How to Use iTunes to Sync Photos between iPhones and PC

This passage introduces the ways to easily use iTunes to sync photos from PC to iPhone or transfer photos from iPhone to computer.


By Dylan / Updated on May 23, 2023

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How to use iTunes to sync photos to my iPhone 14

I have found some old photos on computer and want to save them to my iPhone. I have installed iTunes, so I think I want to use it to transfer photos. Anybody could tell me how to do that?

- Question from Apple Community

iTunes Logo

Nowadays, lots of people would like to take photos with their iPhones on account of the amazing chip and lens. As time goes by, your iPhone can have lots of vivid pictures taking up too much storage space.

So lots of users want to use iTunes to sync iPhone photos to computer/ iPad to free up space. Besides, if these photos are really important to you, transferring them to a safe place like your computer is necessary to avoid data loss.

How to use iTunes to sync photos to PC/iPhone 

iTunes is an official tool to transfer data among your device. You can import your iPhone photos to your iTunes library, and sync/download them to another iPhone/iPad or computer. In this part, we will guide you on how to use it.

Part 1. Steps to sync photos from PC to iPhone via iTunes

If you want to transfer photos from iTunes to iPhone or iPad, you need to turn off iCloud photos beforehand. It means that iCloud photos and iTunes photos cannot coexist. If you turn on iCloud photos later, photos synced from iTunes will be removed. You can try method 3 to save iTunes photos before switching to iCloud Photos.

iTunes will create a folder in the Photos app, and these photos from computer cannot be edited or deleted. When you sync photos with iTunes again, the previous pictures will be replaced, so syncing an empty folder or turn on iCloud photos can remove the photos from iPhone.

Step 1. Download the latest iTunes to computer. If you have installed iTunes, make sure it’s the latest version, or iTunes cannot sync photos.

Step 2. Open iTunes, connect iPhone to computer with a USB cable, and wait for the device icon appears in the upper-left corner. Click the device icon.

Device Icon iTunes

Step 3. Select Photos in the sidebar, check sync photos, select the folder on computer and then click Apply.

Sync Photos Using iTunes

Part 2. Sync Photos from PC to iPhone/iPad

iTunes could sync photos from iPhone to computer, but it might be not the way you want to get photos off iPhone.

First, your photos will not be always saved by iTunes. If the photos on iPhone have been uploaded to iCloud, or they are synced from iTunes, iTunes would not sync these photos. You can know more about that from this guide what does a full iPhone backup include.

Second, the photos are not allowed to be viewed. iTunes only creates full backup of iPhone and your photos are just part of it. Everything in the backup cannot be directly viewed. If you really want to see whether your photos albums have been saved, you can use iPhone backup browser to check it for free. When you need to transfer the photos backup to iPhone, the only way is restoring the iPhone and then iTunes will rewrite the whole device.

Step 1. Connect iPhone to the latest iTunes with a USB cable and click the device icon.

Device Icon iTunes

Step 2. Click Summary on the left and then click Back Up Now.


Usually backing up iPhone will take more than 10 minutes. To transfer everything back to iPhone, connect iPhone to iTunes and click Restore Backup on the screen.

How to sync photos between iPhone and PC without deleting/backup

As you can see, iTunes is not so flexible for some conditions. Sometimes, you may just don't want to backup all iPhone data. And syncing might delete or duplicate some photos on your device.

Don't worry, if you want to sync iPhone photos without deleting/backup, you can turn to FoneTool is a professional iPhone photos transfer. It is far more convenient than iTunes to manage iPhone photos. With this tool, you can easily transfer photos, videos, and other data to your iPhones/iPads and computer.

Here are some advantages of this tool 

  • Fast and fluent transfer: It shares your data between your device at a much faster speed than other tools. 1000 Photos can be sent in several minutes.

  • Preview and select photos: This tool allows you to select photos to transfer or send all pictures to the target location.

  • Easy-to-use software: This software uses an intuitive interface, anyone can easily share data between devices.

  • Great compatibility: FoneTool works well with all iOS devices, including iPhone 4 to iPhone 14, iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro. 

Step 1. Download FoneTool to computer for free. Connect iPhone to computer with a USB cable.

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Step 2. Run FoneTool, click the "iPhone to PC". To transfer photos from computer to iPhone/iPad, please choose "PC to iPhone". 

transfer to computer

Step 3. Click the "+" icon to select files.

select files

Step 4. Check the Photos option. On the right side of the interface, you can select the specific items. Then click "OK".

Select Pictures

Step 4. Specify the storage path from "Transfer Settings", and click "Start Transfer".


Wait for the process to get finished. Then you can go to the path you set to see if your photos are successfully sent. If you want to sync photos from iPhone to iPhone/iPad, plug in the other device, and choose the "PC to iPhone" option on the main interface.


So this is how to use iTunes to sync photos between iPhones and PC. Hope this guide can really help you. But as you can see, iTunes does not work well in every condition and it is sort of inconvenient. 

You can turn to FoneTool, the professional iOS transfer tool. Besides, it also provides many other helpful features, including converting HEIC photos to JPG, finding and deleting duplicate photos, and so on. 

Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.