Although iTunes can upload media onto your iPhone and download mobile iTunes store purchases, it cannot retrieve pictures from the iPhone camera roll. However, you can access any image you captured with your iPhone using Windows Explorer. The file manager program is included in all releases of Microsoft Windows, and you can use it to browse the contents of any connected drive. This approach to retrieving your iPhone’s pictures is straightforward.
Connect your iPhone to your PC via the USB transfer cable.
Open the “Start” menu and select “Computer.” A Windows Explorer window lists your computer’s connected drives.
Double-click the listing for your connected iPhone under the “Portable Devices” section. Navigate to “Internal Storage” and “DCIM” to reach the parent folder for your stored iPhone photos. Depending on the iOS you are using, this folder will have an alphanumeric label such as “100APPLE,” "860OKMZO" or "965YOKDJ.”
Browse for your stored iPhone pictures in this directory. Delete unwanted images or copy any desired images to another storage location.
- ITunes does enable you to sync photos between your computer and your device, but this feature actually replaces the contents of your iPhone camera roll with images from a specific directory on your computer. It is not an import function that downloads pictures from your iPhone onto your computer.
- Windows Explorer makes it possible to view the pictures on your iPhone from any PC, but you should be careful when using it any on a computer that has iTunes installed. If you connect your iPhone to a system with an iTunes library, you may trigger an automatic sync that overwrites media stored on your device. To mitigate this risk, launch iTunes on the computer, click the “Edit” tab on the program menu and select “Preferences.” Click the “Devices” icon in the Preferences window and choose “Prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically.” Click “OK” and proceed with attaching your iPhone to the computer.
- Adam Berry/Getty Images News/Getty Images