How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to MacBook Pro

transfer iphone photos to mac

This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, We earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

You can transfer photos from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro with AirDrop, a Lighting-to-USB, or iCloud. 

I’m Jon, an Apple product expert, and owner of an iPhone 11 Pro Max and a 2019 MacBook Pro. I transfer pictures from my iPhone to my Mac all the time and put this guide together to show you how. 

So, let’s get started with the easiest way to transfer your pictures. 

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to MacBook Pro

Here are the steps to move pictures from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro. It may vary slightly depending on what versions you have of iOS and macOS on your devices. 

1. AirDrop Transfer

AirDrop is the easiest way to transfer all your images to your MacBook Pro. You need to ensure that your Bluetooth is turned on on your iPhone and MacBook Pro for AirDrop to work correctly.

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings.
  2. Touch General.
  3. Touch AirDrop.
  4. Make sure the AirDrop is set to Everyone.
  5. On your MacBook Pro, open the Finder.
  6. Click Go on the top menu.
  7. Click on AirDrop.
  8. The AirDrop window in the Finder will open; click on Everyone in the bottom portion of this window.
  9. The two devices should now recognize each other, and you can continue with the transfer.
  10. Open your Photos app on your Phone.
  11.  Select all of the images you want to transfer.
  12. Touch the sharing button in the bottom left corner.
  13. Once you see a pop-up and an audible alert on your MacBook Pro asking about the photo transfer, click Accept.
  14. Your transfer of images from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro is complete.

Note- after you enable AirDrop the first time, all you will have to do in the future is start with step 12. 

Also Read: How to Turn on AirDrop on MacBook Pro

2. Lighting-to-USB Cable Transfer

Another easy way to transfer images from your iPhone to your Mac is with your Lightning-to-USB cable. This is the same cable you use to charge your iPhone.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your MacBook Pro using a Lightning-to-USB cable.
  2. Unlock your phone and confirm it recognizes the Mac if prompted.
  3. The Photos app on your MacBook should open once the connection is made, open this app; if not, select your iPhone from the window on the left.
  4. You should see all of your images and videos in the camera roll on the Photo app.
  5. Click Import All New Items in the top right-hand corner of the camera roll or go through and select certain photos/videos you wish to transfer.

3. iCloud

Another method to transfer your photos from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro is with iCloud. 

To start, you will have to sign in to the same Apple ID on both devices, then follow these steps:

On your iPhone: 

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click on your Apple ID at the top
  3. Select iCloud from the list
  4. Select Photos
  5. Enable iCloud Photos

On your Macbook Pro: 

  1. Open the Photos app
  2. Click “Photos” in the menu bar on the top left
  3. Select “Preferences”
  4. Check the box next to iCloud Photos

This method will automatically sync your iPhone’s photos to your MacBook Pro. If you have a lot of photos, this could take hours to populate. If you need the images faster, try one of the other two methods above. 

Why Transfer Photos from iPhone to MacBook Pro?

Here are several main reasons to do this:


Some iPhones, depending on the model and capacity, just don’t offer a lot of storage. This means you can easily fill up the storage limits on your phone after taking a few hundred photos, which is really easy to do, especially if you’re a photographer!

Even though some models can be equipped with large storage capacity, you’ll want to keep space on your phone for other things like apps, music, videos or other images.


Whether you only know the basics of photography or consider yourself a full-time and professional photographer, you’ll want the ability to edit any photos you take.

While new software on the iPhone makes this better than ever on your phone, a proper photo editing program is what the real pros use and you’ll only be able to do that if you transfer your photos from your phone to your Mac.


Another reason to transfer your photos from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro is to make backup copies of all the images. In the event you lose your phone, it becomes inoperational or gets stolen, having a backup copy of all the photos and videos you have is important.

It would be terrible to lose all of those memories and without backing up the images, you just might. You could back up to an external hard drive as well but your MacBook Pro can serve the same purpose.

Final Thoughts

A few other methods will also work, including using a third-party iPhone transfer app like iMazing, or simply uploading them to another cloud storage option, like Google Drive or DropBox. But the three ways we recommend above will get the job done more efficiently.

As you can see, it’s easy to transfer all of your images from your iPhone to your MacBook Pro using AirDrop, a USB cable, or iCloud. 

How many photos do you have on your iPhone? Have you ever transferred them to your MacBook Pro?

About Jonathon Jachura
Jonathon is a mechanical engineer with over ten years of experience. He is an Apple fan who currently holds a Macbook Pro (512 GB, 16GB RAM), iPad Pro 12.9", iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple Watch 3, and 4x Acer 23" monitors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Avatar

    jimmie sue

    What if I don’t want to share my photos with everyone

  • Avatar


    You need to add information on how to address when the MacBook says the iPhone is locked when it is not locked. This is annoying and very frustrating!!!

  • Avatar


    Where can I find the imported photos on my Mac?

  • Avatar


    you should talk about how to safely disconnect the phone.. it doesn’t seem to help to draf and drop from devices list on macbook pro.

  • Avatar

    A bailey

    Thank you so much, this has been a great help