How to Access iPhone Files on PC

View and access iPhone files on Windows 10

  • The only iPhone files you can access on PC via the file explorer are photos. To access other files, you need to install iTunes.
  • Use iTunes to transfer other files from your iPhone to your Windows PC or access them via iCloud.
  • Click the iPhone icon in iTunes > File Sharing > select an app > choose the file to transfer, and click Save.

This article explains how to access iPhone files from a Windows PC, including how to transfer files via iTunes, access iPhone internal storage, and access iPhone files on PC via iCloud.

How to Access iPhone Files From a Windows PC

When you plug an Android phone into your Windows PC, you can access its internal storage directly through the file explorer. If you try to do the same thing with your iPhone, you’ll find you only have limited access to iPhone internal storage via the Windows file explorer. You can use that method to retrieve photos from your iPhone, but nothing else.

To access iPhone files from a Windows PC, aside from photos, you have two options: share the files to iCloud or use iTunes to perform the transfer.

Here’s how to access your iPhone internal storage using iTunes on a Windows PC:

  1. Download and install iTunes on your Windows PC.

  2. Launch iTunes.

    iTunes running on a Windows PC.
  3. Connect your iPhone to your PC with a Lighting-to-USB cable or USB-to-USB cable, depending on the type of connector your phone has.

  4. On your iPhone, look for the Trust This Computer popup, and tap Trust.

    If you've already granted trust to your computer and connected to iTunes before, you can skip ahead.

  5. Enter your iPhone passcode to allow your phone to trust your computer.

    Steps to trust a computer from an iPhone.
  6. Wait for the iPhone to connect, then click Continue on your PC when prompted.

    Continue highlighted in an iTunes popup.
  7. Click Continue.

    Continue highlighted in the iPhone connection screen in iTunes.
  8. Click Get Started.

    Get Started highlighted in iTunes.
  9. Click the iPhone icon near the top left corner of iTunes.

    The iPhone icon to the right of Music highlighted in iTunes.
  10. Click File Sharing.

    File Sharing highlighted in the left-hand settings menu of iTunes.
  11. Select an app from the list.

    Apps highlighted in iTunes.
  12. Select a file from the list, and click Save.

    File Transfer and Save highlighted in iTunes.
  13. Choose the folder where you want to save the file, and click Select Folder.

    Select Folder highlighted in iTunes.
  14. The file will be copied to your computer.

How to Access iPhone Files on Windows PC Using iCloud

If you have access to the internet, transferring files using iCloud is more straightforward than moving individual files through iTunes. For this to work, you need to have iCloud enabled on your phone, and you need to access the files via the iCloud website.

Want to sync your files automatically? You can install iCloud on your Windows PC.

Here’s how to access iPhone files on a Windows PC with iCloud:

  1. Turn on iCloud on your iPhone if it wasn't already on.

    If you've just turned on iCloud backup for the first time, you'll have to wait to proceed until the files on your phone have been uploaded to the cloud.

  2. Navigate to the iCloud website with a web browser on your PC, and click the icon that corresponds to the type of file you want to transfer.

    The iCloud website with Photos highlighted.
  3. Click the file or files you want to transfer.

    iPhone photos in iCloud on the iCloud website.
  4. Click the download icon in the upper right corner.

    The download icon (cloud with down arrow) highlighted on the iCloud website.
  5. Click Save as, and select a location to save the files.

    Save as highlighted on the iCloud website.

How to Access iPhone Photos on PC With File Explorer

When you connect an iPhone to a Windows PC without iTunes, nothing happens. The phone will charge, but that's it. If you have iTunes installed and set the phone to trust your computer, things change a little. After you've done that initial preparation, plugging your iPhone into your Windows PC will cause it to show up in the file explorer. Most of the files on your iPhone are still off-limits, but you can use this method to access your photos.

Here's how to access your iPhone photos on a Windows PC:

  1. Install iTunes on your computer, connect your iPhone, and set it to trust your computer, as described earlier in this article.

    If your iPhone is already set to trust your computer, you don't have to perform that process again.

  2. Open file explorer on your computer, and click This PC in the left pane.

    This PC highlighted in Windows file explorer.
  3. Click Apple iPhone in the devices and drive section.

    Apple iPhone highlighted in the Windows file explorer.
  4. Click Internal Storage.

    Internal Storage highlighted in Windows file explorer.
  5. Click DCIM.

    DCIM highlighted in Windows file explorer.
  6. Click 100APPLE.

    100APPLE highlighted in Windows file explorer.
  7. Select the file or files you want to copy.

    Files selected from iPhone internal storage on Windows.
  8. Click and drag the file or files to your desktop or any other folder on your PC.

    Dragging files from iPhone internal storage to Windows.
  • How do you access root iPhone files on PC?

    You can't access root iPhone files on the PC without first jailbreaking your iPhone. Jailbreaking an iPhone comes with its own set of positives and negatives, so before you consider doing it, make sure you know what you're getting into.

  • Can you access iPhone files without iTunes?

    Not really. Aside from pictures, which you don't need iTunes to access, there aren't any good third-party software solutions to access iPhone files without iTunes. However, if you jailbreak your iPhone, you can access your iPhone's files from your PC without iTunes.

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