Useful Tips

How to save video from iPhone to computer or hard drive


There are third-party applications that allow you to transfer video to iOS devices and play their iPad and iPhone. One of the best free applications for these purposes, in my opinion, is VLC (the application is available in the Apple App Store

The main advantage of this and other such applications is the seamless playback of almost all popular video formats, including mkv, mp4 with codecs other than H.264 and others.

After installing the application, there are two ways to copy video files to the device: using iTunes (but already without format restrictions) or via Wi-Fi on the local network (i.e. both the computer and the phone or tablet must be connected to the same router for transfer )

Copy video to VLC using iTunes

  1. Connect your iPad or iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes.
  2. Select your device from the list, and then in the Settings section, select Programs.
  3. Scroll down the program page and select VLC.
  4. Drag and drop the video files into “VLC Documents” or click “Add Files”, select the files you need and wait for them to be copied to the device. After you finish copying, you can watch downloaded movies or other videos in the VLC player on your phone or tablet.

1. The first way - work with IPhoto

Download iPhoto from this link.

Connect your phone to the computer via a USB wire, IPhoto will automatically download.

In the left panel you will see your phone. By clicking on it you will see all your videos and photos on your phone.

We select the ones that we want to download to the computer and look for the “import selected” button in the upper panel, after which your videos will begin to be downloaded to the iPhoto program library.

Now your videos will be stored in the iPhoto library and you can easily transfer them to the hard drive or computer desktop from there.

TIP: Clean your iPhoto regularly. Keeping all your media in its place, the program takes away the memory of your computer. Transfer videos and photos saved from your phone to the cloud or hard drives for reliable storage.

2. The method using the program Image Capture

In the program section of your MAC, locate and run Image Capture. Connect your phone to the computer via the USB cable, the program will start automatically.

In Image Capture, specify the location to import photos. For example, the desktop or your hard drive.

If you want to not only copy your videos from your phone, but also to clean the memory, in the Options set “Delete objects from the camera after loading”

3. Cloud storage

I already wrote about the third method. It is enough to use cloud storage on your iphone and transfer video to a computer through them.

This is a very convenient way. It does not require connecting the phone to a computer. And you can do it from anywhere in the world! The only thing required is an internet connection.

Read more about this method here.


For Windows, there is also a way to save video from iphone.

We connect our iphone via the same USB cable to the computer.

Open the Computer folder and select your device.

Now you need to find the folder Internal Storage DCIM 100APPLE, in which all the media files are stored.

On Windows 7 and Vista, you will need to right-click on the button with your device and select “Import Images and Video”.

If we have Windows XP, after connecting the smartphone to the computer, the “Digital Camera Wizard” will start. Click “Next” and select the media files that we want to download from the phone.

Next, everything is as usual. You should specify the folder in which the videos will be saved.

Do you still find this difficult? Just remember why you are doing this!

Do not postpone due to imaginary difficulties the opportunity to preserve your valuable memories for many years!

ICloud Photo

Using iCloud Photos, you can access photos and videos on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV,, and even on a Windows computer. Your new snapshots are automatically added to iCloud Photos, and any organizational changes or edits are synced across all your devices *.

  1. Make sure the software on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV is up to date.
  2. Set up iCloud on all your devices. If you are using a Windows computer, download iCloud for Windows. Make sure all of your devices are signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID.
  3. Make sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.

To enable iCloud Photos, do the following:

  • On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, go to Settings> [your name]> iCloud> Photos and turn on iCloud Photos.
  • On a Mac, go to System Preferences> iCloud. Click the Options button next to Photos and select iCloud Photos.
  • On Apple TV, go to Settings> Accounts> iCloud> iCloud Photos.
  • On a Windows computer, follow the steps to set up iCloud Photos.

If you have already synced photos on your iOS device via iTunes, and then turned on the iCloud Photos function on it, the message “Photos and videos synced with iTunes will be deleted.” Photos and videos synchronized with the computer will remain on the computer, but will be deleted from the iOS device.

To copy these photos and videos back to your iOS device, turn on iCloud Photos on your Mac or Windows computer. After that, photos from your computer will be downloaded to iCloud, and you can open them on any of your devices. After turning on iCloud Photos, all photos are saved in iCloud, and they can be opened in the Photos program on a Mac computer or in a folder on a Windows computer.

You can also get additional iCloud Photo help information for your Mac or Windows computer.

* Photos and videos stored in iCloud Photos take up storage in iCloud. Before you enable iCloud Photos, make sure iCloud has enough space to store your entire collection. You can determine the required volume, and then go to the expanded tariff plan, if necessary.

Import to Mac

You can use the Photos app to import photos from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your Mac without using iCloud Photos. You can also use these steps to import images from digital cameras or SD cards.

  1. Make sure your Mac is using the latest version of iTunes. To import photos to a Mac, iTunes 12.5.1 or later is required.
  2. Connect your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or digital camera to your Mac using a USB cable. If you are using an SD card, insert it into the SD slot of your Mac or connect it using an SD card reader.
  3. This may require you to unlock your iOS device with a password. The iOS device may also display a “Trust this computer” warning. To continue, click Trust.
  4. On a Mac, Photos will open automatically. Otherwise, open the "Photo" program.
  5. In the “Photos” program, the “Import” screen opens, where all the photos and videos that are on the connected device are displayed. If the Import screen does not automatically open, click the Import tab at the top of the Photos application, or click the device name in the sidebar.
  6. To import part of the photo library, click the photos you want, then click "Import Selected." To import all new photos, click Import All New Photos.
  7. You can then disconnect the device from the Mac. If you imported photos from an SD card or other USB device, remove the device safely first.

