How to Transfer Photos From Mac to iPhone

Your Mac should be where you store your photos, using, or not, the Photos app. Photos are not essential if you don’t use iCloud, but provides some comfort, especially for sorting or recognizing face or places and searching for it by keywords.

how to transfer photos from mac to iphone

You may have taken most of these photos from your iOS device whether it’s iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It’s not always easy to have too many photos on your iPhone, it can lead to storage problems. If you’ve deleted all the photos from your iPhone and want to have a few at your fingertips, you have several ways to transfer photos from Mac to iPhone.

Transfer Mac photos to iPhone without Internet via USB cable

1. Transfer photos via iTunes sync

Take this reflex, you want to make your computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) interact with iPhone, one way or the other and without the internet, think iTunes.

You may not have complete control over the location of folders, but compatibility is provided by the Apple ecosystem. However, not everyone appreciates exclusivity than to your iPhone to a computer. Your iPhone can only back up, transfer or sync with a single iTunes library, otherwise, you’ll delete previous content. In other words, it’s best to use iTunes when transferring to your iPhone, not a friend’s.

To transfer photos from your Mac to your iPhone with iTunes, sync:

  • Plugin your iPhone
  • Open iTunes
  • Go to your iPhone
  • Photos in the left menu
  • Check Sync Photos

Then, it’s up to you to define the options you think are useful. Do you want to sync all your photos or just a few albums? Those from Photos or elsewhere?

  • Set the photos you want to sync
  • Click Apply

Once you sync, you’ll find that your Mac’s selected photos have been uploaded to your iPhone in Photos.

2. Transfer your photos from Mac to iPhone via iCareFone

Tenorshare iCareFone is a good alternative to Apple’s native solutions. It’s quick and easy to use, which will favor some to use it rather than iTunes. It does not require any Internet connection or syncing. You can plug in anyone’s iPhone, just be able to unlock it.

So transferring photos from your Mac to your iPhone (or vice versa) becomes a breeze:

  • Download, install and open iCareFone
  • Plugin your iPhone
  • Go to file management, in the menu at the top
  • Click on Photos – Photos or Albums, in the menu on the left
  • Select ‘Select’ file or Select folder
  • Browse the Finder to find your photos
  • Choose the photos you want to import
  • Validate by clicking Open

All you have to do is wait until the transfer is complete. Only then can you disconnect your iPhone from the computer.

Transfer Mac photos to iPhone without cable

3. Transfer your photos via iCloud

iCloud and iTunes are 2 reflexes to have, but iCloud requires an Internet connection. Having photos on iCloud allows you to automatically sync between all your devices as soon as they are connected to the Internet.

To do this, your devices must be connected with the same iCloud account and have iCloud Photos enabled on each device.

On your iPhone or iPad :

  • Go to Settings – Your Apple ID – iCloud – Photos – then turn on iCloud Photos.

On your Mac :

  • Check iCloud Photos or My Photo Stream in the iCloud Photos app.

When these features are enabled, photos that are taken on a device will be synced to iCloud. This will give all devices access to it.

You can use iCloud Photos and My Photo Feed at the same time. iCloud Photos records all of your photos and videos on iCloud, while My Photo Stream only lasts 30 days. This will depend mainly on your usage and your available iCloud storage space.

4. Transfer your photos via AirDrop

AirDrop is a handy tool for sharing between Apple devices, even if they’re not connected to the same iCloud account.

On both devices, you’ll need to activate Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

To transfer photos from your Mac to your iPhone with AirDrop you’ll need to do this:

On your Mac :

  • Open your Finder to the location of your photos


  • Open Photos and then go to the appropriate album (if the photos are on an external device, you’ll need to import them before transferring them)
  • Select your photos (by holding down the Command button to select multiple photos)
  • Click the Share button
  • AirDrop
  • Choose the recipient.

Doesn’t your iPhone appear? Have you thought about unlocking it? If even unlocked, your iPhone is nowhere to be found, you’ll have to make it visible. You can change that in the control center or in General Settings – AirDrop – check Contacts Only or Everyone.

How do I get photos on your iPhone? There are two solutions. Either, the Mac and iPhone are yours, connected to the same iCloud account and you have nothing to do but open Photos to find them. Either way, this is not the case and a window will appear and ask you to accept the transfer.

Transfer your photos from your Mac to your iPhone, several ways

We’ve seen that iTunes can transfer photos from your Mac to your iPhone, and only yours. iCloud also only allows transfers between your devices, unless you use shared albums. AirDrop is convenient, fast, and without an intermediary. iCareFone needs to be plugged in, but the simplicity and freedom to choose the location of the photos are interesting. It’s up to you to choose your method.

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