How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to USB: 6 Top Ways

How to transfer photos from your iPhone to a USB flash drive? Let's learn these 6 easy ways to transfer/save pictures from iPhone to USB flash drive, it's effective for backing up iPhone data or freeing up iPhone space.


By Dylan / Updated on December 19, 2023

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Why Need to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Flash Drive?

A lot of users need to transfer photos from iPhone to USB, whether you are a Windows or Mac user, you can get the best method here. So when might you consider "can you transfer photos directly from iPhone to flash drive?"

Transfer pictures that fill your iPhone. 
iPhone comes with amazing photography technology allowing users to take beautiful photos. However, as the photo quality is updated, photos take more storage space than before. You may get the "iPhone storage full" notification, so just migrate some photos to USB and free up some storage space on your iPhone.

Backup iPhone photos to USB. 
Transferring photos from iPhone to USB flash drive is a wise idea to avoid data loss. If you got some important pictures on your iPhone, you can create a backup on a USB drive or other storage device. Once you encounter a problem making everything on your iPhone lost, you can still have the extra copy of your photos. And USB comes with large storage and great portability, so you can take your photos wherever you go.

Next, we will introduce the 6 most commonly used methods of how to copy photos from iPhone to USB flash drive easily, which involves the best free iPhone data exporter.

🚄 FoneTool: The easiest way FoneTool is the easiest and fastest way to transfer photos from iPhone to a USB. It uses an intuitive interface and provides fast speed. It can be the best choice to transfer iPhone pictures to USB on a PC. >> Full Steps
💻 Windows Photos App It is a Windows built-in app that helps you transfer the camera roll. Click Import on Photos app > Choose From a USB device to save iPhone photos. >> Full Steps
🖥 Windows Explorer Just go to This PC on a PC desktop > Open iPhone folder > Internal Storage > DICM folder and copy and paste your iPhone photos. >> Full Steps
☁ iCloud You need to enable iCloud Photos on iPhone > Go to iCloud site > download photos to your computer. >> Full Steps
⌨ Mac Image Capture Connect iPhone to a Macbook > Run Image Capture > Choose your iPhone and select iPhone photos > Click Import All button. >> Full Steps
🔓Transfer photos without comptuer Connect USB storage to iPhone using an adapter. Select iPhone photos and share to the connected USB drive/flash drive. >> Full Steps

Part 1. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to USB on PC and Mac

We will show you how to transfer photos from iPhone to USB flash drive using Mac and PC, if you don't have a computer nearby, don't panic. You can directly swipe to Part 2 to learn how to transfer photos from iPhone to USB stick without computer. 

 🚩 View the video tutorial to know the transfer tips

Method 1. Easiest Way to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Flash Drive

FoneTool is a professional iPhone transfer app. You can transfer iPhone photos, music, videos, messages, photos, and contacts to a USB flash drive/external hard drive/ PC with ease.

It is an ideal solution where you can transfer all iPhone pictures losslessly without the need for a network, and FoneTool is safe enough to protect your important data from loss or damage.

Fast transferring speed: This tool migrates data from an iPhone to a USB flash drive with amazing speed, for example, 10 GB of photos can be moved to another place in no more than 10 minutes.
Selective and preview Transfer: FoneTool allows you to select some specific photos to transfer if you don't want to move all pictures.
Wide compatibility: It works with various storage devices and computers. You can move pictures and other data from iPhones like iPhone 15/14/13/12, iPad, iPod Touch to USB/HDD/SSD/CD/computer/laptop.
Various backup & transfer features: Except for transferring to flash drive, it can also import files to an iPhone, and offers professional backup solutions to protect iPhone data from loss.
Interactive and simple GUI: It is an easy-to-use tool, so you can figure it out quickly even for the first time to use.

Download and install FoneTool on your computer, then follow the guidelines below to securely download/transfer photos from your iPhone to USB flash drive. This tool supports different USB brands. It helps you send iPhone photos to Samsung, Sandisk USB flash drive.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to transfer Photos from iPhone to USB stick

Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone and USB flash drive to computer.

Step 2. On the Home screen, click the Phone Transfer option > Go to iPhone to PC > Click Get Started.

Transfer to Computer

✍Note: If you want to make a backup of your iPhone, you can select "Full Backup" or "Selective Backup" feature.

Step 3. Click the "+" icon.

Select Files

Step 4. Select the pictures you want to transfer and click OK.

Choose Photos

Step 5. Choose your USB flash drive as the destination from the Transfer Settings option, and you can create a folder in it. Then click Start Transfer to begin the task.


Wait for the process to finished, then all these selected pictures are saved on your USB flash drive. It's complex to transfer photos from iPhone to USB without computer, so FoneTool is the best phone data transfer tool. If you're looking for other options, read on below. 

Method 2. Transfer Photos from iPhone to USB Flash Drive via Photos App

"Photos" is a Windows photos manager that helps you export Camera Roll photos from iPhone to Windows 11, 10, 8, 7 computers. Then you can save them to an external USB drive.

How to transfer pictures from iPhone to flash drive

Step 1. Connect your phone and unlock it. Then click Trust and type the password if you are asked to Trust this computer.

