How to easily get photos onto your computer from your camera or phone

How to easily get photos onto your computer from your camera or phone

Tuesday 15th March 2022 at 16:37

By Rob


How to easily copy photos to your computer

We are often asked what's the easiest and quickest way to copy photos from a camera or phone so that they can be easily edited and then uploaded to your website.

Whilst using a computer to upload items to your website isn't the only way (you can always do it from your phone or tablet), it is still the preferred way for a variety of reasons we'll cover shortly.

Have a read through our article below showing you the quickest and easiest ways to get photos from your camera or phone onto your computer so you can put them on your website. This article is longer than most so we've seperated into sections below for your convenience.


Contents

Click to jump down to the relevant section

1) Why copy photos to a computer?

2) Managing your website on a computer VS a phone or tablet

3) Cameras - getting photos onto your computer

4) iPhone - gettings photos onto your computer

5) Android phones - getting photos onto your computer

6) Conclusion


1) Why copy photos to a computer?

There a number of reasons why you might want to copy your photos from your camera or phone to your computer. Here are a few:

a) To edit the photos in photo editing software

b) To upload to your website easily

c) To free up space on your phone or camera

d) For backup

e) So you have them handy to easily attach to an email to a customer


2) Managing your website on a computer VS a phone or tablet

Managing your website - computer vs phone vs tablet

If you have your own website (or are thinking of getting one) then a lot of websites these days (including our website designs) can be managed from a phone, tablet, or computer. So why would you even want to use a computer to manage your website if you can just do it on your phone?

Here's a few reasons:-

a) If you take photos on your phone then copying them to your computer first allows you to edit them in photo editing software before uploading to your website

b) When adding items (stock) to your website you'll need to add a description. It's usually quicker and easier to type this on a proper keyboard than on a phone. So having pictures of your stock on your computer ready to upload helps with this.

c) We recommend as best practice to add as much information as possible when adding items to your website. Information like a detailed description, dimensions and multiple pictures not only gives visitors the info they need but it can be beneficial for Google rankings too.

So whilst you can just take photos on your phone and upload them straight to your website, there are important benefits to copying them to your computer first and adding items on your computer.


Camera

3) Cameras - getting photos onto your computer

If you use a standalone camera (eg not a camera that's on your phone) like a compact camera, a DSLR or mirrorless camera then there's a few ways to copy the photos you take onto your computer.

a) Method 1 - Use a memory card reader

Use card reader

Our favourite and the easiest.

Most cameras have a removable memory card which will either be an SD card, Micro SD card, or Compact Flash card.

A lot of computers these days (including the MacBook above) have got a built in card reader so it's as simple as putting the memory card in the slot and then it will show up on your computer.

If you don't have a memory card reader built into your computer then they're cheap to buy. Have a look on Amazon for "SD card reader" or "Compact flash card reader" depending on which type you have.

Memory card types
 

b) Method 2 - Plug in via USB cable

Usually the second easiest, but it can sometimes be a bit convoluted.

Simply take the USB cable which came with your camera and plug one end into the camera and the other into your computer.

If you have a computer without a USB port and instead uses the more modern USB C, then you can buy a USB to USB C adapter quite cheaply from places like Amazon or ebay.

If you use Microsoft Windows, then usually once you've plugged the camera in it will show up as a drive/folder in Windows Explorer (aka "My Computer").

If you use an Apple Mac, then it will show up as a device in Finder on the left. Alternatively you can use Apple's Image Capture software.

Or, for more detailed instructions, please see the following:-

Canon

Nikon

Sony

c) Method 3 - Wireless transfer

Some cameras now allow you to transfer photos wirelessly to your computer.

But, and this is a big BUT, in our experience we've always found that this method is hard to get set up, unreliable, and time consuming. We're passionate believers that computers and the web should be easy (it's the whole premise behind our company), so whilst this is an option we wouldn't necessarily recommend it just because it's not easy.

In terms of how to do a wireless transfer, this varies greatly depending on the type of camera you're using. We recommend consulting the manual for your particular make and model of camera for further information.


Copy photos from your iPhone or iPad to your computer

4) iPhone - gettings photos onto your computer

On a Windows computer

Windows 7 & 8

  • Plug in your iPhone to your PC using a USB cable
  • Wait up to 30 seconds (do not press or click anything on your computer), and you should see the following "AutoPlay" window appear
  • Click on "Import pictures and videos"
  • Follow the on screen instructions where you can select which pictures you want to copy and where you want to put them

Apple iPhone Windows 7

Windows 10 & 11

  • Plug your iPhone into your Windows PC with a USB cable
  • Turn your iPhone on and unlock it (it needs to be unlocked otherwise photo transfer won't work)
  • On your Windows PC, click on the Start menu and select "Photos" to open the Photos application
  • In the Photos app, select "Import" then choose "From a USB device".
  • Follow the on screen instructions
  • This should allow you to pick which photos you want to import and where you want to save them
     

