The fastest ways to transfer photos and videos from Mac to iPhone — 2022

Surely on more than one occasion you have been faced with the situation of not knowing how to transfer photos from Mac to iPhone. It does not matter if it is a photo that you were editing, a creation that you have made, videos or images downloaded from the internet. In any of these cases, it is possible to transfer the photos and videos from your computer to your mobile. There are several methods and below we will show you the most effective.

No need for third-party apps

When it comes to transferring files, the most attractive thing is to always do it through native methods, that is, without third-party applications. This way everything stays within the operating system and you don't have to do extra installations that can be really annoying. Below we explain the different methods that currently exist.

Photos and videos from Mac to iPhone with AirDrop

This is the fastest method, but also the one that is focused on simpler transfers. If you want to transfer many photos from Mac to iPhone, this option will be very tedious if you don't have all the files in the same folder, however it is very useful when you have them all in one place. To do this you must follow these steps.



activate iphone airdrop

  • Open Control Center on the iPhone.
  • Long press on the box where the connections are.
  • Tap the AirDrop icon and select Only contacts The Everyone.
  • On the Mac, go to the folder where you have the photo or set of photos you want to transfer and select them.

airdrop mac iphone

  • Right-click on the photo file and select Share.
  • Click on AirDrop.

airdrop mac a iphone

  • Click on it iPhone with whom you want to share the photo.

Once you have done it, you will see how the photograph or all of them appear instantly on your iPhone. It will open automatically through the Photos app. You will have them ready to see whenever you want or share them through your mobile.

Syncing via iCloud

One of the advantages of the so-called Apple ecosystem is the fact that all your devices can be in sync without you having to do anything. Photos and videos that you store in the Photos app on your Mac can appear on your iPhone automatically if certain options are turned on.

In you iPhone you must go to Settings > Photos and check the box iCloud Photos. In this way, the photos and videos that you store on your mobile will also appear in the Mac if in this you have activated the same options in System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud and checking the box Photos.

You will also need to open the Photos app on your Mac and in the toolbar follow the path Photos > Preferences. Once there you must go to the iCloud tab and activate the box iCloud Photos.

In this way you can have both computers always synchronized. Sometimes it may take time for the content to appear on one of the devices, so you will have to open the application, have an internet connection and wait a few minutes for the synchronization to finish running.

Using Finder

Another classic method that continues to work today is to use a cable that connects both devices. On Macs with older versions of the operating system, iTunes must be used, the classic manager for our computers that Apple also designs for Windows computers. In the latest versions, Finder is used, although both are not really far apart when it comes to the process of transferring photos. Starting with macOS 10.15, known as Catalina, sync options with devices like iPhone, iPod, or iPad must be done from Finder.

photos mac to iphone finder

  1. Connect iPhone to Mac via cable.
  2. Open a window of Finder and click on the iPhone, located in the left panel.
  3. In the top bar, click on Photos. If you have iCloud photos activated, this option will not appear, since both devices are automatically synchronized.
  4. check the box Sync photos to device from and in the drop-down menu select the source of the photos you want to sync.
  5. Now do one of the following:
    1. If you chose the Photos app as the source, click All photos and albums The Selected albums in which you can choose which photos are transferred.
    2. If you chose to sync from a folder, click all folders or in Selected folders.
  6. Now select the checkbox include videos if you also want these to be transferred. If you chose to sync from the Photos app, you can check the box only favorites so that only these are transferred to your iPhone. Also with this original app you can choose the dates on which the photos were taken so that only those from that period are transferred.
  7. Click on Apply.

Once this is done, the synchronization will begin, which may take a few minutes depending on the volume and weight of the photos and videos that you are transferring from your Mac to the iPhone.

Through the iTunes program

If you have a Mac with a non-current version of the operating system, you will have iTunes as a manager between your iPhone, iPod and iPad with the computer. In these cases, the process is similar to the one carried out with Finder in more current versions.

  1. Connect iPhone to Mac via cable.
  2. Opens iTunes and tap on the iPhone icon at the top.
  3. Click on Photos. If you have iCloud photos activated, this option will not appear, since both devices are automatically synchronized.
  4. check the box Sync photos to device from and in the drop-down menu select the source of the photos you want to sync.
  5. Now do one of the following:
    1. If you chose the Photos app as the source, click All photos and albums The Selected albums in which you can choose which photos are transferred.
    2. If you chose to sync from a folder, click all folders or in Selected folders.
  6. Now select the checkbox include videos if you also want these to be transferred. If you chose to sync from the Photos app, you can check the box only favorites so that only these are transferred to your iPhone. Also with this original app you can choose the dates on which the photos were taken so that only those from that period are transferred.
  7. Click on Apply.

iTunes does not recognize iPhone

The process may take a few minutes depending on the size and number of photos and videos you're syncing between your Mac and iPhone. It will also depend on the type of connection you have on your iPhone. Keep in mind that iTunes gives you the option of synchronizing over a Wi-Fi connection, which makes the process much slower, as expected. It also includes the type of physical connection being made to the Mac itself.

