How to Transfer Photos From Your iPad to Your PC

iTunes isn't your only option

Transfer photos from your iPad to your computer to free up storage on your tablet. Once the images are on your computer, store them there, share them with friends, print them, and more. There are several ways to transfer iPad photos to your computer. The traditional method is with iTunes, but if you want specific control over which photos are copied to your computer, you have other options.

Use a File-Sharing Service

File-sharing apps make copying photos from an iPad to your computer easy because most of them work wirelessly. No computer is needed until you're ready to download the photos to your PC.

One common way to share photos from an iPad to your PC is by email. Attach the photos you want to transfer to your computer, email them to yourself, open the message on your PC, and download them from the web client or email program.

Email is great if you need to transfer only a few photos to your computer. A better option for a larger collection is cloud storage, which lets you upload specific photos or entire albums to the cloud (internet). From there, keep the items online and share or download them when necessary, or go to your computer and download all of them at once.

There are many free cloud storage services to choose from, and Apple has its own called iCloud that you can set up on your iPad without installing an extra app.

Some apps for iPad are meant specifically for image backup to the cloud, notably Google Photos. Install the Google Photos app from the App Store to back up photos and videos to your Google account. Access the pictures on your computer once they've been uploaded.

Most image-backup tools and file-transfer utilities don't delete the original images after you've copied them elsewhere. Once you're sure that the images have been saved somewhere else, delete the ones on your iPad to free up space and declutter your Photos app.

Plug Your iPad Into Your Computer

If a file-transfer service isn't how you want to copy photos from an iPad to your computer, go the traditional route and plug your tablet into your computer.

If iTunes isn't the program you want to use to copy pictures from your iPad, use a program like Syncios. It's similar and works with images, videos, and music.

Another option is to use your iPad as a flash drive where you can copy specific images to your computer.

For Windows

Here's how to plug an iPad into a Windows computer:

  1. Use a Lightning cable or 30-pin connector to connect your iPad to your computer via an open USB port.

  2. Open This PC, Computer, or My Computer, depending on your version of Windows.

    In Windows 8 and older versions of Windows, press the WIN+E keyboard shortcut.

  3. Open your iPad. It might be called something with your name in it or just iPad.

    Drives on a PC with an iPad highlighted
  4. Open Internal Storage.

    iPad on a PC with Internal Storage highlighted
  5. Go to the DCIM folder.

    DCIM folder on an iPad mounted on a PC
  6. Navigate to the images you want to be copied to your computer, and then select the images.

  7. Right-click the photos and choose Copy.

    Copy command for images on an iPad
  8. Decide where you want the iPad images copied to, then paste the images there.

    iPad photos copied to Windows 8 screenshot

For Mac

The process on a Mac is straightforward. Connect your iPad using the cable and then run the Photos app from Launchpad.

When Photos opens, it detects your iPad and opens a screen for importing images. If it doesn't, select the Import tab. Choose the photos you want to transfer, then select Import Selected.

Once the process is finished, it asks if you want to delete the photos on your iPad. You might want to verify that they're in the right place before deleting them from the iPad.

Was this page helpful?