How to Transfer Photos From a Camera to a PC

By Kat Stafford

Photos capture our most precious memories in a permanent, portable way. But, unless photographs are printed or uploaded to a computer, they are not easily shared or stored. Digital cameras offer the ability to take a nearly unlimited amount of pictures, but the images must be transferred to a computer or external hard drive regularly to free space on memory cards. Transferring photos is an easy task with the USB cord that came in the box with your camera.

Things You'll Need

  • USB cord: male M 4 pin to USB type A
  • Digital camera
  • PC with Windows 95 or later

Step 1

Locate the USB output port on your camera. It is small, square and likely located on either the side of the camera or near the battery. It is sometimes covered with a plastic flap. Sometimes it is marked with the USB symbol.

Step 2

Plug the small end of the USB cord into the camera's USB port.

Step 3

Plug the large end of the USB cord into one of your PC's USB ports. Your computer will then use plug and play technology to install the necessary drivers for you to see your pictures. You will see a message near your system clock declaring "your device is ready to use" when your camera is installed.

Step 4

Click "Start" and then "Computer" or "My Computer." You should see a list of available drives on your computer. Look for the one with the brand name of your camera.

Step 5

Double-click the drive that appears from your camera. It is likely marked as "F:" or "G:" and followed by your camera's brand name.

Step 6

Click the folder that says "DCIM." You should then see your pictures. If not, you will see multiple folders, each of which contain some of your pictures.

Step 7

Press "Ctrl + A." This will select all of the pictures in the DCIM folder.

Step 8

Click "Ctrl+C." This will copy your pictures to the clipboard.

Step 9

Navigate to the folder where you want to store your pictures. To find your "My Pictures" folder, close the current window, click "Start," then "My Documents" and "My Pictures."

Step 10

Press "Ctrl+V." This will paste your pictures into the folder you selected. They are now transferred to your PC.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your computer has a card reader that is compatible with your camera's memory card, you can insert the memory card into the reader, then follow the steps for transferring your pictures to your PC.
  • If your camera is a film camera rather than digital, you can have your photo processor make a CD containing your photos, which you can then transfer to your PC.
  • The vast majority of cameras on the market use the USB cord described in this article. If yours uses a different cord, it will be included in the camera's original packaging.