How to Download Photos From a Canon Camera to My Computer

By Nick Peers

Learn how to connect your Canon digital camera to your Windows computer and how to transfer the photos to a folder on your hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • USB interface cable

Transfer the photos from your Canon digital camera -- such as the Canon Rebel, Canon EOS 600D or Canon IXUS 70 -- to your Windows computer by using the USB cable you received with the camera. Windows recognizes the camera automatically after you connect it and installs the appropriate drivers automatically. In most cases, you don't need to install the drivers or software from the CD that came with your camera to download the photos.

Step 1

Connect the Canon digital camera to the computer by using the USB cable that came with the device. Insert the small end of the cable into the USB port on the camera and the large end into a free USB port on your computer. Windows automatically installs the drivers for the camera.


Avoid connecting the digital camera to a USB hub, as these devices may cause unexpected errors.

Step 2

Click Tap to choose what happens with this device in the upper-right corner of the screen after the drivers are successfully installed. A list of actions displays.

Windows and Canon 600D

Step 3

Scroll down and click Open device to view files to display the contents of the Canon camera in File Explorer.

To open File Explorer manually, click Take No Action.


To automatically import photos from the camera into the Photo Gallery app, click Import photos and videos. However, if the Photo Gallery app malfunctions, you may encounter problems when importing the images.

Step 4

Open the SD folder and then open the DCIM folder. Finally, to view the photos, open the 100CANON folder.

File Explorer

Step 5

Select the images you want to transfer to the computer.


To select several photos, hold Ctrl and click each file. To select everything in the folder, including sub-folders, press Ctrl-A.

Right-click the image file or one of the selected files and select Copy from the context menu to copy the file(s) to the clipboard.

You can delete images by selecting Delete instead of Copy.


By default, Canon digital cameras store images as JPEG or JPG files. DSLR cameras may save photos in raw image format -- with a CR2 or CRW extension. You can use image editing software to convert raw image format files to JPEG or PNG images.

Step 6

Select a folder on your hard drive, right-click on an empty spot in the right pane and select Paste from the context menu to transfer the photos from the clipboard to the selected folder.

Windows shows an error if you don't have enough free disk space.


You can delete the images from the camera after you transfer them to your computer. Don't forget to verify the downloaded images after the transfer is complete before deleting them from the camera.

If you have a built-in or external microSD card reader, you can use it to transfer the photos to your computer. Remove the SD card from the camera and plug it into the card reader. You can access the contents of the memory card from File Explorer.


Do not disconnect the camera from the computer while the transfer is in progress. You may damage some of the files.

Do not use the memory card or digital camera if you accidentally delete some photos and want to recover them. Recovering deleted photos is possible if you take action immediately.