How to Backup iPhone Photos to External Hard Drive with 5 Ways
Too many high-quality photos on iPhone would take most of the space on the device. To release the storage, you could get them off your iPhone. Read this passage to know how to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive.
- Need to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive?
- Part 1. How to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive on Windows PC
- Part 2. How to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive on Mac
- How to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive without computer
- Tips: How to fix "can’t backup iPhone photos to external hard drive" issue
How to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive
I have about 4K photos and videos stored on my iPhone 11 and they have consumed iPhone storage. I'm using a PC with Windows 10, and I would like to save them to my external hard drive using this PC. How do I transfer photos from my iPhone to external hard drive on Windows 10?
- Question from Apple Community
Need to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive?
You might have taken or collected many interesting pictures on your iPhone. They are so precious that you should take good care of them. As the data on iPhone, they might be lost in anyways. If you don’t back up iPhone photos, they might be lost after the device is stolen or broken.
In addition, iOS is not definitely safe. Users reported that they update iOS but photos are missing. Therefore, it would be a good choice to leave a copy of iPhone photos on an external hard drive.
When you want to save your iPhone pictures to an external hard drive, just keep on reading, we will walk you through all the ways to backup iPhone photos to external storage easily.
If you are a Windows 10/11/8/7 user, you can follow the methods in this part to save your iPhone photos to external device.
Method 1. Backup photos from iPhone to external drive with FoneTool
To backup iPhone photos quickly and easily, you can turn to FoneTool, which is a free professional iPhone backup and transfer software. This tool easily helps you to transfer/backup photos from iPhone to external hard drive, like HDD/SSD/SD card using a USB cable.
Here are some main features and advantages of FoneTool
Click the download button to install FoneTool. Next, you can follow the guide below to see how it works.
Step 1. Connect your iPhone and your external hard drive to your computer.
Step 2. Choose "Photos Backup" > "Selective Backup". Click "Get Started".
- You can also click "Phone Transfer" > "iPhone to PC" to transfer original photos to Windows PC or send other data to computer.
- If you want to backup all local data to PC/external hard drive, you can choose Full Backup.
Step 3. . You can check Photos and all albums to backup all pictures on your iPhone. Or select photos you need. Then click "OK" button.
Step 3. Click the "Backup Storage Path" to choose the external hard drive as backup location. Then click "Start Backup" to start the process.
Then wait for the process to be complete. When you need the photos, you can go to Backup History to restore the backup files to your iPhone/iPad.
FoneTool could not only help you backup iPhone photos, it is also an excellent iTunes alternative. You could use it to backup iPhone without iTunes.
Method 2. Backup iPhone photos to external hard drive with Windows Photos app
If you use a Windows computer, it could be easy to use the built-in application Photos to export iPhone photos to computer and then move every photo you want to external hard drive.
Step 1. Connect iPhone and external hard drive to Windows computer with USB cable and tap “Trust” on iPhone.
Step 2. Go to the search bar on desktop and search Photos.
Step 3. Click Import and then select From a USB Device.
Step 4. Go to Pictures in Windows Explorer to move the photos to external hard drive.
Method 3. Move iPhone photos to external hard drive from iCloud Photos
Every iPhone user has at least 5GB iCloud storage space to backup and sync photos, videos, music, and other data. You can enable iCloud Photos to upload your Photos to iCloud. Then download your photos to your external hard drive. Here are the detailed steps of how to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive with iCloud.
Step 1. On the iPhone, tap "Settings". Tap your name banner.
Step 2. Choose "iCloud" > Enable "iCloud Photos"or "iCloud Photos Library"
Then you photos will be uploaded to your iCloud. When it finishes, connect your external hard drive to computer with USB cable to download iCloud photos to it.
Now move your photos from your iCloud drive to your external hard drive. There are two ways to perform this.
• Transfer photos to external hard drive on iCloud page: Go to the site of iCloud> sign in your Apple ID > click the icon of photos > select photos as many as you want > click "Download selected items" > connect external hard drive to the computer and move them into it. Using this method, you could also move files from iCloud drive to external hard drive on that page.
• Get iCloud photos via iCloud client: Download iCloud for Windows > sign in your Apple ID >check Photos > check "Download photos, Upload photos", or "Create new folders" in Options > enter Windows Explorer > click iCloud Photos > Click "Download photos and videos" > connect external hard drive to computer and move iCloud photos from the folder Downloads into it.
If you think you still have photos in iPhone backup created with iCloud, you should download iCloud backup to PC.
For Mac users, follow the methods below to transfer photos from iPhone to your external storage devices on a Macbook.
Method 4. Backup photos from iPhone to external hard drive using Mac Photos
If you have a MacBook using MacOS X 10.10.3 or later system, you can use the Mac Photos app to transfer iPhone photos to external hard drive.
Step 1. Connect your iPhone with your MacBook. Then open "Photos" on your MacBook.
Step 2. Click your iPhone device on the left pane.
Step 3. Click the "Import to" button and save the photos to your external hard drive.
Method 5. Backup photos from iPhone to external hard drive using Mac Image Capture
Image Capture is a Mac app enabling users to import photos from iPhone and other devices to Mac. Then you can move the imported photos to your external hard drive. Here are how to transfer photos from iPhone to external hard drive via Mac Image Capture.
Step 1. Attach your iPhone with your Mac. Run Image Capture on the MacBook.
Step 2. Select your iPhone > Click "Import To" and choose the photos your want to backup.
Step 3. Click "Import All" and choose the
If you don't have a computer right now to transfer your photos, you can use an adapter to connect your iPhone and external hard drive. Then you can backup iPhone photos to external hard drive without a computer.
- You need to make sure your iPhone/iPad is running with iOS 13 or later version.
- You will need to format your hard drive to FAT32, exFAT, HSF+, or APFS.
Step 1. Use an adapter to connect your iPhone and external drive. Or you can use an external hard drive that has a lightning port.
Step 2. Go to the Photos app on your iPhone. Then choose the pictures you need.
Step 3. Tap the Share button > choose Save to Files > Choose the external hard drive and choose a location on it > Tap Save.
Sometimes you might meet problems when backing up iPhone photos on computer, this is often caused by iPhone disconnecting from computer or lacking for necessary driver. You could restart computer and iPhone, and troubleshoot the problem using the 3 methods:
Solution 1. Change USB cable or try another USB port on computer.
Solution 2. Disable antivirus software and firewall during connection.
Solution 3. Update Apple device driver
Steps to update Apple device driver: Right-click the Start Button on desktop > select Device Manager> expand the Portable Devices Section > right-click on the device name > click Update driver > select Search automatically for updated driver software.
This is how to backup iPhone photos to external hard drive. You can transfer your photos to external hard drive on a PC, Mac, or without a computer. But by contrast, FoneTool gives you much faster speed, so it is more recommended. And it is also a comprehensive iOS manager integrating with many features. For example, you can use the "Photos Deduplication" to delete similar/duplicate photos on iPhone and computer.