How to Transfer Photos from PC to iOS

How to Transfer Photos from PC to iOS header

Many people keep digital photo albums on their computer, but sometimes you might find yourself out and about and wanting to share your memories with your friends and family. However, if the images are stored only on your PC, it can be harder to quickly share them with your loved ones. If you have pictures on your computer and want to move them on to your iPhone, we can help you through the process! It isn’t always obvious how to move photos between a PC and an iPhone, so we’ll show you step-by-step how to do it. Here are the topics we’re going to cover with you:

So, let’s start by talking about the best way to export photos to iPhone from your Windows PC. There are a few different ways to do it, but we’ll let you know which one is the fastest and easiest.


What’s the easiest way to move photos from PC to iOS devices?

The easiest way to transfer photos from a Windows PC to an iOS device like iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is to use the iCloud software for Windows. You can download the software for free, and use the iCloud Photo Library feature to wirelessly transfer pictures from your computer to your iOS device.

When you add pictures to your iCloud photo library, they will automatically be synced across all devices you have signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID account. This way, pictures you add to iCloud on your computer will be accessible on your iOS device, and any images you capture or save to your iOS device will be accessible on your computer as well.

iCloud, the iOS and MacOS file management service, on a Windows computer

Besides the method using iCloud, you can also import pictures from PC to iPhone through other, third-party apps or services. We would not recommend using these services as you may need to pay to use them, and you run the risk of having your personal information stolen by entering your payment information and/or allowing these services to access information on your devices in order to transfer images. Read up on how to stay safe online with our Internet safety articles.

Now that we’ve revealed that the easiest way to transfer iPhone pictures is to use iCloud, we’re going to show you how to transfer images from computer to iPhone using iCloud for PC.


Steps to transferring photos from PC to iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

1. Open your iOS device’s settings.

On the home screen of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, tap the Settings icon to access your device’s settings.

Accessing settings on an iOS device

2. Access the Photos settings category.

With your settings app open, scroll down and select Photos.

Manage settings for photos on your iOS device

3. Enable iCloud Photo Library on your iOS device.

To allow your pictures to sync automatically with iCloud so they’re accessible on all your devices, tap the switch labelled “iCloud Photo Library” to enable the feature. When the switch is green, the library is enabled.

Enabling syncing of your iOS device's photo album to iCloud

4. Download iCloud for Windows.

Now you can download the iCloud software for your PC. Find it for free on the Apple website here. Click Download to begin downloading the software on your computer.

Download the iCloud program for Windows

When the download process is complete, click on the iCloudSetup.exe in your browser’s download manager window (or at the bottom of your browser window) to run the iCloud installer.

Run the iCloud installer program

5. Launch iCloud on your PC.

Once the installation process is done, you can launch the software on your Windows PC. To do this, click the Start button in the bottom left corner of your screen. From the menu that pops up above, click iCloud from the “Recently Added” section at the top.

Starting the iCloud program on a Windows computer

6. Enable the iCloud Photo Library on PC.

Now, sign in to the same Apple ID account that you use on your iOS device.

Sign into your iCloud account with your Apple ID

When the iCloud software launches, click Options in the “Photos” section of the window to access your PC’s iCloud photo settings.

Options for managing photos on your iCloud

Then, click the check box beside iCloud Photo Library to enable the feature.

Enabling syncing of your PC's photo library to iCloud

Finally, click Apply to confirm the changes you made to your settings.

Apply the iCloud photo setting changes

7. Import photos from your PC to iCloud to transfer them to your iOS device.

Now you can upload images from your computer to iCloud. To do this, click the Show More Icons button (the arrow) on the task bar at the bottom right of your screen. Then, click the iCloud icon.

Accessing the iCloud interface from your PC's task bar

Now click Upload Photos in the iCloud window that appears.

Upload photos on your PC to iCloud

Then locate the folder where you store your pictures. Select any images you’d like to transfer to your iOS device. Hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard then click each one to select multiple images. Once you’ve selected all the pictures you’d like to transfer, click Open.

Select photos to upload to iCloud

After a few minutes, you can open the Photos app on your iOS device to find the images you uploaded to iCloud included in your Camera Roll.

iOS device camera roll updated with photos uploaded to iCloud

Those are all the steps for how to get pictures from iCloud from your PC to your iOS device. Next, we have a few helpful tips to make your experience transferring pictures even better or easier!


3 Tips for transferring photos from PC to iOS

1. Enable automatic iCloud backup.

To make it easier to have your pictures transfer seamlessly between your devices, and to keep your pictures safe in the event that you accidentally delete one by accident, we’d recommend turning on automatic backup of your iOS device to iCloud. To do this, open your iOS Settings.

Accessing settings on an iOS device

Then, tap your name at the top of your screen.

Accessing your Apple ID account settings

Now tap iCloud.

Manage iCloud settings

Scroll down and select iCloud Backup.

Edit iCloud backup settings

On the next screen, tap the switch labelled “iCloud Backup” to enable automatic backup of your device.

Turning on iCloud backup

2. If you have a Mac, you can also use Airdrop to transfer photos.

If you have a Mac computer and not a PC, you can transfer pictures using AirDrop as well as iCloud. This is a great option if you happen to run out of storage space on iCloud as well. Check out our guide to AirDrop if you’d like to learn how to use this feature that comes built-in to Apple devices.

Logo for AirDrop service

3. Increase your iCloud storage space.

Included with your Apple ID account, you get 5GB of storage space on iCloud. If you have a lot of pictures and run out of space on iCloud, you can increase the amount of iCloud storage available to you for a monthly fee. Check out the iCloud storage prices by country here.

Prices for upgrading iCloud storage space


That’s everything you need to know about transferring photos from PC to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Check out our other iOS tutorials if you’d like to learn about other cool things you can do with your device!

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