Why is it so hard just to copy photos to an iPhone?


macrumors regular
Dec 15, 2011
Thanks all for the experiments. To add to the voices: this is indeed frustrating. I created albums on my iMac using Aperture and directed iTunes to sync only those folders. Works fine one way: desktop to iPhone and iPad. But as others have confirmed, on either iDevice I don't see the option to add a selected photo from camera roll to one of those albums create don the desktop, so I have to wait to get home from trips with my iDevices to sort photos into albums. Hope iOS 6 fixes this.


macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2006
Geez u guys made it look hard with 3 pages of discussion.

Get photosync on the appstore and macappstore. Send photos and videos directly from your mac to your ios device's camera roll through wifi. It works vice versa and even from ios device to another ios device. That easy! But u have to be on the same wifi network, no bluetooth support.


macrumors 68030
Dec 30, 2010
I am sure some of those apps work, but here is an easy way.

In itunes, just indicate which folders from your computer you want on the iphone. Then, just put pictures there. I have lots of folders selected and everything in those folders gets copied to by iphone.



macrumors 6502
May 17, 2010
I agree that ths is an area that could use improvement. I was stunned to find out that iTunes had created a duplicate folder on my PC called "photo cache" that was 5 GB in size! :eek::eek::eek: I don't get the purpose of doing this. It doesn'tdo this with songs or movies. Poor implementation, IMHO.


macrumors 65816
Dec 21, 2010
I don't understand.

A sync means both copies are matched, so what's new on your iPhone will get copied (sync'd) to the specified Pictures folder on your computer and if you've got any new pics in the specified Pictures folder on your computer, they will get copied to your iPhone.

That's sync-ing in it's most basic form. :confused:
I agree, that's how I get pictures onto my iPhone & iPad from my computer and vice versa. Its quite a simple enough procedure. You only need to ensure you tell iTunes which folder on your computer that pictures are and then that's it.

I also have some sub folders inside the main folder where I can categorize the pictures into the relevant folder.


Literally want to add like 50 photos.

Why so hard?
It isn't so hard, you just create a folder on your computer or use one that's already there, place the 50 pictures in, tell iTunes which folder it is and sync, the 50 pictures are copied onto your iPhone.

You only need to tell iTunes the picture folder location is once, and then next time you want to add pictures onto your iPhone the process is even simpler.


macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
There are two types of photo albums. Those sync'd with your computer through iTunes and folders you can create on the fly.

Those sync'd with iTunes can NOT be deleted or added to from your phone. Those folders can only be modified on your computer, then re-sync'd.

With iOS 5, we now have the ability to also create folders on the fly. Pick some pictures and you can create a new album for them or add them to an existing album. But ONLY existing albums that were created on the phone. You can't add them to a folder sync'd through iTunes. Also, a copy still remains in your Camera Roll. If you delete the photo from your Camera Roll, it will also disappear from whatever folders you've placed it into. So they're not really copies, just pointers back to the original on the camera roll.

None of this really helps getting photos onto your phone. But it should at least help you to understand how things actually work and eliminate a lot of the confusion.