On an Apple Mac computer

Option 1) Using a USB cable

  • Plug your iPhone (or iPad) into your Apple Mac using a USB cable
  • Open the Photos app on your Mac
  • The Photos app should show an import screen with all your photos on your iPhone. If it doesn't appear then click on your iPhone (or iPad)'s device name on the sidebar of the Photos app (sidebar is on the left)
  • You may be asked to unlock your iPhone (or iPad) and then click a button on your iPhone/iPad to Trust this computer. Click on the Trust this Computer button if asked
  • Back on your Mac, choose the folder you want to import your photos to, then select which photos you want to import (or click "Import All New Photos" to import all new photos)

Further info from the Apple website here - https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201302
 

iCloud

Option 2) Using iCloud

This is probably one of the easiest methods as it doesn't require you to plug any cables in and you can do it with your feet up on the sofa; we like easy!

The caveat is that if you have more than 5GB of photos and videos (which you most likely do as 5GB isn't much these days for photos) you'll need to upgrade your plan with Apple. Personally we find it good value for money in the respect that if your photos are backed up to the cloud then even if your phone gets broken, lost or stolen then you'll have your photos. At the time of writing, plans range from £0.79 to £6.99 per month ($0.99 to $9.99 USD or €0.99 to €9.99 euros). You can find more info on Apple's website here.

Step 1 - Enable iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone (or iPad)

  • Go to Settings on your iPhone/iPad
  • Tap on your name at the top
  • Go to iCloud
  • Underneath the iCloud storage indicator, tap on "Photos"
  • Switch on iCloud Photos


Step 2 - Enable it on your Mac

  • Open the Photos app on your Mac
  • When prompted if you want to use iCloud Photos, choose Yes

Note

  • You'll need to make sure that both your iPhone (or iPad) and your Apple Mac are signed in using the same Apple account (Apple ID)
  • If you've not used iCloud Photo Library before and have just enabled it and have quite a lot of photos, then it could take quite a few hours for photos to upload from your iPhone/iPad to the cloud. Make sure you have WiFi turned on!
     

Other methods & info

You may also find the following resources handy:-


Android phone

5) Android phones - getting photos onto your computer

Android phones cover pretty much any non Apple phone; eg Samsung, Huawei, Google, Sony, OnePlus, Moto etc. Android refers to the software these phones run (aka the "operating system"). The Android operating system is actually made by Google which is why a lot of Google's services (such as Google photos) integrate pretty seemlessly with Android phones in the same way that Apple iPhoto integrates seemlessly with the iPhone.
 

Google Photos logo

Option 1)
Copying photos to your computer using Google Photos

This is personally our favourite method.

We usually find it better value for money than Apple iPhoto as prices range from free (for 15gb) to £7.99 / $9.99 per month. You can find pricing here:-

https://one.google.com/about/plans

If you have a Google account set up on your Android phone and Google Photos enabled then each time you take a photo then your photo will be saved on the cloud using Google Photos. This is great for a couple of reasons. First; it means your photos are backed up to the cloud if your phone is lost, broken or stolen. Second, it makes it easier to copy the photos to your computer!

  • Enabling Google Photos on your phone
    • On your Android phone/tablet, open the Google Photos app (may just be called "Photos")
    • If prompted, sign into your Google Account
    • On the top right, tap your account profile photo (or initial)
    • Select "Photos settings"
    • Then tap "Back up & sync"
    • Enable backup to Google photos
    • Photos will then be saved to Google photos on the cloud
       
  • Downloading from Google Photos to your computer
    • It's really simple!
    • Just open your web browser (eg Chrome, Firefox or Edge) and visit https://photos.google.com/
    • From there you should see all your photos and you can click to download them
    • (note if you've only just enabled Google Photos on your phone/tablet it may take a few hours to sync your existing photos to the cloud)
       

USB cable

Option 2)
Copying photos to your computer using a USB cable

  • On a Windows PC
    • Unlock your phone
    • Plug your phone into your computer using a USB cable
    • On your phone, when prompted, tap the "Charging this device via USB" notification then under "Use USB for" select "File Transfer"
    • A file transfer window should open on your computer. Using this you can drag and drop files
       
  • On an Apple Mac
    • The standard method via a USB cable is using the program Android File Transfer on the Mac but in our experience we've found it pretty hit and miss.
       

Further information


6) Conclusion

This article covers the main ways of copying photos from your camera, phone or tablet to your computer but it is not a complete list. There are many other methods however we have focused on what is EASY. Life is too short to spend your life slaving away in front of a computer; after all computers were invented to make our lives easier and not the other way around.

Everything we do as a company is focused on making things easy. That's why as part of our website design setup process we'll show you how to easily add items to your website and how to easily upload your pictures. Regardless of whether you're a technophone or techie genius, we'll help you get online quickly and easily.

* Pricing is correct at time of writing


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By Rob
Tuesday 15th March 2022 at 16:37



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