iPhones and iPads go with Macs like peanut butter goes with jelly. If you use Windows however, you can still access your photos and videos on these devices with just a few quick steps.

As popular as Apple products have become in recent years, there’s still a huge Windows user base. This often means that said users are left scratching their heads on how to make their iPhones and iPads get along with their PCs.

One thing that we’ve discovered is that while it’s super easy to access your photos and videos from a Mac, using a Windows PC requires a bit more work. It’s not too terribly difficult, but it isn’t necessarily elegant either. That said, once you know how to import photos and videos on your iOS device, you can make quick work of it.

When you first plug your iOS device into your Windows computer, it will prompt you to allow your PC to access its photos and videos.

Before you can proceed with any import process on your PC, you will first need to allow it to access your iOS device.

If you tap “Allow” and you have a photo program installed, then you might get a prompt asking you if you want to import. In this example, our Windows 10 PC immediately pops up with a dialog asking us if we want to import items from our iPhone.

Our Windows 10 PC automatically opens up the Photos app to import photos from our device (Apple iPhone).

If you don’t have a photos application installed (this is unlikely but possible) or you don’t want to import all your photos onto your computer (you might have hundreds or even thousands), then you can do so manually.

First, open File Explorer and browse to your PC’s directory. Click on your iPhone or iPad and then open the folder titled “Internal Storage”. All your photos and videos will be saved in the DCIM folder.

This is way too much to have to go through individually, so it’s best to try searching.

It gets a little tricky from here because it won’t be immediately apparent where the content you seek is located. You can either go through each folder one by one, which is going to be pretty tedious and time consuming, or you can try searching.

If you search, you might try listing all your photos by type, such that you use the search string “*.jpg” to list all the photos contained on your phone however, this will list all the files on your device ending in .jpg so that too will take a lot of time to go through.

If you do search, you can first go through your photos by changing the view to large or extra large icons.

On the other hand, if you know about when the photo you’re looking for was taken, you can sort them out that way using the Details view.

Alternatively, you can try sorting by date, using the Details view.

How you choose to find and sort through your photos and videos is up to you and whether you want to use a photos program or simply import them onto your PC file by file.

If you would like further information on how to best search for photo files, then we recommend you read our Geek School series, which will explain the ins-and-outs of searching in far greater detail.

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We hope this article was of some use to you and gives you the knowledge to use your iPhone or iPad easily alongside your Windows PC. If you have any questions or comments you would like to add, we encourage you to leave your feedback in our discussion forum.

Profile Photo for Matt Klein Matt Klein
Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He's even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8.
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