How to Transfer Pictures From Camera to Computer Without Any Software

By Valerie David

Digital cameras often come with trial photo software to help you upload and manage your pictures on your computer. This software usually has limited options, unless you pay to upgrade to the full version. However, you do not need the software to move photos from your camera to your computer. You can move photos from your camera as if you are moving them from an external hard drive or flash drive.

Step 1

Connect one end of the USB cable to the port in your camera.

Step 2

Connect the other end of the USB cable to the USB port in your computer. This may be in the front or back of your CPU.

Step 3

Turn on the camera.

Step 4

A dialog box may appear on the screen. If it does, select "View Files" or "Open Folder." If the dialog does not appear, click the Windows "Start" menu, select "Computer" and then choose the drive labeled for your connected camera.

Step 5

The pictures are probably located in a particular photo folder on the camera. Open that folder. Drag individual photos from the folder to your desktop or some other folder on your computer. You can select all the photos by pressing "Ctrl-A" and you can then paste them into a folder on your computer by pressing "Ctrl-V."

Step 1

Remove the memory card from your camera. This is sometimes located in the side of the camera, secured with a small door. Sometimes the card is located in the battery compartment.

Step 2

Insert the card into an external card reader that is connected to your computer. Some computers have card readers built in. When you enter the card, your computer should open a dialog box. If it does, select "View Files" or "Open Folder." If the dialog does not appear, click the Windows "Start" menu, select "Computer" and then choose the drive labeled for your connected camera.

Step 3

The pictures are probably located in a particular photo folder on the camera. Open that folder. Drag individual photos from the folder to your desktop or some other folder on your computer. You can select all the photos by pressing "Ctrl-A" and you can then paste them into a folder on your computer by pressing "Ctrl-V."

Tips & Warnings

  • As you can see in the image for Step 9, you can also send individual images into the photo editing software of your choice. You're not forced to use the photo software that came with your camera.
  • Another option for getting photos from your camera to your computer is to use a memory card reader. This is generally an added expense, but makes it easy to just pop the memory card into the reader without having to use a USB connection--and thus preventing the drain on your camera battery.
  • Once you've uploaded your pictures, be sure to turn off your camera to save the battery. Leaving the camera plugged in to the computer can drain the battery quickly.
  • If you have an older camera or computer operating system, there's a chance the computer might not recognize your camera. If this is the case, you will need to go to the manufacturers website and download software for your camera.