Transferring photos from iPad or iPhone to computer?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by serr, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. serr macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    I'm trying to quickly learn the iPhone/iPad sync system to help a friend. I just avoided this the whole time as it seemed... not sure if I have a strong enough word for how broken and messed up it appeared. Anyway...

    I see that "sync" is a one way thing for mirroring some things from your computer. OK.

    It very much does not do the reverse from iThing to computer. OK.

    There's supposed to be an app "Photos" to transfer from iThing to computer instead of "sync" with iTunes. OK.
    Nothing shows up like the instructions suggest. Figures...
    Reading further - OK, there's a bug where it can't transfer any photos that were transferred to the iPad from the computer first. Yep, that's how I loaded them on the iPad to test. OK, well that's a rather embarrassing bug for such a device here in 2018. They at least admit it.

    Yep, this is why I avoided all this before...

    Perhaps they have the iCloud connection working? I guess I'll have to go there and set that account up. (Avoided iCloud all this time too. I use a free Mega account for cloud storage/sharing.)

    So I'm going to test the iCloud method I suppose but if anyone would like to chime in with simple instructions for simple file back and forth between iThing and computer that would be wonderful! And anything further like adding cloud accounts of choice to the 'sync' feature and the such and the like would be most welcome too.


    Hmmm... It suddenly occurs to me that the SOP might be to run a backup and then pull what you're after from the backup directory? Is that right?
  2. strawberryshortcake macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2017
    Bay Area, California
    "Drag and drop method?"

    I’ve got to retest it because I don’t transfer much from photos from ipad to computer, but the last time I checked (if my recollection doesn’t fail me), I simply use the ‘drag and drop’ method. Connect ipad to computer with lightning cable, open that ipad folder. Locate desired photos and drag/drop photos to computer desktop (or whatever desktop folder you want).
  3. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Can you explain what app to use to open this folder you speak of?
    (You're obviously not talking about iTunes or Photos and no directories open automatically from plugging an iThing in.)
  4. strawberryshortcake, Mar 24, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018

    strawberryshortcake macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2017
    Bay Area, California
    Note: I use a Windows 7 PC.

    Don't even need an app. Don't need itunes either. Think of the ipad as a "usb drive."

    Just straight up plugging in your ipad to your computer using the lightning cable. Double click on any folder from your PC desktop. At the left side bar, you should see something like such:

    Local Drive (C)
    "Your name" ipad

    Double click on "Your name" ipad. >>> Internal storage >>> DCIM (file folder) >>> 100APPLE (file folder)

    Your pictures should be located under 100APPLE or something. If you have mulitple folders after clicking on internal storage, the photos should be in one of those folders.
  5. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Thanks for the replies strawberryshortcake!

    You may not realize it but if you have the iThing filesystem mounting when you plug it into a USB port then you have an app of some kind installed to do that for you. An iThing very much does not just mount its filesystem like a hard drive plugging it in out of the box.

    Love to know what app that is! :)

    (I've seen a few Windows users in recent years where their OS defaults to just downloading any app willy nilly on autopilot. I was kind of stunned at such risk taking but there you go.)

    Aside: You CAN in fact set an iThing to use its free disk space and act like an external USB drive. It makes (or acts like) a separate partition and the main file system is not accessible in this mode. Were you thinking of that?
  6. strawberryshortcake macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2017
    Bay Area, California
    I would love to tell you what "app" that is if I was actually using an app.

    Here's my completely refreshed ipad 4 retina that basically has nothing on it. I took one photo with the ipad 4 camera. Did the exact steps listed above and moved the photo taken over to my PC. Is there something that I'm missing?

    Are you saying that I have an app installed on my ipad that does it OR an app installed on my computer that does it?
  7. mrex macrumors 68030


    Jul 16, 2014
    just plug the ipad to your pc, let the computer to recognize it, then browse forward inside the only folder in your ipad you see on your pc and there are your photos. if you dont install any app to your pc, the only browseable folder is the folder containing photos (the same photos as in Photos app on ipad).

    then there are some software that may allow you to access the messy filing system in ios, but you dont need them to access your photos in Photo app folder.
  8. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Nothing mounts that I can see in a Finder window. I can see it connected under USB devices in System Information. It talks to iTunes as expected. 'Sync' lets you mirror certain things as expected. But nothing in a Finder window to browse. If there's either an iOS app on that end or an OSX app on this end, I don't have it. I'm running 10.13 High Sierra at the moment.
  9. macrumors 604

    May 26, 2016
    The confusion here is that you are using mac and the people responding here thinks you’re on Windows, because you mentioned the word ”computer”.

    Your only option is photos app on the Mac. It should show your everything from the iPad once connected. Then you can select the pictures you like to copy and drag them to the desktop.

    If you don’t mind, can you post a picture of your Mac photos app with the iPad connected with the Mac?
  10. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Thanks for the reply

    Heh. Is that a comment on the state of Apple hardware recently?

    Nothing to see in Photos. See's the device. Doesn't appear to have access to the filesystem beyond a folder for ONLY the Photos iOS app.

    I read about the bug where it can't transfer any photos that were transferred to the iPad from the computer first. (I only have a 1st gen iPad to play with here with no camera. I never bothered to use my iCloud account but I believe I could kludge copying over wi-fi via that. (It's kind of another user unfriendly mess there.)

    Thinking it through, the "bug" is probably a feature gone wrong. I suspect the camera app (on phones with a camera) stores to a different directory in the filesystem than any mirrored pics/music/movies from an iTunes sync. Or they're using different file formats and the Photos app can only read one of them (less likely I think).

    I understand the feature to use the free space as a USB drive too. That only lets you into a directory just for that though, not into the filesystem with your pictures, etc under the iOS system.

    The bit above posted by strawberryshortcake looks like he's mounted the actual filesystem though (not just the USB drive directory). If that's right, if one of you Windows users has the ability to see what you have installed to let you do that it would be most appreciated!

    I have a cheap android phone that I sometimes take a pic of something for ebay with. The bluetooth radio died right away on the thing so it must be connect via USB. I was able to download a driver/kext to mount it in the file system and browse the folders just like strawberryshortcake described above. I think you guys found a driver to install somewhere. I want it! This sounds like the easiest solution.
  11. chscag macrumors 68030


    Feb 17, 2008
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Don't use Photos. Instead open your "Image", attach the iPad and you should then be able to (using Image Capture) to move the photos to a folder of your choice on your Mac.
  12. serr thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Image doesn't see the pictures either. It looks for all the world like anything mirrored to the iThing via sync is saved to a directory that is restricted to everything else.


    Can I just open a Terminal window and use some dd command? This is silly!
  13. davidmartindale macrumors regular


    Jan 28, 2011
    PNW, USA
  14. macrumors 604

    May 26, 2016
    @serr - on windows you don’t need any extra driver. The UPNP driver mounts the image folder on any iOS device and just lets you copy the pictures.

    If you’re using a Mac then I’m really perplexed as to why you don’t see the pictures from your iOS device within the photos app. I’m guessing all the softwares up to date?!

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