“Every time I want to save a photo from my iPhone to my computer, I end up emailing the photo to myself. Isn’t there some way I can get photos off my iPhone without email? iTunes doesn’t seem to offer a solution.”
Why Apple still hasn’t built a very basic photo manager into iTunes is a mystery. Mac users have the option of importing to iPhoto each time their iPhone connects, but Windows doesn’t have iPhoto. There are a few different ways you can get photos off your iPhone and put them on your computer, but all of them require signing up for an additional service of some kind.
Each time you connect your iPhone to your computer via USB, it does two things. The thing you probably notice it doing is connecting to iTunes so that you can sync music and videos, as well as check for updates. The other thing that happens when you connect your computer to your iPhone via USB is it gets mounted as an external drive.
Apple hides many of the aspects of your iPhone when you mount it as an external drive, but the one thing it makes easy to find is your photos. In this respect, connecting your iPhone to your PC is just like connecting a digital camera. If you browse the contents of your iPhone by going to Start > Computer and choosing your iPhone from the list of drives, you should be able to see a folder called DCIM as one of the options. Inside this folder you will find all the photos on your iPhone.
With this knowledge, you can drag and drop any or all of the photos on your iPhone to the Pictures folder on your computer (or any other folder of your choosing).
What if you don’t want to connect your phone to your computer?
I can’t remember the last time I connected my iPhone to a computer using a cable. With all the over the air updates and options for backing up your data without a cable, I don’t even think about it.
I do like making sure my photos, videos and other important aspects of my phone data are backed up. The easiest solution for this is to simply sign up for an iCloud account with Apple. Anything you configure to be available in iCloud is backed up and available from any other device with a web browser.
My personal preference is to backup my photos using the Prime Photos app from Amazon. This feature comes with being an Amazon Prime member, offers unlimited storage of your photos and has the option to share photos with other members of your family. Photos from your phone are private by default on the service, but can be shared or downloaded to other device easily later.