How to Transfer Photos from iPhone to Flash Drive

You can use your Mac or Windows PC to transfer the photos between your iPhone and flash drive with a lightning-to-USB cable. You can also use an adapter to connect your flash drive directly to your iPhone. iCloud and AirDrop are also viable alternatives.

Hi, I’m Devansh. Since I take so many photos on my iPhone, I like to offload them to a flash drive to free up storage space. In this article, I’ll show you many secure and reliable ways to transfer photos from your iPhone to a flash drive.

Keep reading if you want to transfer photos from your iPhone to a flash drive!

Top 3 Methods to Transfer Photos Directly

Let’s discuss three ways to transfer photos directly from your iPhone to a flash drive, using your Mac, Windows PC, or an adapter.

Method #1: On a Mac

The Photos app is the best way to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac. Here are the steps to use it.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a lightning-to-USB cable and open the Photos app.

Step 2: Click on your iPhone in the sidebar.

Step 3: Unlock your iPhone, and if a prompt appears asking if you ‘Trust This Computer,’ tap Trust.

Step 4: You can click Import All New Photos or select specific ones and click Import Selected.

Once the photos are on your Mac, you can easily transfer them to your flash drive. Just plug your flash drive into your Mac and open it in Finder. In another Finder window, locate the pictures and copy them over to your flash drive.

If you have a scanner and want to import images captured with a film camera, you can use the Image Capture app on your Mac to do this instead. Check this Support page for more info.

Method #2: On a PC

If you’re using a Windows PC, you also have two options: Windows Photos and Windows Explorer. Let’s start with the Windows Photos app.

Step 1: Unlock your iPhone and connect it to your Windows PC with a lightning-to-USB cable.

Step 2: Click the Start button and click on Photos.

Step 3: On the top-right corner, click Import and From a connected device.

Step 4: Select your iPhone from the list, select the pictures you want to import and click Import selected. You can click on Import settings to change the destination to your flash drive.

Alternatively, open This PC, go to Devices and Drives, and click on your iPhone. From here, click on Internal Storage and DCIM. Preview your iPhone photos and transfer the ones you want! Once the images are on your PC, you can transfer them to a flash drive.

Method #3: Using an Adapter

If you have a lightning-to-USB camera adapter (or a USB 3 variant), you can connect your flash drive to your iPhone and transfer the photos without a Mac or Windows PC.

First, ensure that your iPhone is updated to iOS 13 or above. Connect the flash drive to your iPhone using the adapter. Open Photos and select the photos you want to transfer. Tap the Share icon, scroll down to Save to Files, select your flash drive, and tap Save.

If you want to skip using the adapter, you can purchase an MFi-certified flash drive that can connect directly to your iPhone, like the Sandisk iXpand. This is optional.

If You Want to Transfer Photos Wirelessly

Don’t have a cable or adapter with you? If you don’t mind waiting a bit extra, you can use iCloud. You get 5GB of storage space with a free account, which can hold approximately 3500 photos.

To sync photos on your iPhone with iCloud, open Settings and tap on your account name. Tap on iCloud, Photos, and toggle on Sync this iPhone.

Synced your photos with iCloud? Next, on your Mac or Windows PC, go to the iCloud website and sign in with your Apple ID. Click on the Photos app icon on the website, download the photos you want, and transfer them to your flash drive.

I mentioned iCloud here since you’re using an iPhone, but you can also opt for Google Drive, OneDrive, or Dropbox instead. If you want to skip cloud storage, you can also use AirDrop and transfer the photos directly from your iPhone to your iMac or MacBook.


Here are some common questions regarding transferring photos from your iPhone to a flash drive.

Which File System is Optimal For Storing Photos on Flash Drive?

Most flash drives use the Fat32 file system. It offers a wide range of compatibility (both Mac and Windows) and is generally reliable. But it falls short with large file transfers. If you want to learn more about different types of file systems, check out this article.

How to Take Photos on Your iPhone in Compatible File Formats?

On your iPhone, open the Settings app, go to Camera, and Formats. Here, enable Most Compatible. Now, your iPhone will store photos and videos in more widely compatible formats like JPEG and H.264! This makes sharing your content much easier and hassle-free.


There are many ways to transfer photos from your iPhone to a flash drive. You can use a lightning-to-USB cable with your Mac or Windows PC. You can opt for an adapter if you don’t want to use your computer. You can also do it using iCloud or AirDrop.

Whether to free up storage space on your iPhone or to share photos with friends and family, knowing how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a flash drive can be helpful. Hopefully, the above methods worked for you!

Which is your preferred method for transferring photos from your iPhone to a flash drive? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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