How to Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive in 2021

By Vernon Roderick, Last updated: January 18, 2021

If you’re someone who takes a lot of pictures with your iPhone, you’re bound to see a message saying that you can no longer take photos. This is because you’ve hit the dead-end of your storage space.

Lucky for us, there are ways to free up some space. You can either delete them or transfer them, but deleting carries a risk that we all know.

This article will show you ways to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive so you don’t have to delete the photos yet still have the capacity to get more.

1. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Software2. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Image Capture3. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Photos App4. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive through iCloud5. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with FinderConclusion

Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive

1. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Software

Trying to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive is no joke, especially since iPhones tend to be incompatible to non-Apple products. So your best bet would be to use a specialized tool for the job, and that’s where FoneDog Phone Transfer comes in.

FoneDog Phone Transfer is a tool developed to help users transfer files from one device to another. Thankfully, it supports file transfer involving Windows PC, iOS, and Android. What’s more, it supports their latest versions.

Below are the steps to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive:

Transfer iPhone Photos with FoneDog

Step 1. Connect the iPhone and Hard Drive to Computer

Plug in the iPhone device as well as the external hard drive into a computer. Make sure the FoneDog Phone Transfer is already open. This will automatically recognize the device. Now click the dropdown menu at the top and select your iPhone.

Step 2. Choose File Type

The selected device at the top corresponds to the source device which will be the iPhone. Now simply select the file type from the left side. In our case, that would be Photos. This will scan for files belonging to this file type.

Select iPhone Photos to Transfer

Step 3. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive

Once the scan is finished, a list of files will appear on the right side. Now all that’s left is to select the files by clicking on their corresponding boxes. Once you are done selecting files, click on the button at the top as shown below and select your external hard drive.

Export iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive

With this, you can successfully transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive without a worry. The only downside to this software is that it doesn’t work on Mac.

If you only have a Mac computer, then, unfortunately, you won’t be able to use this software. In that case, you can use another solution.

2. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Image Capture

Image Capture is a built-in app on most Mac devices, though some require installation it’s not available to Windows, as opposed to FoneDog Phone Transfer.

Image Capture is an app that helps users manages their photos, so it’s basically the best app to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive if you are a Mac user.

Follow the steps below to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the Mac with a cable.
  2. Connect the external hard drive into the Mac computer with its USB end.
  3. Open the Image Capture app by going to Spotlight and searching for this name.
  4. After you launch Image Capture, you will get a list of devices on the left side. Simply select your iPhone.
  5. You will see a list of photos from the selected device, which would be your iPhone. Simply select the photos that you want to transfer by clicking them. You may also press Cmd + A to select all photos.
  6. Now to select the location where the files will be transferred, click the dropdown menu and select Other…
  7. Select the external hard drive from the left side of the Browse window and click Open.
  8. Finally, click on Import beside the destination field.

This will transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive very easily. This time, you can’t use this if you are a Windows user.

If you want a tool that can be used for both Mac and Windows, then the next section might appeal to you.

3. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Photos App

This section involves the Photos app, which you must have heard of before.

The Photos app is a built-in app on both Windows PC and Mac. It pretty much has the same functions as Image Capture, which makes it another great option to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive.

Windows PC

I’ve said that the Photos app is available on Windows, but it’s only for Windows 8 and 10. Other models don’t have this app, though you may install it manually.

To transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive, you have to follow these steps:

  1. Connect the iPhone and external hard drive to your Windows PC.
  2. Your iPhone may show a screen asking for permission. Simply select Allow.
  3. On the PC, open the Photos app and go to Import > From a USB device. This will prompt the app to scan for the files.
  4. There will be a list of photos once you have selected this option. Simply select the items that you want to transfer by clicking on each photo.
  5. Now click on the Import setting and select Change the import destination.
  6. Indicate the place where you want to transfer the photos which should be your external hard drive. Click on Done

Transfer iPhone Photos by Photos App on Mac

This will import the select photos into the external hard drive.

Mac OS

Similarly, Mac users can use the Photos app, but this is only limited to Mac OS X 10.10.3 and later versions. Other versions will require you to install the app manually.

The Photos app on Mac is identical to Windows, but the interface will be different, so you will still need to know how to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive through different steps.

Below are the steps to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive:

  1. Connect your iPhone and the external hard drive to the Mac computer.
  2. Open Photos on your Mac and immediately head to the Devices tab to select your iPhone device.
  3. Click on the Import to dropdown menu from the top area of the window and select your external hard drive.
  4. Now select the photos that you want to transfer.
  5. Click on Import Selected to import only the selected photos. Click on Import All New Photos to select them all at once.

Transfer iPhone Photos by Microsoft Photos App

This will quickly transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive. This is perhaps the best method for both Windows and Mac users alike.

Now if you currently don’t have a USB cable available at the moment to connect the iPhone, you can take advantage of the internet by using iCloud.

4. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive through iCloud

iCloud is known as the cloud storage for Apple users. However, that doesn’t mean Windows users can’t use this platform, since you only need a browser to access iCloud.

You can store all kinds of files in iCloud, including photos. As such, you can use it to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive by storing the photos and later copy them through your Windows or Mac.

These are the steps to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive:

  1. Connect your external hard drive to your computer.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > Apple ID Name > iCloud. Make sure the slider for Photos is green or switched on.
  3. Now on your computer (Windows PC/Mac), go to a browser and head to the iCloud
  4. On the iCloud website, click on the Photos icon.
  5. You will be taken to the iCloud Photos Now simply select the photos that you want to transfer to highlight them.
  6. Right-click on the highlighted photos and select Download.
  7. You will be prompted to locate the destination. Simply locate the external hard drive.

Transfer iPhone Photos by iCloud

After you have indicated that the destination is the external hard drive, it will automatically transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive.

5. Transfer iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with Finder

Your very last option is to use the Finder, which is a built-in app on Mac. Of course, that would mean this is not applicable to Windows users.

Finder is the file management app of Mac. It allows users to manage files, so ultimately you can use it to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive.

Follow the steps below to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive:

  1. Connect your iPhone and the external hard drive to the computer.
  2. On your Mac, open two Finder windows.
  3. On one window of Finder, go to your external hard drive.
  4. On the other window of Finder, go to where your photos are located on your iPhone.
  5. Now put the two windows side by side.
  6. Drag and drop the photos that you want to transfer from the Finder for iPhone into the Finder for your external hard drive.

Transfer iPhone Photos by Mac Finder

This is quite straightforward, so there isn’t really anything wrong with it. As long as you do this properly, you can transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive without an issue.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why you may want to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive. For one, you may need more space for your iPhone. Another reason is you may simply want to create an extra copy of your photos to keep as a backup.

No matter what reason you may have for transferring your photos, it is without a doubt going to be very beneficial. Hopefully, this guide helped you in accomplishing that task.

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Vernon Roderick

Technical Expertise for PC / YouTube Scriptwriting /Website Optimization

One of my passion is to develop software of my own

I write articles to share knowledge about IT technology and some experience in developing my own software, and developing my own software is one of my passions for work.

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