Súbelos a iCloud Drive

Apple has a cloud storage service called iCloud Drive, which is not only present on its devices but is also accessible from Android or Windows. This is quite an advantage if you want your photos or videos to be accessible from any operating system.

To upload photos and videos from your Mac to iCloud Drive, all you have to do is open a window Finder and open the corresponding iCloud Drive folder. You can if you want to create all the folders you want inside and you will only have to select and drag photos and videos from a normal folder to this one. If you also want to keep those files on your Mac, you should simply copy and paste them.

photos icloud drive mac

The time it takes to upload this content to the cloud can take several minutes depending on the weight of these photos and your Internet connection , which must be enabled. Then on the iPhone you will have to download them previously to be able to view them or save them in your Photos app. This is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable methods that you will find since you will also be making a backup of these files.

Other manual methods

There are multitudes of third party applications on the internet that are designed to transfer photos and videos from Mac to iPhone, although there are also some other applications that, without this being their main objective, allow you to transfer photos. Below we will see some.

Make use of Google Drive

We talked in previous points about iCloud Drive as a manual way to transfer photos to the Mac. However, this is not the only cloud that we can take advantage of for this task. If you have Google Photos on your iPhone you can have them even more easily on your Mac, but the Mountain View company also offers online storage services such as the well-known Google Drive that could be used for this task. The application is automatically capable of monitoring all the files you have in Photos and uploading them to the cloud itself. As we have said before, there are no storage problems since it is unlimited, although you could always resort to buying extra storage to have a more personalized experience.

Photos from iPhone to Mac with Google Drive

If you install the app on your iPhone you can even manage it in the Files app, so saving photos from your gallery in this app is extremely easy and accessing them later on the Mac is even easier. In the case of the Mac you can also find a dedicated application. In the mind of any person, it is possible that you think that you always have to access the web version, but you can also have an application that allows you to comfortably access all of Google Drive through Finder.

In Dropbox and other clouds

Dropbox also works in much the same way as any other cloud service. It integrates an application that can be downloaded to both the iPhone and the Mac. Synchronization is carried out automatically or manually, adapting at all times to your particular needs. The iPhone application allows you to easily recognize all the photos you have to upload them to a personalized folder that you have created yourself. Once the photos are uploaded, you can download them to your Mac through the same application.

But this is not the only method that exists. Both Dropbox and the rest of the clouds integrate a web version to be able to view the files regardless of the device you are using. At any time you can upload a file through iPhone and download it to the Mac through a drag system. This will save you from having to sync an entire gallery which can be a big problem depending on available storage or internet connection limitation.

Telegram will not compress your images

The well-known instant messaging network has among its virtues the possibility of exchanging photos and videos without any type of compression that makes them lose quality. You also have the possibility to create a chat with yourself called Saved Messages and if we add this functionality to the previous one, we have as a result the possibility of sending our photos through this chat and rescuing them later on the Mac with this application.

Photos from iPhone to Mac with Telegram

Perhaps one of the other options is faster and more comfortable, but if you already use Telegram regularly, you will find cases in which it will be much more practical to use it for this purpose. The truth is that it can be equivalent to what AirDrop does in a very comfortable way. Other messaging apps like WhatsApp does not have this dedicated space forcing you to have created a group where the only member is yourself. This makes Telegram the best possible option to transfer any type of file between iPhone and Mac.

Use WeTransfer

with this website you can send yourself a large number of photos and videos (up to 2GB with the free version) from your Mac to iPhone. For this website you will only need an email account to send your photos and videos to. You select what you want to send and upload it to WeTranfer. The mechanism is the same as if you upload it to Drive, you can drag directly or search from a specific folder. Once you receive the email with the link to download your files, you will have a week to do so. When you download them to your iPhone you can save them directly to the camera roll.

You can also use WeTransfer to do the reverse, that is, to send your iPhone photos to Mac. The website allows you to select photos from your iPhone camera roll, which is a great advantage for this photo exchange.

Use storage devices

It should also be added that there are more and more devices with which you can transfer the photos from your iPhone to the Mac. They are pen drives or external memories that have a Lightning output to be able to connect it to your iPhone, and they also have a USB output so that you can transfer it to your computer in a matter of minutes. It is a very simple and fast way . Also, if you don't want to overload your computer with more photos, you can store them on the device itself. In this way you will always have them at hand and well organized for any time you need them.

These devices they can be of different capacity and size , depending on what you need and are looking for. There are also different shapes, smaller ones, similar to a Pen and larger ones, more similar to an external hard drive. This is a good way to better organize your photos and videos. By having the two outputs for computer and iPhone, you can also do it the other way around, and transfer the photos and videos you want from computer to iPhone. Much progress is being made with this type of device and they are increasingly used by users.