How to Copy Photos to an iPhone

By Andrew Aarons

You can sync all kinds of things to your iPhone, from music and videos that are stored in your iTunes library to games and applications that you downloaded to your PC. The sync function also manages photos, but differently than it does your music and videos. Photos don't appear in your iTunes library, although the application is used to add them to your phone.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone USB data cable

Step 1

Sort your photos. The iPhone is capable of viewing all of your pictures after you sync them to the device, but it can't read your mind or scan your computer for the pictures you want to load. That bit is up to you. Sift through your photos to find the ones you want to load onto the iPhone, and then put all those files into a single folder. If you have your pictures sorted already, in My Pictures or otherwise, you are ready to proceed. Subfolders are fine; they can be read by iTunes, but you can't select individual photos. Organize your pictures accordingly, with all the photos you want on your iPhone stored in a single folder.

Step 2

Connect your iPhone to your computer using the USB data cable. Depending on your configuration, iTunes should open automatically. If not, open iTunes. On the left-hand pane, locate your iPhone in the devices list, then click on it. Look along the top of the window for different tabs, each controlling different objects on your iPhone. You'll see a few options here, including "Photos."

Step 3

Click the "Photos" tab. Then click on the check box beside "Sync photos from..." to access the options for syncing photos to your iPhone. You can choose to sync directly from My Pictures on a PC or from a folder of your choice. Select the folder you created in Step 1. Now choose between all folders in that directory or selected folders. The advantage to "selected folders" is that you can specify a folder with only a few pictures. Selecting "All folders" copies every picture in your chosen root directory to the iPhone, which might cause storage problems if you have a lot of pictures. Select a subfolder from the list, and confirm "Include full-resolution photos" is not checked.

Step 4

Click "Apply" to copy the photos from the selected folder to your iPhone. The iTunes software automatically resizes the photos for your iPhone, which cuts down on file sizes and allows you to keep the internal storage free for other things, such as videos, music and applications. When the sync is complete, eject your iPhone, and view the photos by tapping the "Photos" button on the home screen. Plug your iPhone back in to your PC and uncheck "Sync photos from" to delete photos stored on the device.