When your iPhone storage gets full, one of the options is to transfer your photos to an external hard drive backup. This helps free up space on your device since photos always occupy a large chunk of memory. Although the primary way to move photos to an external drive is via a computer, you may also want to know how to transfer photos from iPhone to external hard drive without computer.
This article will guide you on how you can do that. We'll also discuss other alternatives to move photos from iPhone to an external hard drive. Read on as we discuss each method in detail!
Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive Without Computer
When purchasing most modern external hard drives, you'll find a lightning-to-USB adapter attached. This cable makes it easier to connect your iPhone to the external drive and transfer files. Below are the steps to transfer photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive:
Step 1. With the help of lightning to USB adapter, connect your iPhone to the external hard drive.
Step 2. Go to "Files" then "Browse" on your iPhone to confirm if it has detected the external drive.
Step 3. If the connection is successful, open the Photos app, select the photos to transfer then tap the Share button.
Step 4. Next, select "Save to Files", then tap the option for "On My iPhone." You can then select your external hard drive as the storage destination.
Step 5. The system will then transfer the selected photos to your external drive.
Alternatives to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive
Although transferring photos from an iPhone to an external hard drive using a Lightning to USB adapter is possible, things may sometimes fail to work out as expected. This section will outline five alternatives to transfer your photos, including the following:
- EaseUS MobiMover (recommended)
- File Explorer on Windows PC
- Photos on Windows PC
- Image Capture on Mac
Read on to learn the detailed steps for these methods!
1. EaseUS MobiMover
EaseUS MobiMover is the first and most recommended alternative to transfer your iPhone photos to an external hard drive. This tool allows iPhone-to-iPhone and iPhone-to-PC transfer of files. It then allows you to move the files to an external hard drive by connecting them to your PC via USB or a second iPhone.
This third-party tool allows you to transfer photos alongside other data types like messages, videos, audio files, etc. Once you've downloaded and installed this tool on your computer, you can follow the steps below to use it:
Step 1. Connect devices and launch EaseUS MobiMover.
Connect both the iPhone and the external hard drive to the PC and make sure these devices are recognized by the computer. Afterward, launch the photo transfer tool and click "Phone to PC" > "Next."
Step 2. Select the category.
Check "Pictures" among all the supported categories. If you need to, you can also transfer other files from your iPhone to the external hard drive, together with photos. Besides, since the default destination is the desktop, you need to click the storage path to change it to your external hard drive.
Step 3. Start transferring photos from iPhone to hard drive.
Click the "Transfer" button to start importing photos from the iPhone to the external hard drive. When it has done, go to the selected folder on the hard drive to check these items.
2. File Explorer on Windows PC
File Explorer is a great alternative if you don't want to use a third-party tool to transfer your iPhone photos to an external hard drive. You'll just need to connect both devices to your computer via USB and copy the photos from your iPhone to the external drive.
Step 1. Connect the external hard drive and your iPhone via USB to a PC.
Step 2. Click on the prompt to "Allow" you to transfer photos from your iPhone.
Step 3. Next, go to "This PC" and select your iPhone to open it.
Step 4. Go to "DCIM" then "100APPLE." Select the photos you want to transfer from your camera roll and click CTRL+C to copy them.
Step 5. Next, open your external hard drive folder and press CTRL+V to paste the photos.
3. Photos on Windows PC
Photos is an in-built feature in Windows PCs that allows you to import photos from another folder or external device. This tool can transfer photos from your iPhone to your external hard drive by connecting both devices to your Windows 8/8.1/10 computer. Below are the steps to use it:
Step 1. Connect your iPhone to a Windows PC via USB. Do the same for your external hard drive.
Step 2. Grant the PC access to your iPhone by tapping the "Allow" button in the popup.
Step 3. Next, open the Photos app on your PC and click "Import" then "From a USB device."
Step 4. When your iPhone photos display, pick the ones you want to import.
Step 5. Click "Import setting" and pick your external hard drive as the destination storage under "Change the import destination."
Step 6. Next, click "Import Selected" to transfer the selected photos.
4. Image Capture on Mac
The Image Capture feature on Mac allows you to import photos from other iOS devices, such as iPads or iPods and digital cameras. You can then transfer the photos to your Mac or external storage using these steps:
Step 1. Connect your iPhone to a Mac computer via a lightning cable. Do the same for your external hard drive.
Step 2. Launch the Image Capture program and go to "Devices" to select your iPhone.
Step 3. Next, click "Import To" and select your external hard drive as the destination.
Step 4. Select the files you want to import using Image Capture. You can also select "Import All" to move all the photos from your iPhone.
Another option to transfer photos from your iPhone is via iCloud. You'll first need to upload photos to iCloud from your iPhone and then access them on a Windows or Mac computer. From there, you can seamlessly transfer the files to your external hard drive as follows:
Step 1. Open Settings on your iPhone and tap on your device name. Next, go to iCloud>Photos and turn on the button for "iCloud Photos."
Step 2. Next, open the iCloud Photos app on your computer. Sign in using the Apple ID and password associated with your iPhone's iCloud account.
Step 3. Once logged in, click on "Options." Tick on the boxes for "iCloud Photo Library" and "Download new photos and videos to my PC."
Step 4. Under the option for "Download new photos and videos to my PC," click the "Change" button. Select your external hard drive as the default storage location.
Step 5. Lastly, click on "Done" then "Apply." The photos will then sync from your iCloud account and download to the external hard drive connected to your computer.
The Bottom Line
This tutorial has taught you how to transfer photos from iPhone to external hard drive without computer via a lightning USB adapter. Other ways to move photos from an iPhone to an external hard drive entail using EaseUS MobiMover, iCloud, Image Capture on Mac, File Explorer or Photos on Windows PC.
Among these alternatives, we highly recommend EaseUS MobiMover since it allows you to transfer different data types, including photos, messages, videos, and audio files. Ensure you download this third-party tool today.
FAQS on How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive Without Computer
Below are frequently asked questions about how to transfer photos from iPhone to external hard drive without computer.
1. Why Is Windows Explorer Using So Much CPU?
Windows Explorer CPU usage may increase when syncing files to OneDrive or Google Photos. CPU usage may also increase because of system errors, a faulty hard disk, or a malware attack.
2. Can I Connect My iPhone Directly to a USB Drive?
Yes, you can achieve that using a lightning to USB adapter. Attach the USB drive to your adapter, then connect it to your iPhone's charging port. Your iPhone will then read the USB drive.
3. Where Do I Store My iPhone Photos When Storage Is Full?
If your iPhone storage is full, you can store your photos in a cloud backup, external hard drive, computer, or another iPhone with space. To transfer your photos to a cloud backup, you can use iCloud.
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Myra joined EaseUS in 2017. As a big fan of Apple products, she mainly focuses on iOS data transfer and iOS troubleshooting tips. Meanwhile, she is expanding her knowledge and skills in other fields like data recovery and disk management. Myra is open-minded and likes both extensive and intensive reading. Other than reading and writing, she is also fond of mobile games and K-pop stars.
Gorilla joined EaseUS in 2022. As a smartphone lover, she stays on top of Android unlocking skills and iOS troubleshooting tips. In addition, she also devotes herself to data recovery and transfer issues.
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