iPhone Photos Are Not Showing Up on Mac, What Should I Do?

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Fantastic experiences, special relationships and super-cool items all need to be captured as memories, which is why photos are such an integral part of life. Now, if you've got a ton of photos on your iPhone, but they're not showing up on your Mac, so you can't back them up and store them, that can be a genuine problem.

But, there's no need to panic, because there are several solutions to this common problem, which you can check out below:

1. Check Whether iCloud Photo Library Is Enabled on iPhone

The first thing you should do is to double-check whether the iCloud Photo Library is enabled on both your iPhone, and your Mac. If not, only the images that are in the Camera Roll will show when you connect the device to your Mac. If iCloud Photo Library is enabled, the photos will be automatically stored in iCloud for safe keeping.

enable icloud photos library

However, if you don't want to enable iCloud and have photos sent directly to the cloud, then you can just access them by going to the iCloud website and logging in.

2. Restart Your Mac and iPhone

If the first step isn't successful, then the old trick of restarting your iPhone, your Mac, or both may solve the issue. So, disconnect the phone from the computer, and reboot that device. Also, you'll want to fully shut down your Mac, and make sure that's been restarted. When you connect the phone back to the Mac, it may ask whether you want to 'trust this computer', to which you can just approve.

restart iPhone

3. Update Your Mac OS and Photos/iPhotos

There's a strong chance that you might not have the latest operating system on your Mac, or the latest version of your photo management software (whether that be iPhoto, or a Photos App). Therefore, if they aren't up to date, they probably aren't going to function as they should do. Obtain the latest OS for your Mac, update your iPhoto or Photos App, and also check whether there are any updates available for your iPhone.

mac os updating install

4. Rebuild iPhoto Thumbnails on Mac

If you're experiencing the issue at a different stage – you can view photos in your iPhoto library, but they won't display when you launch the app – then this will be aimed at you.

You'll need to make a backup of your iPhoto library, go to Finder > Application, and then select iPhoto but don't open it. Then, if you press Command + Option simultaneously, a pop up window will appear. When it does, you can then select 'Rebuild Thumbnails', and relaunch the application.

Moreover, there's no guarantee that any of the four tips above will solve your problem, so what should you do if they unfortunately don't? Well, we're going to discuss another option which you can explore.

5. Transfer Photos from iPhone to Mac by iMyFone D-Port Pro

This external piece of iPhone data transfer software is an excellent way to solve problems which other workarounds can't deal with. It's extremely simple to use, and most problems can be treated with just a couple of clicks. See what the program can do for you.

Key Features:

  • Not only can iMyFone D-Port Pro export photos no matter what, it can also transfer more than 18 alternative types of data from your iPhone to your computer.
  • It can also back up your whole iPhone, or it gives you the choice to select what you want to back up.
  • Furthermore, the wonderful thing about it, is that the backups don't override each other, so you can always backtrack to a previous backup.
  • And you can select exactly what data you want to transfer.

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Here's exactly how to use it to transfer photos from your iPhone to Mac when the Photos or iPhotos app doesn't work on your Mac; before you start, you need to download, install and run the program.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to iMyFone D-Port Pro, and select 'Back up & Export from Device' and then click 'Export Data'.

export data on iOS device

Step 2. You'll be taken to another screen, where you'll need to choose the data type(s) you would like to transfer from your iPhone. Check 'Photo' and all the other data types you need and click 'Next'.

choose data types you want to export

Step 3. Then the data transfer tool will scan your iPhone and display all the photos on your iPhone. Preview and select all the photos you want.

export data from device to computer

Step 4. Click Export and the program will begin the process (don't disconnect your device at this point). After a short while, it will state that it has successfully been exported, and will allow you to view them on your Mac.

With the four solutions we've outlined, plus the iMyFone D-Port Pro iOS data transfer software that we've discussed, you should easily be able to view your photos on your Mac!

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