How to transfer photos from my computer to iPhone without losing the photos on my iPhone?

Simple as it sounds, I guess a lot of people get confused about this (especially when iTunes warns you of photos getting deleted). So we thought we’ll get this right. Because even eHow hasn’t got the thing covered correctly.

First off, here’s how iTunes sync works:

  • Photos from a folder you select are copied to your iPhone. And photos from your iPhone are copied to the folder you choose. Simple?
  • Now, suppose you change the library/folder the next time you sync: photos that you synced to the iPhone from the previous library/folder will be removed from the iPhone. There’s way to prevent this from happening so we’ll cover that in the later section of this post.
  • Photos that you captured on your iPhone will remain intact no matter what you sync and how you sync. Unless you manually delete them, they’re going to be on the iPhone so don’t worry about those photos.

So how do you copy photos from a folder on the computer to iPhone? Here’s how:

Transfer Photos from Computer to iPhone

Before you begin, make sure you take backups of your photos. I don’t want to make this complicated so we’ll take a simple backup. Click here for the steps to backup photos from your iPhone to the computer.

How to Transfer Photos from Computer to iPhone:

Step 1:
Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB.

Step 2: iTunes should fire up. If not, open it.

Step 3: Now, select your iPhone (from the sidebar or from the top-right of iTunes 11)

Select iPhone in iTunes

Step 4: Click on the ‘Photos‘ section

Select Photos in iTunes

Step 5: Now, select ‘Sync Photos‘ and choose the folder from the dropdown.

Transfer Photos from Computer to iPhone
(Optionally, if you want to select only specific photos, choose the appropriate option. Ignore this if you want to transfer all photos within that folder)

Step 6: Click Apply and the photos will be synced now.

iTunes will show a warning saying that photos synced from other libraries will be deleted from your iPhone. You’ve anyway got them backed up somewhere so you can copy those photos and put them in the new library/folder. This way, you will still have these photos synced from older libraries. You’re just tricking iTunes with a simple workaround.

So that’s as simple as it can get. Copy those photos from your computer to iPhone. This is one of the reasons why you are permitted to hate the iPhone and iTunes in general but like we always believe, there’s always a way out!

Backup photos from iPhone to Computer:

On Windows:

  • Open Computer
  • Click on the drive that has your iPhone’s name
  • Open the drive within the iPhone drive and then open DCIM.
  • Copy the folder that contains the photos you want to keep safely and paste it on your desktop or somewhere where it will be safe.

On Mac:
You’ll have to use a software like Image Capture, iPhoto or Preview to import all photos from your iPhone to your Mac.

  • bronson

    Great pice of hardware keeping ransom by worst pice of cra..y os ever made. How the hell this get so popular?

  • Raelene Sylwestruk

    But does anyone know a simple solution to transferring photos from PC to ipad and transferring the edited version of the photo? I have travel photos that I have rotated and sorted and the ipad will not receive the transfers in their edited version. FRUSTRATING. I have learnt how to edit the EXIF date but not the edited photo.

  • Jashei Hana

    For some reason, i can only sync one folder to my iPod. If I try to add another folder, it has to remove the previous folder.

  • MarthaPenniman

    I thinks iTunes is great tool to manage iPhone data, but it sucks to transfer photos from computer to iPhone. I would rather to use 3rd party tool!

  • hamiltoncharles

    If you really don’t like to use iTunes, you can use FonePaw iOS Transfer to import photos from computer to iPhone. It’s a good assistant for iOS users to transfer, add or delete photos and more media files on iPhone/iPad.

  • Jim Zitoun

    photos don;t show up from computer. only ones on phone.

  • SwimmingCow

    iTunes is really annoying when it comes to syncing photos. I am afraid of deleting all my pictures. Instead, I’m using AirMore to transfer photos from computer to iPhone. The process is much simpler for me. Open the browser on my computer. Scan the QR code on its webpage to connect. Bang. I am able to transfer all the data between iPhone and PC with ease.

  • Phillip Elliott

    I was given an iphone by my work. I am not an Apple person and I hate itunes. I refuse to put itunes back on my PC. Is there another way to get pics on and off of the iphone6?

    • MatthewChambers

      Good instructions even better than the official tutorial from apple. If you need to another easy way to transfer photos from computer to iPhone/iPad/iPod without using iTunes, you can use iPhone transfer programs, such as FonePaw iOS Transfer, SP,WS etc.

  • Catherine Mei

    i am unable to transfer my photos from my iphone 5s to my window 7 & window 8 laptop after installation of ios8.1. my normal routine is use the USB wire and connect to the laptop, and usually in the DCIM folders, i will have more than 15 sub folders, but after the ios update, i am only left with 1 sub folder shown when is connected to the computer, and the photos in the folder are from the old time, not the recent photos.

    what should i do? i cant roll back to the previous ios right? is there any apps that allows me to upload the photos in their original size and for me to download in their original sizes? as in not the compressed size?

    please help, thank

  • Aly

    Hi, how about iAny Manager? One of my friend recommend this tool for me said that it is very helpful to transfer data from PC to iOS device, have you tried this? Please tell me, thx!