Fix: MacBook Not Importing Photos From iPhone

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If you want to view your iPhone photos on a bigger screen, you can import them to your Mac. In this manner, you can also free up some space on your phone. Unfortunately, the photo transfer process may sometimes fail to launch. Well, you can use the solutions below to fix this problem.

Fix: MacBook Stopped Importing Photos From iPhone

Quick Fixes

  • Unlock your iPhone before you connect it to your Mac. Make sure the phone remains unlocked while exporting the photos.
  • When prompted to confirm you trust the device you’re exporting the photos to, tap Trust.
  • Install the latest iOS and macOS updates on your devices. Don’t forget to update iTunes as well.
  • Disconnect your iPhone from your Mac, close iTunes, and restart your devices. Then reconnect the phone to your computer and try again.
  • Exit third-party file storage services as they might interfere with Photos, iTunes, and iCloud. For example, if you use Dropbox, quit the app, reconnect your iPhone to your Mac, and try again.

Reset Location and Privacy Settings

Many users who couldn’t transfer their photos from iPhone to Mac confirmed they solved the problem by resetting their Location & Privacy settings.

  1. On your iPhone, navigate to Settings.
  2. Then tap General and select Reset.
  3. Go to Reset Location & Privacy and tap the Reset Settings button.Reset Location and Privacy iphone
  4. After that, connect your iPhone to your MacBook and try to import the photos again.

Disable iCloud Photo Library

  1. Navigate to iPhone Settings, select iCloud, and then Photos.
  2. Check if the iCloud Photo Library option is enabled.
  3. Additionally, check if the Optimize Storage option is turned on as well.Optimize Storage iCloud Photos iphone
  4. If this option is active, disable it and wait until your iPhone has finished downloading the photos from iCloud.
  5. You can then disable the iCloud Photo Library and import your photos to your MacBook.

Use Image Capture

Image Capture is a very handy tool that lets you transfer photos from your iPhone directly to Photos or download them on your desktop. Of course, this is not a solution per se, it’s a workaround that you can use if you’re in a hurry and don’t have the time to troubleshoot the problem.

We already published an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide on how to use Image Capture on Mac to import iPhone photos. Basically, what you need to do is this:

  1. Restart your iPhone and Mac.
  2. Launch Photos on your Mac and select iPhone under Import.
    • At this point, don’t open Photos on your iPhone.
  3. Now, unlock your phone and turn off Auto-lock.
  4. Launch Image Capture, and select your iPhone.
  5. Then, return to Photos and hit Import all.

Repair Your Library

A number of users confirmed they solved this issue by repairing their library.

  1. Quit Photos on Mac. Then launch the app again and immediately press the Command + Option keys.
  2. The Repair Library prompt should quickly pop on the screen informing you that you are about to repair the Photos Photos library mac
  3. Select the Repair option to launch the process.

Repair Home Folder Permissions

Other users magically fixed this problem by repairing the Home Folder permissions. As a quick reminder, that’s the place where your Mac stores your desktop files, downloads, photos, and other multimedia files.

  1. Press Command + R to enter Recovery Mode.
  2. Go to Utilities and select Terminal.
  3. Then type the repairHomePermissions command. Hit the Return key.
  4. Select your admin account and enter your password. Hit Next.
  5. Wait until the process has completed and hit Exit.
  6. Restart in Normal mode.


Transferring your photos from your iPhone to your Mac should be an easy task. But the process may sometimes fail to launch. To fix the issue, reset your iPhone’s Location and Privacy settings, disable the iCloud Photo Library, repair your Mac’s Photo Library or use Image Capture. Hit the comments below and let us know which method worked for you.

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