Mac Photos Preparing to Import from iPhone Taking Forever? 7 Fixes


Since iPhone and Mac are Apple products, we expect data transfer to be smooth and seamless. But, it is not the case. And issues like 'preparing to import from iPhone' are likely to occur. Normally, you may face this error when sharing pictures from an iPhone. Even though it can disappear on its own, you may encounter it occasionally. So, a better option is to resolve it. This guide has the most effective ways to fix Mac stuck on preparing to import photos.


Part 1. Why Preparing to Import from iPhone Taking Forever

While transferring pictures from iPhone to a Mac computer, you may get a 'preparing to import from iPhone' message that can persist. Here are the reasons:

1. Connection issues

Usually, connection issues arise when a Mac computer cannot detect your iPhone, meaning that the procedure of importing the pictures can't continue. There could be various underlying reasons why your Mac cannot recognize your iPhone. For instance, the iPhone device hasn't trusted the Mac, the USB you are using has problems, the port isn't working properly, or the computer cannot update iPhone drivers.

2. The iCloud Photo Library is enabled

If the photo library in iCloud is turned on, it implies that the synced pictures need a strong and stable internet connection which may slow down the transfer process. Besides, it implies you are trying to migrate photos to iCloud instead of iPhone.

3. Software update issues

If your phone or computer runs on outdated versions, it can lead to such errors. This is mainly because the devices aren't functioning as they should, which may lead to compatibility issues. Updating the iOS and MacOS may be a better way to close those loopholes that result in errors like photos preparing to import from iPhone.

4. Importing multiple pictures at once

Transferring many pictures at once will undoubtedly make the transfer process to be longer. While moving pictures, more time is needed, and you may get stuck on the error message 'Preparing to import from iPhone'. Moreover, the transfer method you choose may also cause delays. The procedure will be slow if you use Bluetooth to transfer your pictures.

These are just some of the many reasons you may encounter preparing to import from iPhone for too long. However, in the next section, you will learn how to fix it.

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Part 2. How to Fix Preparing to Import from iPhone Taking Forever

If you are moving pictures from an iPhone to Mac, you may encounter preparing to import from iPhone too long, this disturbing error. Luckily, we have what you have just been looking for: the best fixes to solve the problem. Let's look into each one of them in detail.

Fix 1. Disable iCloud Photos Sync

Switching off the iCloud Photos feature will prevent interference while moving your photos. Any procedure for syncing pictures with a stronger internet connection is stopped. Here are steps to disable iCloud sync:

Step 1. Click on your iPhone's Settings app to get to the settings page. Click on the Apple ID and proceed to the Photos option.

Step 2. Now toggle off the iCloud Photos feature. Doing this will halt syncing of the iCloud Photos.

turn off icloud photos sync to fix preparing to import from iphone

Fix 2. Restart iPhone and Mac

A simple restart is known to clear the device's memory and fix the glitches available in the memory. Moreover, it clears any caches, programs, or logs, preventing it from operating as expected.

It is very simple to restart a Mac computer since they are all of the same make. But, since iPhones come in different models, each model uses a different reboot step.

Restarting Mac:

To reboot a Mac computer, choose the Apple Menu option, tap Restart, and wait as it turns off and on its own.

restart mac to fix preparing to import from iphone taking forever

Restarting iPhone:

iPhone 8 and newer models:

  • Press the Volume Up button and release it.
  • Press the Volume Down button and release it.
  • Press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • Release the Side button.

fix photos preparing to import from iphone issues via restarting the iphone

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Side button simultaneously.
  • Keep holding both buttons until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • Release both buttons when the Apple logo appears.

iPhone 6 or earlier models:

  • Press and hold the Home button and the Side button at the same time.
  • Keep holding both buttons until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • Release both buttons when the Apple logo is displayed.

restart iphone if photo stuck on preparing to import

Further Reading:

How to Fix the iPhone Transferring Data Stuck Issue Effortlessly? 14 Quick Tricks Here

How to Transfer Videos from Mac to iPhone with 5 Methods

Fix 3. Reset Your Location & Privacy

If you are stuck on preparing to import from iPhone error, it could be due to a connection error. Sometimes, connection errors happen because of the location and privacy settings. So, resetting them can help solve the problem. Here is what to do:

Step 1. Head to Settings, then to General, and choose Transfer/Reset iPhone.

