All iPhone users know that the file system of this device cannot be directly accessed, as it is with Android or Windows. As a result, it will not be possible to manage all files inside the device, except for those that are allowed to access. This makes it harder to share files with other iOS users. However, you can easily and even in multiple ways transfer files between iPhone and Mac and receive files from iOS (iPadOS) to Mac.
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How to transfer files (documents, videos) from Mac to iPhone (iPad) via cable and vice versa
Until 2019, Apple offered to use the iTunes app as a standard file sharing and management tool for iOS devices on Mac and Windows. To transfer data, the application on the iPhone or iPad must support direct file sharing. Thus, using a USB to Lightning cable, you can transfer files between iPhone (iPad) and Mac with ease. In most cases, this is very useful when transferring large files, such as videos, directly to the player application (details).
However, this method will not be able to access all the directories visible in the Files application. On a Mac, you can only retrieve files from iPhone (iPad) applications that support USB data transfer. With the release of macOS Catalina, Apple stopped using it with iTunes. The functionality of the application, which is responsible for working with the iPhone (iPad), has been moved to the Finder file manager.
Here’s how to transfer files between iPhone (iPad) and Mac via cable.
1. Connect iPhone (iPad) to Mac via USB cable.
2. If you are using older versions of macOS (before macOS 10.15 Catalina), the connected device should be identified in the iTunes application on the Mac.
3. If you are using macOS Catalina or later, open the Finder… Find the connected device on the Side Panel and click on it.
In case the device is not displayed, go to Settings Finder and check the box next to CDs, DVDs, and iOS devices…
5. You can work with Music, Video, Movies, Audiobooks, Books, Files, etc. directly from that window.
6. Go to the tab “Files», Where you can find a list of supported applications.
7. If you want to transfer any file from your Mac to the Files app on your iPhone or iPad, you can copy it directly to the file system of any of the available apps.
8. The copied files can be found in the appropriate directory in the Files app on the iPhone (iPad).
9. In order to transfer files from iPhone (iPad) to Mac via USB cable, first copy the files to any folder of the application that supports data transfer via cable. And then just select the files you want and drag them to a folder on your Mac.
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How to copy (transfer) photos and videos from iPhone (iPad) to Mac via cable
You can use this easy method to transfer a large number of iPhone (iPad) photos and videos stored in the Photos app to your Mac.
1. Connect iPhone (iPad) to Mac using USB cable.
2. On Mac, open the stock application Capturing imageswhich is located in the folder Programs…
3. Select the connected device in the upper left corner of the program, specify the folder on the Mac where the data will be copied, select the photos and videos to import and click Download… In case you need to copy all photos and videos to Mac, click Load all…
If you need to delete photos and videos copied to Mac from iPhone (iPad), check the box next to Delete after import…
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How to copy (transfer) any files (including photos and videos) from iPhone (iPad) to Mac and vice versa using AirDrop (“over the air”)
AirDrop is Apple’s proprietary file sharing mechanism. AirDrop allows Apple devices to connect to each other and share files using both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections at the same time. This does not require the installation of additional applications. In fact, AirDrop is a built-in feature for sharing data across Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac.
Using AirDrop, you can easily get files from iOS to your Mac (and vice versa) over the air without an Internet connection.
How to AirDrop Files from iPhone or iPad to Mac
1. On a Mac, open the Finder app.
2. Go to the AirDrop section in the sidebar.
3. Set the parameter “Allow my discovery to everyone” instead of “For contacts only” at the bottom of the AirDrop window.
4. Open the app “Photo” or “Files” on iPhone or iPad.
5. Select the files, photos, videos you want to transfer and click the icon Share this…
6. Click on the AirDrop icon in the menu that opens Share this…
7. Find the Mac to which you want to transfer files in the list of available devices and click on it.
8. Click “To accept” at the Mac prompt that appears.
These steps will allow you to quickly get all the files you need from iOS to Mac via a wireless connection without any hassle with setup.
How to AirDrop Files from Mac to iPhone or iPad
1. Run “Control point” on iPhone or iPad.
2. Press and hold your finger on the wireless control box, turn on AirDrop and select “For all”…
3. On a Mac, right-click the file you want to send to iPhone (iPad).
4. Select Share this → AirDrop…
5. Select the desired iPhone (iPad) from the list, and then the file transfer will start.
6. On iPhone (iPad), tap To accept and select the app where you want to save the file to your device (when you send photos or videos from your Mac, they are automatically saved to the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad).
AirDrop is the best choice for transferring files between iPhone (iPad) and Mac, as there are no restrictions on file type or size, and everything can be done in literally a few taps.
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Third-party apps to transfer files between iPhone (iPad) and Mac
Getting files from iPhone or iPad to Mac using built-in functions is a breeze. However, sometimes file sharing can be limited due to the lack of some functions.
There are many third-party applications that can make the task of transferring photos and videos from iPhone (iPad) to Mac easier.
Some popular programs for transferring video and other data from iPhone (iPad) to Mac.
dr.fone – Phone Manager… This awesome tool can help you get iOS files on Mac in a few clicks. You can use the app to transfer videos, photos or files from iPhone to Mac and vice versa. Dr.fone requires an iPhone to be connected to a Mac using a Lightning data cable.
Waltr is one of the iTunes substitutes available for Mac or Windows computer. The application can magically convert all movable media, including photos and videos, and easily transfer them from Mac to iPhone (iPad). Unlike iTunes Sharing, Waltr does not share videos with specific supported apps like VLC for example. Instead, you can save them to your iPhone (iPad) Camera Roll if needed.
Xender… This application, which implements the exchange of files via Wi-Fi, is popular also on the Android platform, due to the ease of exchange and the ability to transfer multimedia between smartphones. But there is a version of Xender for iPhone, which makes it possible to send and receive files from other iOS, Android, Mac or Windows devices using a proprietary application.
There are many tools on the market to transfer files between iPhone and Mac. Most of them are free, and in some you have to pay for additional features.
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How to transfer files (photos, videos, documents) from iPhone or iPad to Mac (and vice versa) over the Internet
If the iPhone, iPad and Mac to which you want to transfer files are far away, and you cannot connect to them either via cable or via AirDrop, then the Internet is the only option. To transfer files from Mac to iPhone (iPad), or vice versa, you will have to use certain Internet services, including the cloud. Here are some of the best for transferring files between iPhone, iPad and Mac over the Internet.
Transferring files from iPhone (iPad) to Mac and vice versa doesn’t seem so difficult anymore. You can use these methods to get iOS files on Mac, it shouldn’t be difficult.