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How to Fix Can't Import Photos from iPhone to Mac

I attempted to import images from my iPhone to my Mac using iPhoto, But I found that it's not working, so can anyone help me to fix this issue. Are there any viable options that I should try?

iphoto can’t import photos to mac

Most of the time, importing iPhone photos to Mac is simple. You plug your iPhone into the Mac computer with a USB cable, open the Photos app on Mac, find your iPhone, and select Import to obtain the iPhone photos. Simple as that. However, there are situations when you can't import photos from your iPhone to your Mac.

It's possible that not all photos can be transferred from iPhone to Mac or that only a portion of photos can be imported. Also, most often, the Photos app on Mac doesn't recognize your iPhone, while in other circumstances, even if the iPhone isn't recognized, it gets stuck importing photos.

This post entails the solution to the problem why you can't download photos from iPhone to Mac and how to fix the problem of photos not being imported from your iPhone to your Mac.

Part 1. Why Can't I Import Photos from iPhone to Mac?

The major issue could be that your Mac can't recognize the connected iPhone. A faulty cable or a system error could be the cause of the connection problem.

If you have iCloud Photo Library activated and the "Optimize iPhone Storage" option enabled on your iPhone, this is most likely the reason why the iPhoto or Photos app would not import all of your iPhone photos. When you enable the two iCloud options on your iPhone, your iPhone images are stored in iCloud while a smaller preview of the photos is saved on the iPhone storage for you to view from the phone. That is why you can't import the photos to Mac over USB because they aren't genuinely stored in your iPhone's storage.

can’t import photos from iphone to mac

Furthermore, if you are importing a large number of photos, say 1000 photos, from iPhone to Mac at once, the Photos app may become stuck when importing.

Part 2. How to Fix Photos Won't Import from iPhone to Mac

We've compiled the most successful fix to the "can't transfer photos from iPhone to Mac" problem, which you can test yourself.

Tip 1. Restart iPhone and Mac

The first thing to fix why can't I import photos from my iPhone to my mac issue you should try is disconnecting your iPhone from your Mac, shutting off the programs involved, restarting your computer, and then plugging your iPhone back in and attempting to import images from iPhone to Mac again.

How to Restart an iPhone:

  •  On iPhone X, 11 or 12, press and hold either volume button and the side button until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off. To turn your device back on, press and hold the side button (on the right side of your iPhone) until you see the Apple logo.
  •  On iPhone SE(2nd), 8,7, or 6, press and hold the side button until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off. To turn your device back on, press and hold the side button until you see the Apple logo.
  •  On, iPhone SE (1st generation), 5, or earlier, press and hold the top button until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider, then wait 30 seconds for your device to turn off. To turn your device back on, press and hold the top button until you see the Apple logo.

restart iPhone

How to Restart a Mac

You have three choices to restart a Mac computer.

  • Press the power button (or press Control+Eject) and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart button.
  • Choose the Apple key and then click Restart.
  • Press Control+Command+Eject (or Control+Command+Power button).

Once you are done restarting your iPhone and Mac, try connecting them again and see if you can import photos. If you still face error message iPhone cannot import your photos because there was a problem downloading an image, you should try the next tip.

Tip 2. Reset Location & Privacy

Many people who can't download photos from iPhone to Mac confirmed that changing their Location & Privacy settings fixed the problem. To do so:

  1. Step 1: First, unlock your iPhone, and open "Settings," and then click on "General'' and select "Reset."
  2. Step 2: Now, head towards “Reset Location & Privacy” and hit the “Reset Settings” button.

    Reset location privacy on iPhone

  3. Step 3: Finally, connect your iPhone to your MacBook and try to import the photos again.

Tip 3. Import a Few photos At a Time

If you import a large number of images from iPhone to Mac at once, the photos app may become stuck, so try importing only a small number of photos when you can't import photos from iPhone to Mac.

Tip 4. Turn Off iCloud Photo Library on iPhone

If iPhoto isn't importing photos from your iPhone, make sure your iCloud Library is turned on because the images are kept in iCloud while the iCloud Library is enabled, you cannot transfer them to your Mac through USB.

To turn off iCloud Photo Library, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Unlock your iPhone, navigate to "Settings," and then click on your profile.
  2. Step 2: Then, click iCloud > Photos, turn off iCloud Photos.

    Turn off iCloud photo library on iPhone

Part 3. Import Photos from iPhone to Mac with a Powerful Alternative Tool

If you still can't import photos from iPhone, it could be time to use a powerful tool to transfer photos from iPhone to Mac without iPhoto.

There are numerous ways to transfer photos to Mac from iPhone. However, the most practical and beneficial option is to UltFone iOS Data Manager for its fantastic features to export photos from iPhone to Mac/PC in one click.

Top-Notch Features of UltFone iOS Data Manager:

  • Transfer iPhone photos to Mac/PC in one click. No limit storage and transfer completes in a minute.
  • Selective transfer photos from iPhone to computer, or vice versa.
  • Manage iOS data more easily than iTunes (Import/export/delete/edit).
  • Back up and recover over 30 files from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch without the need for a network.
  • Compatible with all iOS versions and iOS devices.
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Option 1. One Click to Export All Photos to Mac

Download and run this program to your Mac, connect your iPhone to computer with a USB cable. On the main interface, you can choose “One-click to Export Photos to Mac” option.

one click to export photos from iphone to mac

Then, this program will start transferring all photos at once to your Mac.

transfer photos to Mac without iPhoto

In a minute, all photos are transferred to Mac without any quality loss.

Option 2. Export Photos from iPhone to Mac Selectively

You can also choose photo(s) to export/import to Mac. Just choose the Manage feature from the top menu, and then select the Photos category from the left sidebar. All the photos in your iPhone will be listed by date.

Tick photo(s) that you want to export and then click the Export button from the top menu. The selected photo(s) will be transferred to your Mac immediately.

transfer photos from iPhone to Mac without iTunes

The Bottom Line

Importing photos from your iPhone to your Mac should be a simple process. When iPhoto won't import photos from iPhone to Mac, you can solve it using the tips above. Instead, you can use UltFone iOS Data Manager to transfer photos to Mac without iPhoto. It is an excellent iTunes alternative solution for backing up iPhone to computer for free, syncing iPhone files with iTunes without restriction, and quickly transferring files between iOS devices and computers.

Manage Your iPhone The Way You Want
  • One click to backup iPhone to computer for free.
  • Selectively restore backup to iPhone/iPad.
  • Transfer files on iPhone/iPad/iPod to/from computer freely without limitation
  • One click to export photos to computer
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