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[2021] How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive in 5 Effective Ways?

"Hello all, I have photos on my iPhone that I want to transfer to an external drive. I know I'll have to go through my MacBook for this, but is there an easier way to accomplish this other than importing, exporting, and deleting the pictures from the Photos app? Thank you."

- Zoebe

Like What Zoebe had experienced, your iPhone may have less storage left when you store thousands of large images on it. If you want to move them but never know how to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive, you will have two choices - either do it with a computer or without. Well, this post covers both. Let's get started to learn how to do it with 5 simple solutions.


Part 1. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive Selectively Using Coolmuster iOS Assistant (Easiest)
Part 2. How to Move Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Mac via Image Capture
Part 3. How to Export Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Windows/Mac with the Photos App (Limited Versions)
Part 4. How to Store iPhone Photos on External Hard Drive via iCloud (Limited Versions)
Part 5. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive without Computer Directly?

Part 1. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive Selectively Using Coolmuster iOS Assistant (Easiest)

Wish to transfer all or just several photos from your iPhone to an external hard drive in one click? If the answer is yes, you can choose Coolmuster iOS Assistant.

Unlike manual transfer, Coolmuster iOS Assistant automatically scans the iPhone images and shows the thumbnail pictures on the interface. You can preview the pictures, select the ones you want, and export them onto the external hard drive directly. If you wish to back up all photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive, you can do it with one click.

Also, it supports various iPhone photo formats, like JPG, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, PEG, etc. Here you can check the key features of Coolmuster iOS Assistant.

Key features:

* Selectively preview and copy photos from iPhone to external hard drive.

* One-click to back up all photos and photo albums from your iPhone to the external hard drive.

* Support multiple photo formats, such as JPG, PNG, PEG, JPEG, GIF, BMP, etc.

* It also allows you to export contacts, messages, music, and other files from your iPhone/iPad/iPod to your computer/default iTunes backup location/external hard drive, and import books, iTunes backups, etc., from your computer to an iDevice.

* Back up and restore iPhone data on a computer.

* Highly secure, easy, and user-friendly app.

* Work well with all iPhone models running iOS 5 to iOS 14 or higher, including iPhone 12 Pro Max/12 Pro/12/12 mini/SE/11 Pro Max/11 Pro/11/XS Max/XS/XR/X/8/8 Plus/7 Plus/7/6S Plus/6S/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5/4S/4, etc.

install coolmuster ios assistant on a windows pcinstall coolmuster ios assistant on a mac

Let's check how to back up iPhone photos to an external hard drive in one click.

1. Install Coolmuster iOS Assistant on your computer.

Download and install this program on your computer. Next, launch it, and you will see the interface below.

install coolmuster ios assistant on your computer

2. Plug your iPhone and the external hard drive into the computer.

Connect your iPhone to the computer using a suitable USB cable, tap Trust on your iPhone, and click Continue on the software to move on. After that, insert the external hard drive into the computer's USB slot.

connect your iphone and the external hard drive to the computer

3. Import iPhone photos to the external hard drive.

Once successfully connected, click Photos from the left panel, preview & tick the desired photos, and hit the Export button on the top menu. Finally, choose the external hard drive from the pop-up window to save them to it.

how to transfer photos from iphone to external hard drive in one click

Further reading:

How to Transfer Music from iPhone to Computer Effectively? (4 Tips)

How to Transfer Photos from Android to iPad in 4 Simple Ways? (Updated)

Part 2. How to Move Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Mac via Image Capture

If you are a Mac user, you can connect the two devices to your Mac and transfer photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive with the Image Capture for free.

How to import photos from iPhone to an external hard drive via Image Capture?

1. Plug the external hard drive and your iPhone into your Mac. You can use a USB cable to connect your iPhone with the computer.