On macOS High Sierra or later, imported photos appear in the Import album of the Photos program. If you are using an earlier version of macOS, you will find them in the Last Import album.

Photos and videos synced from your computer to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch using iTunes cannot be imported back to your computer.

Import to PC

You can import photos to a PC computer by connecting a device to it and using the Photos program in Windows:

  1. Make sure your Windows computer is using the latest version of iTunes. To import photos to a PC, iTunes 12.5.1 or later is required.
  2. Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your Windows computer using a USB cable.
  3. This may require you to unlock your iOS device with a password.
  4. The iOS device may also display a “Trust this computer” warning. To continue, click Trust or Allow.

Then, follow the steps in the following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles to import photos into Windows Photos:

After importing video from an iOS device to a PC, some videos may have the wrong orientation in Windows Photos. By adding these videos to iTunes, you can play them in the correct orientation.

If you have iCloud Photos enabled, you need to download the original full-size versions of your photos on your iPhone before importing them to your Windows computer. Learn how to do it.

Photos and videos synced from your computer to your iOS device via iTunes cannot be imported back to your computer.

Transfer photos from a computer to an iOS device

There are several ways to transfer photos and videos from your computer to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  • Use iCloud Photos and Photos for macOS or iCloud for Windows to securely store and sync photos on all your devices.
  • Use AirDrop to wirelessly send photos and videos from your Mac to your iOS device. This is a simple, fast, but Mac-only way to send multiple objects. When you send photos and videos to your iOS device via AirDrop, they are displayed in the Photos program on the device.
  • Sync photos manually using iTunes. Each time you sync your iOS device using iTunes, the photos and videos on this iOS device are updated according to the albums on your computer.

Additional Information

  • Back up all files, including photos and videos, to an external hard drive using Time Machine
  • Import photos and videos from a drive, such as a hard drive or SD card, into the Photos app for macOS
  • Import photos on film using a scanner and Image Capture
  • Transfer photos from an Android device to an iOS device using Move to iOS
  • Import images directly to a folder on a Mac using Image Capture

Information about products not manufactured by Apple or independent websites not controlled and tested by Apple is not advisory or advertised by the company. Apple is not responsible for the selection, functionality, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple is also not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of data posted on third-party websites. Remember that using any information or products posted on the Internet is risky. Contact your supplier for more information. Other company or product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Transfer video to iPhone or iPad over Wi-Fi in VLC

Note: for the method to work, both the computer and the iOS device must be connected to the same network.

  1. Launch the VLC app, open the menu and turn on “Access via WiFi”.
  2. An address will appear next to the switch, which should be entered in any browser on the computer.
  3. Opening this address, you will see a page where you can simply drag and drop files, or click on the “Plus” button and specify the desired video files. Once completed, the video can be viewed in the VLC on the device.

Note: I noticed that sometimes after downloading VLC does not display the downloaded video files in the playlist (although it takes up space on the device). I experimentally determined that this happens with long file names in Russian with punctuation marks - I did not reveal any clear patterns, but renaming the file to something “simpler” helps to solve the problem.

There are many other applications that work on the same principles, and if the VLC presented above did not suit you for some reason, I also recommend trying PlayerXtreme Media Player, also available for download in the Apple app store.

And suddenly it will be interesting:

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06/16/2017 at 15:29

Hello. Should I change the file extension? Will it be copied?

06/17/2017 at 08:44

If the codec is supported. Those. what is important is that it is “inside” the file and this is checked when copying: that is, for example, one .mp4 can be copied, and the other not.

06/17/2017 at 17:17

Forget iTunes. iTools is the solution to all problems. Do not consider it an advertisement I use and I recommend it to all Apple water.

12/09/2017 at 15:08

Hello! My way is using the nPlayer player. It seems to be paid, but it plays all the video files. And I never upload them to the ipad, there are many network protocols available in the Network tab: I use SMB / CIFS, but there are Webdav, FTP, DLNA, several cloud services. There are a lot of things there, it’s very convenient to control, there is post-processing (if, for example, the video is too dark, it’s easy to fix it), the choice of audio tracks, subtitles, sound and brightness adjustment by swipes on the screen on the right and left, respectively, etc. There were problems with dts codec in mkv, but I didn’t have to deal with them (I had to pay extra). For some reason, there are few reviews on this player network. Good luck everyone!

12/10/2017 at 06:38

Hello. Sometimes you still need to download: for example, when there is a long flight on an airplane (after this I just wrote an article).

12/16/2018 at 13:26

Thank you - you really helped! I’ve been familiar with VLC for a long time and I like this method more)
Please tell me, if a movie was transferred (synchronized) via iTunes (without VLC) and is displayed in the device’s library, does it mean that it is in the iPad’s memory? If so, how to remove it from there or how to find it on the iPad?

12/16/2018 at 16:50

Hello. Yes, it’s in the iPad’s memory, but it is deleted if I’m not mistaken (I can’t check now, but I don’t remember exactly right away), right in the library itself.

03/29/2019 at 17:47

Thank you very much! Helped a lot! The best way to download!

06/25/2019 at 10:08

I wanted to upload several videos in this way:

In the “On my device” section, select “Movies” and simply drag the desired video files from the folder on the computer to the list of movies on the device (you can also select from the File menu - “Add File to Library”.

nothing is loading!
And films, too, are not transferred, you do not agree on something.

06/25/2019 at 14:28

Maybe it's in an unsupported format? Then use the method with VLC - it plays and transfers everything.

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