Choose the connected external drive under 'On My iPhone' to save the photos.
  • Step 7: Your iPhone will now transfer the selected photos directly to the external hard drive.
  • Step 8: Once the transfer finishes, you can disconnect the drive and iPhone.

Part 5: Transfer Pictures From iPhone To External Hard Drive Using iCloud

icloud backup data image on phone

Want to get all those great photos and videos from your iPhone over to your Mac? Importing pictures is a breeze thanks to the Photos app that comes with your Mac.

  • Step 1: First, grab your iPhone and a USB cable and connect them to your Mac. This lets the Photos app access the pics on your phone.
  • Step 2: Open Photos on your Mac and you'll see an Import screen with little thumbnails of everything on your iPhone. Tap ‘Trust’ on your phone if asked.
  • Step 3: Now decide if you want to import everything or just select certain photos. You can also choose where to save them - like to an existing album or a new one you create.
  • Step 4: Hit that Import button and let your Mac work its magic. The Photos app will handle transferring all your pics and videos over from the phone.

icloud photos page

  • Step 5: Once it finishes up, eject your iPhone and you're all set. Your photos are now safely stored on your Mac. And you freed up space on your phone!

Part 6: Recommend Solution: Transfer Photos From iPhone To External Hard Drive With Dr.Fone

Dr.Fone iphone transfer home page

If you are looking for a seamless way to export photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive, I highly recommend using the Phone Manager feature in Dr.Fone. This powerful software makes it extremely easy to transfer photos, videos, music, and other files between your iPhone and computer.

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Dr.Fone Basic

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  • 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: Connect your external hard drive to your computer and launch Dr.Fone. Select "phone transfer" and connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.

Dr.Fone iphone transfer home page

Step 2: In the left panel, click on "My Device" and select your connected iPhone. Under the iPhone section, click on "Files". This will open the file manager.

Dr.Fone iphone transfer home page

Step 3: In the left panel, click on "UDISK". This will allow you to use a section of your iPhone storage as a USB drive. To import files/folders to your iPhone, click the "Add File" button and browse to the location on your computer. The UDISK section now allows you to utilize your iPhone as external USB storage to move files back and forth between phone and computer.

Dr.Fone iphone transfer home page

Conclusion

In conclusion, transferring photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive is a great way to free up storage space while also keeping your memories safe. The process is fast and easy using either a Windows PC or Mac computer, or a reliable tool like Dr.Fone-Basic.

On Windows, you can use the Photos app or File Explorer to select photos and copy them over to external storage. On a Mac, the Photos app and Image Capture offer simple controls to import images directly to a hard drive.

Some key things to remember are:

  • Use a USB cable to connect the external hard drive with your iphone on the computer
  • Select the photos you want to transfer
  • Choose the external drive as the destination
  • Let the app move the photos from iPhone to external storage
  • Eject the devices safely when done

Regularly backing up iPhone photos to an external hard drive protects those precious memories while also clearing out space on your phone's limited storage.

safe Downloadsafe & secure

Alice MJ

staff Editor

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