Why Is Photos Asking Me To Import?


macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 6, 2010
I have gotten to a pretty good place (configuring settings wise) with my iPhone, Macbook Pro (High Sierra still) and Google Photos where when I take a picture on my iPhone Xs Max, it uploads to the Photos App which I can see on my Macbook Pro. It also uploads to Google Photos, so I basically have a copy on my phone, my Photos App on my Macbook and Google Photos. Everything works as I want it to. The number of photos/videos shows the same on my iPhone and my Macbook Pro Photos App (yay):

My issue is when I plug in my iPhone to my Macbook Pro and have Photos open, it shows me that I have a ton of photos that can be "imported" from my phone.

I've verified the photos are already on my Macbook Pro's Photo Library and if I import them, I get duplicate photos with a filename that either has "." in between the hours/minutes/seconds of the filename or something along those lines. I don't want to duplicate the 2000+ photos that the Photos App is asking me to import, but I'd also like to be able to plug my iPhone in to my Macbook Pro and have it prompt me to import photos that I haven't imported yet.

Not sure if it's because I have the Photos App setting as shown in this picture? Maybe the Photos App is downloading the originals to my computer and the iPhone doesn't think it's imported them yet to my computer?


Just trying to figure out why my Macbook Pro's Photos App indicates I have so many photos to import that already seem to be in my Photos library on my computer?



macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
I haven't updated yet butt...Off the top of my head...connect your phone or camera to Mac...Open Image Capture - In the corner right look for the name of your gadget - Deselect the ones you don't want to open apps when you connect.


macrumors 68000
Apr 22, 2003
I'm going to guess that the Photos app on your Mac is seeing a separate source of photos when you plug in your iPhone. Even though the photos have already been uploaded to iCloud, with your iPhone plugged into your Mac, Photos treats your iPhone as a camera with its own film roll. And Photos considers your iCloud photos as a different and separate source for pics.

Lightroom has a setting to not import duplicates. Not sure if Photos can do this (it's not a program I use that often).

Why are there pics on your iPhone that aren't automatically being uploaded to iCloud (and thus available in Photos on your Mac)? In other words, why are you needing to plug your iPhone into your Mac for uploads of pics at all?

Are you are plugging your iPhone into your Mac for a local backup of the device?

I would suggest ignoring the import dialog from Photos. As you have posted, the pics are already there and it's a case of Photos not understanding your workflow (i.e. not being able to "see" that the pics on your iPhone as a camera source are actually the same ones that have already been imported from iCloud, which it considers as a different and separate camera source).

Kind of silly software behavior, but possible Apple doesn't expect people to upload pics from their iPhone to iCloud and then also physically plug their iPhones into their Macs?
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