What to do when Photos (iPhotos) doesn’t show all your photos for import


Today, I wanted to add my husband’s photos to my Photos library on my iMac. I plugged in his iPhone and accepted the trust notifications. However, to my surprise, only a few photos showed up to import into my Photos library. So, I opened the application ImageCapture, and again only a few images appeared.

This was confusing because, on his phone, I could see thousands of photos. Hmmm…strange. I have an easy solution if you’re running into this same issue!

Why isn’t Photos or ImageCapture recognizing his iPhone’s photos?

The short answer is that his photos are stored on his iCloud account, not physically on his iPhone. Both Photos and ImageCapture applications are set up to transfer local photos. So, even though while looking at photos on his phone, we can see thousands of images, only a few are physically taking up storage space on his iPhone.

So, how do I get local copies of these photos and videos onto my computer?

This part was pretty easy. I logged into his iCloud account and selected 1,000 photo and video files simultaneously to download. The 1,000 files were downloaded as a single zip file to my desktop. Then in Photos, I chose File > Import and selected the folder. When prompted, I chose not to import duplicate photos.

Is there another way to import the images not using iCloud?

Yes. I read an article by FoneDog about changing the iPhone settings to stop syncing with iCloud. In this case, the image and video files would be physically saved to your phone, and then you could use Photos and ImageCapture to move them to your computer.

Hope you found this article useful for saving photos to your iMac Photos app from an iPhone using iCloud, especially when you plugin in your phone and there are no photos available for import.

If you’re working in Apple Photos, you may want to confirm the file name of your current Apple photo library, or you may want to learn this simple trick for removing duplicates or permanently deleting images that you select from albums.

I’ve also answered the question of how to best download images from your Mac Messenger App.

Happy Productivity!

About the author

Kelly Barkhurst

Designer to Fullstack is my place to geek out and share tech solutions from my day-to-day as a graphic designer, programmer, and business owner (portfolio). I also write on Arts and Bricks, a parenting blog and decal shop that embraces my family’s love of Art and LEGO bricks!

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By Kelly Barkhurst

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