How To Copy Photos From Your Computer To An iPad or iPhone – Windows or Mac

A member of my iPad Master Class recently wrote to me. Here’s her message:

Trying move some pics to my iPad to make them portable. I’m having a
devil of a time. ARRRGH.

If you’re having similar trouble copying photos to your iPad or iPhone, this article will help. If you have a large number of pictures to transfer, the best approach is to connect your iPad to your computer and use the iTunes program. The steps to copy the photos to your iOS device are:

1. Connect your iPad or iPhone to your computer with the USB sync cable.
2. Find your connected device in iTunes.

I like to see my library and connected devices in the sidebar in iTunes on my computer. iTunes 11, the latest version of iTunes, doesn’t show this sidebar by default. You need to turn the Sidebar View ON.

3. Now that the sidebar is showing on the left side of the iTunes window, select your connected iPad or iPhone under Devices.

iTunes devices

4. Select the Photos tab (top – right) in the iTunes window.
5. Check the box next to Sync Photos from

iTunes sync photos

6. Choose the program or folder you want to sync the photos from.

iTunes 11 sync photos menu

On a Windows PC this will be set to My Pictures by default. If you don’t want to copy all the photos, I suggest you set up a photo folder on your computer just for the iPhone/iPad. Copy photos you want into this folder, then sync only this folder to your device.

7. Once you’ve made your selection, click the Apply button in the lower right. Then Sync.

About Andy Brovey

Dr. Andy Brovey, The Portable Prof, teaches about digital tools through his work, websites and social media. In 2007, Apple Inc. recognized his work and named him an Apple Distinguished Educator. He started this iPad Academy website shortly after the first iPad went on sale. On his Freelance Teaching site you'll find the resources you need to teach like a smart entrepreneur.