Step 2. Choose the Reset Location & Privacy option, and that's it.

reset location and privacy to fix mac stuck on preparing to import photos

The issue should be resolved. If not, try the next fix.

Fix 4. Ensure your iPhone Has Trusted the Computer

Photos stuck on preparing to import from iPhone? Enabling the Trust function on your phone allows Mac to access all files available on the iPhone and move photos conveniently. If it is your first time connecting the iPhone to the Mac or you don't connect the two regularly, then you must check if the Trust function is enabled.

To confirm that, just link the iPhone to the Mac with a USB; if you see the Trust This Computer pop-up, you have not trusted the computer.

Simply tap on the Trust option on your iPhone, and you are good to go.

ensure your iphone have trusted your computer to fix preparing to import from iphone too long

Fix 5. Upload a Few of Your Photos to Mac At a Time

If you cannot import pictures from iPhone to Mac, there is a high chance you are uploading hundreds of them at once. So, a viable option is to choose only a fraction of the pictures to be imported to your Mac at a time to make the import task easier.

Learn More:

Top 11 Ways to Fix and Recover Photos Disappeared from iPhone after Update

How to Fix an iPhone Stuck on Loading Screen?

Fix 6. Reset Home Folder Permission

To fix photo stuck on preparing to import issue, try repairing the home folder permission, which might help you move the photos from an iPhone to a Mac computer. This operation isn't challenging at all. You just have to do this:

Step 1. Press the Command + R keys on your Mac keyboard to bring the Recovery mode. Then choose Terminal on your utility menu.

Step 2. Next, tap on the Return key, then enter repair Home Permission in the box. You can now enter your passcode to sign into your account. From there, tap Next.

Step 3. Once done, tap the Exit button, then reboot your Mac computer in normal mode.

Fix 7. Update iPhone and Mac

Undoubtedly, the operating systems are to blame here because an outdated system version will surely give you problems, such as Mac photos preparing to import from iPhone now and then.

To update your device's operating system, follow these steps:

Updating iPhone:

Step 1. Plug the iPhone into a power source if it doesn't have enough charge. Afterward, head to Settings and hit the General option.

Step 2. Now select Software Update and see if a new update is available for your iPhone. Click on Download and Install.

update iphone to repair stuck on preparing to import from iphone

Updating Mac:

Step 1. Select the System Preferences option for the Apple menu.

Step 2. Click on Software Update, then select Update Now.

Doing this will help update any available latest OS on your computer.

update mac to fix photos stuck on preparing to import from iphone

Also Read:

[Solved] iPhone Photos Not Showing Up on PC? Quick Solutions Here! (Windows & Mac)

How to Access iCloud Photos on Android [Easy & Fast]

Part 3. Avoid Stuck Issues by Using Coolmuster iOS Assistant to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac

Coolmuster iOS Assistant is a super software for importing photos from iPhone to a Mac computer. It can help you move all pictures from an iPhone to Mac in just a click. Additionally, it supports backing up your iPhone to a computer without restrictions.

Not just photos, but this software can import files such as contacts, messages, notes, and more to a Mac computer without much hassle. It streamlines the transfer processes no matter the number of photos you have on your iPhone. You can transfer all of them directly in minutes after preview. Moreover, there is no quality loss after transferring your pictures.

Key Features:

  • Back up files to the computer in just a click.
  • Transfer iPhone files after previewing and selecting.
  • Manage iOS data on PC.
  • Freely add, edit, and delete iOS files on a computer.
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac computers.

Here is how to use Coolmuster iOS Assistant and avoid the 'preparing to import from iPhone' issue:

01Download the right version of the iOS Assistant software on your Mac. Launch it and connect the iPhone using a USB cable. The software will recognize your iPhone, and a pop-up will appear on the Mac. Press Trust on the iPhone and hit Continue to proceed.

tap trust on ios assitant

02After recognizing the phone, you'll see all files displayed on the screen in different folders.

the interface of ios assitant

03Click on the Photos folder on the left panel, then preview more information on the right. While doing this, choose those pictures you wish to move to your Mac. After that, tap the Export button, select the file output format, and start the transfer procedure.

choose photos tap and tap export button to import photos from iPhone to mac quickly

To Conclude

Transferring pictures from an iPhone to Mac is always smooth, but sometimes the process can get stuck. From this guide, you know why it may happen and possible fixes. Even though these methods can help, we recommend using Coolmuster iOS Assistant to import your photos from iPhone to Mac and avoid photo stuck on preparing to import issues.

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