How to Download Photos From a Canon Camera to My Computer

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You can use an usb connection to connect your camera to your computer.
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Moving photos from a Canon camera to a computer is simple using a variety of methods. Memory cards make for an easy direct-load option, but USB and Bluetooth both connect Canon cameras to computers and smart phones in seconds. Loading bulk photo files quickly eats up the hard drive memory space on a computer. Using a cloud-based account or an external memory device is ideal for saving memory on your computer.


Download Via Card

The memory card from your Canon camera stores the photo files, and many computers have a port for micro or normal-size memory chips. If the camera uses a full-size card but the computer only has a port for micro cards, adapters are available to make the connection. At this point, however, using a Bluetooth or USB connection serves the same purpose.

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To download photos from a card, insert the card into the port. The computer should read the new card and trigger a prompt to view the contents. If this doesn't happen, access your files and locate the card under the available drives. Click the card to access the file contents and double-click the DCIM folder to view the photos.


After opening the photo files, click Select All and then copy the photos. Next, navigate to the file on your computer or external hard drive where the photos will reside. Right-click and choose Paste to download the photos on the computer. After completing the download, the photos remain on the card. You can keep them on the card or delete them to open space for more photo files.

USB Connection

The USB option is convenient, and most computers have a compatible port available. Connect the USB end of a cable to the computer and the micro-USB end to the corresponding port on the camera. The port is often located behind a rubber grommet that protects against dust and water. Look for this grommet and peel it back to access the port.


After connecting both ends, a dialogue box opens with the contents of the camera. If this doesn't happen automatically, access the file system and select the USB drive connection. It may be labeled Canon Camera under the list of available drives. Select the drive and click DCIM to access the photo files.

After accessing the files, use the same copy and paste process to download the photos to a new folder on the computer. Wait until the files are fully loaded before exiting and removing the USB connection. You can also delete the files from the camera after the load is completed to free up space for more photography.


Bluetooth Download Options

Not all Canon cameras offer this option, but newer models often have a Bluetooth connection with Canon download pictures features. Bluetooth connects wirelessly to a smart phone through the Canon Connect app. The app is feature-rich and offers far more than just file transfer features. You can shoot remotely, add GPS information to photos, and use a live view on the camera to see the viewfinder in real time.

Transferring photos over Bluetooth is done using one of two methods. You can view the photos on the camera and select individual or batch photos to transfer, or you can select the automatic transfer option that immediately sends photos to your phone. Either method works well, but the instant transfer can quickly overload your phone when you have numerous photos.