2. Open the Image Capture app on your Mac if it doesn't launch automatically.

3. Click your iPhone under Devices > press Import to > choose the external hard drive from the list to store photos > tap Import All or choose the wanted photos and click Import to import iPhone photos to the external hard drive.

how to transfer photos from iphone to external hard drive with image capture

Note: The transferred photos will not include the albums and My Photo Stream photos since they are not shown or accessible.

Part 3. How to Export Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive on a Windows/Mac with the Photos App (Limited Versions)

On Windows 10/8 and macOS X 10.10.3 or newer versions, there is a Photos app for you to transfer or manage the iPhone photos. If you don't want to install any apps, you can pick this way.

How to transfer pictures from iPhone to an external hard drive on Windows?

1. Ensure that you have installed the latest version of iTunes on your computer. Then, plug your iPhone into your Windows 10 or Windows 8 using a USB cable, and the computer will recognize it as a USB device. Also, connect the external hard drive to the computer.

2. Click Start at the computer's lower-left corner > Photos > Import > From a USB device > choose the wanted photos to transfer from the pop-up window.

how to transfer photos from iphone to external hard drive with windows photos app

3. Click Import settings > Change the import destination > choose a folder on your external hard drive to save photos > hit Done. Finally, tap Import Selected to start moving iPhone photos to the external hard drive.

How to save iPhone photos to an external hard drive on Mac?

1. Connect your iPhone and the hard drive to your Mac.

2. Launch the Photos app on your Mac, head to Devices, and choose your iPhone.

3. Click the option Import to > define the external hard drive as the storage location > tap the Import All New Photos option or tick the photos you wish to send and tap the option Import ... Selected.

how to transfer photos from iphone to external hard drive via photos app on mac

Part 4. How to Store iPhone Photos on External Hard Drive via iCloud (Limited Versions)

You may have regularly synced photos to the iCloud. If so, you can also migrate iPhone photos to the external hard drive using iCloud Drive. However, this way is not always recommended, for it will take longer to sync or download the large photos.

The following tips show you how to move iPhone photos to an external hard drive via iCloud.

1. Check if you have enabled iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone. You can navigate to iPhone's Settings > iCloud > Photos to have a look and turn it on.

2. Visit iCloud.com on your computer and sign in with the same Apple ID you use on your iPhone.

how to transfer photos from iphone to external hard drive via icloud

3. Click Photos, choose the photos you like, and click Download selected items at the upper-right corner. After that, wait for a while until all the photos are finished downloading.

4. Link the external hard drive to your computer, double-click it, and copy & paste the saved photos from the computer to the external hard drive.

Part 5. How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to External Hard Drive without Computer Directly?

Sometimes, you don't have a computer at hand. At this moment, you can transfer photos from your iPhone to the external hard drive directly, which free you from using a computer. Let's see how it works.

How to download photos from iPhone to an external hard drive directly?

1. Connect your iPhone with the external hard drive via a USB-type C cable or an adapter.

2. Go to iPhone's Files app, and tap Browse to see if you have successfully attached the external hard drive. Afterward, run the Photos app, click the images you want to copy, and press the Share option.

3. Tap Save to Files > On My iPhone and choose the external hard drive. This will easily transfer photos from iPhone to the external hard drive without a computer.

how to transfer photos from iphone to external hard drive directly

The Bottom Line

How to transfer photos from iPhone to an external hard drive? Now you know five simple ways. To flexibly make the transfer, you can choose Coolmuster iOS Assistant. This smart app is easy, safe, and user-friendly to use. In contrast, the Photos app and iCloud limit the device versions. Image Capture does not transfer all photos, and the direct way may not work with all device types.

If you need technical support when syncing, please tell us in the comments anytime. Our support team will assist you.

Related Articles:

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How to Transfer Photos from Android Phone to USB Flash Drive [3 Ways]

How to Transfer Videos/Photos between Huawei and Computer?

How to Transfer Music from iPod to iPod [Must Read]

How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac (9 Proven Ways)

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