Step 2. Click Import and select From a USB device. After that, it will automatically detect your photos on the iPhone, you just need to wait for a few minutes.

Import From A USB Device

Step 3. Select the photos you don’t want to import because all the new photos will be checked by default. Then, click Import Selected. After the operation is 100% completed, you can see it in your Pictures folder.

✍Note: That's right, this method can't save the image directly to the USB Drive path, and you may need to spend more time doing it step by step. 

Step 4. Insert the flash drive into the USB port and create a new folder called iPhone pictures. Copy and paste those pictures into this folder.

Method 3. Transfer Pictures from iPhone to Flash Drive via Windows Explorer

File Explorer is a built-in function of a Windows PC with which you can view and manage files on your devices and drives. You can use it to transfer pictures from iPhone to a thumb drive.

How to transfer iPhone photos to flash drive using Windows Explorer

Step 1. Connect your iPhone and unlock it. Connect USB flash drive to computer and create a new folder called iPhone Pictures in it. Then, click Trust to allow your computer to access your photos.

Step 2. Go to Computer or This PC, and you see a new device named xxx iPhone.

Step 3. Then, double-click the iPhone and open Internal Storage > DCIM folder, then preview your photos here and transfer specific photos from iPhone to USB flash drive via Copy and Paste.

Transfer Photos from iPhone to USB on Windows PC

✍Note: Sometimes you can't find the DCIM folders on your computer because the connection has not been successfully built. If you have that problem, refer to this guide: Fix iPhone Internal Storage not Showing or Empty DCIM Folder.

Method 4. Transfer Photos from iPhone to Flash Drive via iCloud

Firstly, please make sure there is enough iCloud space. This method allows you to upload all your photos to iCloud and then download them to any networked computer. However, iCloud's free space must be larger than the space occupied by the photo. iCloud offers 5GB of free space, you may need to upgrade your iCloud storage before you can store more photos.

How to download pictures from iPhone to flash drive

Step 1. Open the Settings of the iPhone. Enter the Apple ID. And go to iCloud > Photo.

If you haven’t logged in, tap Sign in to the iPhone, enter your Apple ID and password, and click Sign in.

Enter Apple ID and Password to Sign in iCloud

Step 2.  Click on the iCloud Photo switch. Then, as long as Wi-Fi is connected, the photos and videos on the phone will be uploaded to the iCloud account.

  • If you have a lot of photos, you may need to upload them for hours and be patient.
  • If you want to save iPhone storage, tap Optimize iPhone storage to keep smaller versions of your photos on your device.


Step 3. Download and open iCloud on your computer. In a web browser, go to

Step 4. Log in to iCloud, and then go to the Photos app. Click the Photos tab in the upper left of the page.

iCloud Photos

Step 5. Select the photo you want to download. Hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac) and click on each photo you want to download.

Step 6. Click the Download button. And then Insert the USB disk, and create a new folder called iPhone pictures.

Step 7. Copy and paste the image file imported into the computer and move it to the USB. Alternatively, you can also complete how to transfer photos from iPhone to Sandisk with the above steps.

Method 5. Save pictures from iPhone to flash drive on Mac Image Capture

If you are using Macbook, you can use the built-in Image Capture software to save iPhone photos to a thumb drive.

How to transfer photos from iPhone to flash drive on Mac Image Capture

Step 1. Make sure your iPhone and flash drive are connected to your Mac. Run Image Capture on your Mac.  

Step 2. On the left side of the interface, choose your iPhone under the Device section. Let Image Capture import your photos.

Step 3. At the bottom of the Image Capture, you can select a location to save your photos. Then click Import All to start the process.

import all

Part 2. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to USB Stick Without Computer

How to move photos from iPhone to flash drive without a computer? You just need a Lightning to USB adapter to connect your iPhone directly to the USB flash drive. This allows for seamless file transfer from your iPhone to the USB drive.

Lightning to USB Adapter

If you prefer to transfer data from your iPhone to a USB drive without the assistance of a computer, you can follow these steps using an external USB adapter for your iPhone:

Step 1. Please connect your USB drive and iPhone to the Lightning to USB adapter.

Step 2. Launch the Files app on your iPhone.

Step 3. Locate the files (such as photos, music, and videos) you wish to transfer. Tap and hold on to them to initiate the copy action.

Step 4. Return to the Files app and select your USB drive as the destination to paste the copied files.

Transferring files from an iPhone to a USB drive through the Files app is a straightforward process. Simply follow the step-by-step tutorial provided above, and you'll be able to transfer your data from your iPhone to a USB drive within minutes.


Here we discussed 6 methods of how to transfer photos from iPhone to USB flash drive. They can help you to transfer pictures from iPhone to Sandisk, Samsung flash drive based on your need. By contrast, FoneTool can be the best choice in most conditions with its fast speed and various advantages.

By the way, you may have some duplicate photos after the transfer, FoneTool offers Photo Deduplication feature that allows you to find and delete duplicate photos on iPhone and PC.

If you think this article is helpful, please share it with your friends and help them solve the same problem.

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.