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Question: iPhone photos not showing on PC

When transferring photos from my iPhone 6 Plus (using iOS 8.3) to my PC, only some of the photos are showing up in the DCIM folder. The rest of the photos are missing. For example, I have 540 photos on my phone that I wanted to copy over. Only ~140 of them show up in Windows Explorer to be transferred. Where are the rest of the files and how can I make sure I'm not missing any?

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iPhone 6 Plus, iOS 8.3

Posted on May 27, 2015 12:09 PM

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So the cameras/scanners didn't work for me either. It just showed my iphone, no photos. I actually had multiple DCIM folders in windows explorer, it just didn't show all the photos. ChrisJ4203 had asked about iCloud and I'd mistakenly said I wasn't using it for anything other than backups. As it turns out, apparently the Optimize Photos setting was turned on which means the full resolution images aren't stored on your phone, which I think is what accounts for the missing photos. You can check if you have this enabled by going to: Settings > Photos & Camera > Optimize iPhone Storage. If it's enabled, you're storing originals in iCloud. Just turning it off, however, doesn't make the photos all end up on your phone (maybe it would if you have room for them all, which I didn't). It took me a while to figure out how to download all the images from the iCloud to my PC (Apple should make this more intuitive and easier...) but if you go to icloud.com, select Photos, you should see ALL of the photos from your last backup. You can select them all and download them to your PC. I was using Firefox, so the download was annoying... perhaps another browser wouldn't give you a popup for each picture (at least there was a "save settings for all of this kind" option). Hope that helps.

Posted on Jun 3, 2015 5:29 AM

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Sep 29, 2015 8:41 AM in response to henrymonster In response to henrymonster

I created an account just to comment on this post - I had the exact same issue and have spent (literally) hours trying to figure out how to access 1000+ photos of my first child. They'd show up on the phone but when I went to get them off, only the most recent 150 were accessible.


Henrymonster, thank you for taking the time to post your solution!!! I'm finally able to get the photos onto my PC. Also, you were very patient with the 'support' you received on this post. I don't know that I would have handled it with such grace. Thanks again!!!!

Sep 29, 2015 8:41 AM

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May 27, 2015 12:11 PM in response to henrymonster In response to henrymonster

What happens if you attempt to import the photos using the Windows Import Utility? Depending on what version of Windows you have, it seems that Windows 8 and iOS are not "playing" well together when it comes to attempts to copy/move photos directly from the DCIM folder.

May 27, 2015 12:11 PM

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May 27, 2015 12:18 PM in response to henrymonster In response to henrymonster

henrymonster wrote:


When transferring photos from my iPhone 6 Plus (using iOS 8.3) to my PC, only some of the photos are showing up in the DCIM folder. The rest of the photos are missing. For example, I have 540 photos on my phone that I wanted to copy over. Only ~140 of them show up in Windows Explorer to be transferred. Where are the rest of the files and how can I make sure I'm not missing any?

With iOS 8 there are now multiple DCIM folders. It's best to use the Camera and Scanner Wizard, or a photo management app. These will all understand the more complex folder structure in the iPhone camera roll. They will also understand the "sidecar" edit files that supplement the image and contain any edits made to the image on the phone. If you just copy the images using Windows Explorer you will lose the edits.

May 27, 2015 12:18 PM

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May 27, 2015 12:30 PM in response to henrymonster In response to henrymonster

I'm aware that using iCloud Drive or iCloud photos will make a difference in being able to import photos, but just a standard iCloud backup should not affect that. I've read of a couple of others mentioning import issues with photos in the Camera Roll in Windows. What other troubleshooting have you tried? I would remove the device from the computer and power it down. I would close iTunes and restart the computer. Power the iPhone back on again. After the computer restarts, connect the iPhone to the computer and try the import utility and check what it says.

May 27, 2015 12:30 PM

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Jun 2, 2015 4:01 PM in response to ChrisJ4203 In response to ChrisJ4203

I am having the same issue. Tried restarting phone and PC but it did not resolve the issue. Only 200 of the 800 images on my camera roll "all photos" folder show up. This is a new problem that never happened before this week. That is to say, last week when I went to transfer pictures, the number of pics in my "all photos" folder on my phone and the number of pics visible in my "My Computer" view of my iPhone DCIM folder were the same. Any other ideas of how to get to the other pics?

Jun 2, 2015 4:01 PM

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Jun 2, 2015 4:50 PM in response to vudwils In response to vudwils

Connect your phone to your computer. Open the Camera and Scanner wizard. It should see the Camera Roll (the WHOLE Camera Roll, not just one of the many DCIM folders). You can use it to copy your photos to your computer.

Jun 2, 2015 4:50 PM

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Jun 2, 2015 4:52 PM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

My DCIM folder shows up in Windows Explorer, but it only shows SOME of the pictures that are on the phone. How can I find the rest of them. I have tried using the import feature in Windows and it only finds the same pictures that are showing up. My phone is showing up as a device in my Cameras and Scanners folder when I run the wizard. Where do I go from here? I did notice that the only pictures that show are from May 25th or newer and anything older, though they show up on the phone, do NOT show up when I look at my iPhone on explorer.

Jun 2, 2015 4:52 PM

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Jun 2, 2015 4:54 PM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

I did open the camera and scanner wizard and it only shows that my phone is connected, not what is on it. How do you get to the camera scanner wizard that you are talking about. I did it this way: Control Panel-->Search for Scanners and Cameras-->Camera and Scanner Wizard

Jun 2, 2015 4:54 PM

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Jun 2, 2015 4:58 PM in response to vudwils In response to vudwils

I don't know how many different ways I can say this: Windows Explorer is not the right tool. It will only see ONE of the many DCIM folders. You can browse with it to the others, and that will work, sort of, but it isn't the right way to do it.

Jun 2, 2015 4:58 PM

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Jun 2, 2015 5:02 PM in response to Lawrence Finch In response to Lawrence Finch

I hear you about Windows Explorer, but what I'm saying is that my photos do NOT show up in the camera wizard which is not for viewing photos but for installing devices anyway. My device IS installed. I have tried the automatic import images feature but that also misses some of the files. Can you give me specific directions of how to do what you are suggesting to see ALL of the images? What program should I open? How do I get to it. I have plugged in my iPhone and tried using every step you mentioned this far, but no images.

Jun 2, 2015 5:02 PM

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Question marked as Apple recommended

Jun 3, 2015 5:29 AM in response to vudwils In response to vudwils

So the cameras/scanners didn't work for me either. It just showed my iphone, no photos. I actually had multiple DCIM folders in windows explorer, it just didn't show all the photos. ChrisJ4203 had asked about iCloud and I'd mistakenly said I wasn't using it for anything other than backups. As it turns out, apparently the Optimize Photos setting was turned on which means the full resolution images aren't stored on your phone, which I think is what accounts for the missing photos. You can check if you have this enabled by going to: Settings > Photos & Camera > Optimize iPhone Storage. If it's enabled, you're storing originals in iCloud. Just turning it off, however, doesn't make the photos all end up on your phone (maybe it would if you have room for them all, which I didn't). It took me a while to figure out how to download all the images from the iCloud to my PC (Apple should make this more intuitive and easier...) but if you go to icloud.com, select Photos, you should see ALL of the photos from your last backup. You can select them all and download them to your PC. I was using Firefox, so the download was annoying... perhaps another browser wouldn't give you a popup for each picture (at least there was a "save settings for all of this kind" option). Hope that helps.

Jun 3, 2015 5:29 AM

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Question: iPhone photos not showing on PC