How to Download Pictures From a Phone to a MacBook Pro

by Ashley Poland
The MacBook Pro and iOS devices are naturally built to work together.

The MacBook Pro and iOS devices are naturally built to work together.

The best method for syncing your phone photos to your MacBook Pro depends on what sort of phone you have and how you want to manage your photos. If you have an iPhone you can sync easily using iCloud or iPhoto. If you use an Android phone you can't use iCloud, but you can get similar functionality by installing Dropbox on your phone and your Mac. With Dropbox photos are automatically synced to your account to be accessed on any computer linked to your account. To download photos manually via USB you can use the Picasa software to manage photos from an Android phone on your Mac.

iCloud

1

Install iCloud on your Mac if you don't have it. You must be running at least 10.7.4 to use iCloud, although Apple recommends 10.8 for the best experience.

2

Open the System Preferences window and choose "iCloud." Make sure to use the same Apple ID on your computer that you're using on your iPhone.

3

Select which items you want to sync to your Mac. Photos are just one of the items you can sync; you can also sync your email, contacts, notes and calendar events.

4

Open "Settings" on your iPhone and select "iCloud." Sign in with your Apple ID. Once you've signed in you can open iCloud from the Settings page. Choose "Photo Stream" as one of the items synced to keep your photos synced from your iPhone to your Mac.

Dropbox

1

Install Dropbox on your MacBook Pro. Once the program is installed, run it and log in using your Dropbox account. You can also create an account during setup. The basic Dropbox account is free and offers 2GB of storage.

2

Install the Dropbox app on your phone. It's free and available in the Google Play Store on Android devices. Open the application to log in using your Dropbox account.

3

Click "Enable" when prompted to enable Camera Upload. You'll also be asked if you want to upload photos you've already taken and if you want to allow photo uploads via cellular data. Once Dropbox is set up, the app will automatically upload photos when it is running. Those photos will be added to the "Camera Uploads" sub-directory in the "Dropbox" folder on your Mac.

iPhoto

1

Plug your iPhone into your computer via USB. iPhoto should open automatically onto the "Import" screen. If it doesn't, open iPhoto manually and select your iPhone from the "Devices" section of the sidebar.

2

Choose the images that you want to download to your computer. iPhoto can also import videos stored on your phone. Click "Import Selected" when you're ready. If you want to download all of the photos, click "Import All."

3

Decide if you want to delete the photos from your device; when iPhoto is done importing, you'll be prompted to either delete or save the original photos.

Picasa

1

Download Picasa for OS X. Picasa is available for free from Google and includes the tools to import photos, edit them and even upload them to Google Plus.

2

Open Picasa and connect your phone to the computer via USB. Depending on your phone and settings, you may need to set your phone to connect via mass storage.

3

Click "Import" to download photos to your computer. Select the photos you want to download and then click "Import Selected." If you want to download all your pictures, click "Import All."

Tip

  • check OS X offers several other tools for syncing photos and other data with your iPhone, such as Image Capture and iTunes.

About the Author

Ashley Poland has been writing since 2009. She has worked with local online businesses, supplying print and web content, and pursues an active interest in the computer, technology and gaming industries. In addition to content writing, Poland is also a fiction writer. She studied creative writing at Kansas State University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images