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How to Back Up Photos From iPhone to External Hard Drive

Back Up Photos From iPhone to External Hard Drive

For most of us, our iPhones are our cameras. They capture our lives in ways cameras never did because we almost always have our phones with us. All those pictures and videos are precious memories of times spent with our families, friends, and others. That’s why it’s so important to back up all those photos and videos. You know, just in case something happens to our device or if storage starts running out.

It’s amazing how quickly my 64 GB iPhone fills up with just the photos. Especially Live Photos. The best thing you can do for your photos is to enable cloud backup. I recommend using iCloud Photo Library – it’s built right in. If you’re looking for a completely free option – Google Photos is also an awesome alternative.

With iOS13+ and iPadOS, all our iDevices support external hard drives and flash drives. That means we can move files between our iDevices and our external drives as much as we want without a computer.

Apple even allows third-party apps to use those external drives directly, without needing an intermediary like the Files or Photos App.

How to Back Up Photos From iPhone to External Hard Drive

Step 1: Connect Your External Hard Drive To Your Mac and make sure it shows up in the Finder’s sidebar. Copy something to the hard drive from the desktop just to make sure it works. If it doesn’t then it might not be formatted to use with a Mac (most external hard drives aren’t). If that’s the case, you’ll need to first reformat the hard drive to FAT format.

Step 2: Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac using the USB Lightning cable.

Step 3: Launch Image Capture, to do this, search for “Image Capture” using Spotlight search (using Cmd + Space shortcut).

Step 4: After you launch it, find your iOS device in the left sidebar and click on it.

Step 5: You’ll see a list of all the photos on your iPhone or iPad right there.

You can either use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + A to select all or just individually check mark all the images you want to import.

Step 6: Select the folder the photos will be imported. Click the drop-down, and select “Other” to change default folder.

How to Back Up Photos From iPhone to External Hard Drive

Now select the folder in the external hard drive as a source.

How to Back Up Photos From iPhone to External Hard Drive

Step 7: Click the “Import” button and wait until the transfer is done. If the external hard drive is USB 2.0 spec, and you have a lot of photos, this could take more than just a couple of minutes.

More Reading: How to force-close buggy iPhone apps

Diekola Yusuf
Diekola Yusuf
Founder & CEO of Novabach - Yusuf is a Tech enthusiast. Fascinated by Computers and all sorts of Technology. He writes news, updates, walkthroughs, guides, troubleshooting tips, and how-to tutorials on gadgets and consumer electronics.
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