How To Store iPhone Photos on External Hard Drive

External Hard Drive

As time passes, even the likes of 128 GB and 256 GB storage on an iPhone start to feel like they are offering less. That’s when the call for employing external storage becomes urgent.

Quick Answer

While many over-complicate the process of transferring and storing photos from an iPhone to an external device, everything is barely complex. Yes, you’ve read that right. All you need is a connector cable and a PC (Windows or Mac) that serves as a medium for transfer. Not just that, modern-day advancement has even blessed us with pieces of equipment that can help conclude transfers without bringing a PC into the scene. 

It sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s how it is. Keep reading as we help you understand everything. 

How To Store iPhone Photos on an External Drive: 4 Brilliant Ways

When we talk about transferring photos from your iPhone and storing the same on an external drive, there are many ways to get the job done. Depending on the situation you’re in and the status of the available resources, you can pick one that seems more fitting. We’ll walk you through each process in the most detailed manner to ensure you don’t encounter any trouble whatsoever.

Method #1: Using the Windows Photos Feature

One of the most convenient ways to store iPhone images on an external drive involves the Windows Photos feature. For those who don’t know, the Photos app is an in-built utility of the Microsoft Windows OS. It is meant to offer the users superb media accessibility, and the same can even be used to deal with required transfers.

  1. Use a compatible USB cable and connect your iPhone with a Windows PC.
  2. As soon as you’re done establishing the connection, head to your computer and locate the Photos app from the Start menu.
  3. Once inside the screen, find and click the “Import” option. It usually sits in the top right corner.
  4. The next task is browsing the collection of images and picking the ones you want to continue with. 
  5. Now take the desired external hard drive and connect it to your PC via the compatible medium.
  6. Finally, proceed with the import process. Make sure you pick the external hard drive as the source for the transfer. 

Voila, that’s how easy transferring photos from your iPhone and storing them on an external drive is.


Even if you’re a MAC user, the Photos app can help get the job done. For that, find and launch the MAC Photos utility. As it continues to run, connect your iPhone. Next up, import all the images you’re after into the photo library. From there, you can easily export the selected media to the external drive.

Method #2: Moving Images From iPhone to the External Hard Drive via the Windows Explorer

For those who don’t know, having access to a Windows computer offers another fantastic way to transfer and store images from your iPhone to an external drive. Here is how:

  1. First, ensure that your iPhone is connected to your PC using compatible USB cables.
  2. As soon as you connect your iPhone, you’ll receive a prompt seeking approval. Simply grant the permission and continue.
  3. After that, plug the external hard drive into your computer.
  4. Once the connections are sorted, head over to Window Explorer.
  5. Next up, find and select Apple iPhone’s internal storage under the PC/Computer menu. 
  6. Navigate to the folder that says “DCIM.” This is the primary location to find all the images.
  7. Click on the desired images and get copy them.
  8. Finally, head over to the external drive and paste all the copied images.

If you miss the prompt that asks for approval, simply click the Windows Explorer menu and access the same from there. Also, while copying the images, you can either use the traditional method or employ the keyboard + mouse shortcuts for efficient operations.

Method #3: Using the Image Capture Utility on Mac

Having talked about Windows users, let’s now understand how our Mac-influenced readers can seamlessly backup their images on an external drive. Don’t worry; the process is as simple as it was for Windows PC, just a touch different.

  1. Kick off the process by connecting your iPhone to your Mac. During the connection phase, you’ll receive a prompt asking if you trust the computer. Select “Yes,” and march ahead.
  2. After that, look for the “Image Capture” app on your Mac and click on it. 
  3. While you’re inside, navigate to the left portion and select the iPhone.
  4. From there, pick the “Images” option and continue.
  5. The next task is picking the drop location. Choose the images followed by clicking on the “Import” button. Once all the desired images get imported, connect an external drive and conclude the final transfer.

Method #4: Using iCloud

Here is how you can use iCloud to copy your photos and store them on an external drive:

  1. The first thing that you’ll need to do is enable the “iCloud Photos” utility on your smartphone.
  2. Now boot up your computer and connect an external drive.
  3. Visit the official website of iCloud.
  4. Use the credentials and get yourself logged in.
  5. From the home screen, click on the available “Image” section.
  6. Browse the list and pick the desired photos.

Now you’ve two paths to choose from. One way is changing the existing download location to the recently connected external storage. The other way involves downloading the images to your PC and then copying them to an external drive.


In the present day scenario, several portable external devices connect to the iPhone directly via the lightning port. Owning those can help you store your images and other media on an external drive even without using a computer.


That’s it! We’re done guiding you through storing iPhone photos on an external drive. Here, we’ve uncovered four ways with which you sort all the media-transfer-related activities almost seamlessly. Although the guide is uncomplicated enough for everyone to digest, you can always comment down below if you find yourself struggling at any point in time.

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