Transfer Photos & Videos from iPhone to Mac via Wi-Fi for FREE

Are you still using iTunes or USB data cable to transfer photos or videos from iPhone to Mac? There are a few different ways you can transfer files from your iPhone to a Mac. You don’t have to sync your iPhone to computer via the old-fashioned iTunes. File sharing via USB cable may still be a good option for bulk photo and video transfer since it can take advantage of the higher data transfer speeds provided by the cable connection. Under most circumstances, however, we would prefer wireless file sharing AirDrop or third-party file transfer apps. They allow you to quickly share files between devices without physically connecting them.

Here are a couple of methods you can try when you are looking for a new easy way to send photos or videos from iPhone to Mac.

Method 1. Share photos, videos from iPhone via AirDrop

AirDrop is a built-in feature available on Apple devices. We can make use of this tool to wirelessly share files, photos, videos, links, and more between iPhone and Mac without the need for cables or third-party apps.

It uses a combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to establish a direct peer-to-peer connection between devices. So first of all, go to have both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned on for AirDrop to work on both devices. If you have Personal Hotspot on, turn it off.

Open Settings app on iPhone, go to General > AirDrop, you can turn on or off AirDrop here.

  • Receiving Off: You won’t receive AirDrop requests.
  • Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device.
  • Everyone (for 10 Minutes): All nearby Apple devices using AirDrop can see your device. Since iOS 16.2, this option is valid for 10 minutes and will reverts to Contacts Only after 10 minutes.

To export photos and videos from iPhone to Mac or import files from computer to your phone via AirDrop is very straightforward.

Open the Photos app on iPhone. Navigate to the album or photo you want to send. Tap Share button, then you should see a list of sharing options, including AirDrop, Messages, Mail, etc. Tap on AirDrop icon, you will see a thumbnail list of all available recipients and devices. Choose your Mac to share with.

On your Mac, you should receive an AirDrop notification requesting permission to receive the file. Click “Accept” to initiate the transfer. The photos and videos will be saved to your Downloads folder by default.

Method 2. Share files between iPhone and Mac via SMB

If you head to the system preferences on Mac, you can find the File Sharing feature. We can also enable this feature to share files and documents between iPhone and Mac. This is just another quick way to copy files between Mac and iPhone.

To enable File Sharing on your Mac, click the Apple menu from the top menu bar, select System Settings > General > Sharing and then click on the ON/OFF toggle for File Sharing to turn it on.

turn on file sharing on mac

To establish a connection between your iPhone or iPad and your Mac, ensure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on the Browse tab located at the bottom of the screen.
  3. At the top right corner, you’ll find a menu icon represented by three dots enclosed within a circle. Tap on this icon.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. From the options provided, select “Connect to Server.”
iphone files app - connect to server

On the Connect to Server screen, you can type in your Mac IP address, computer name or Hostname.

iphone files app connect to server - input server ip

Tap Next button, then choose Registered User, input your Mac login username and its password to connect. Once connected, you can find your Mac from Files app > Browse tab > Shared section. Then copy files between your Mac and iPhone using the Files app.

Method 3. Third-party wireless transfer apps

If you are looking for a Wifi transfer app to share, transfer or exchange photos and videos for iPhone, iPad, Android and computers, you can try these free options:

Zapya: a popular file-sharing and transfer application available for mobile devices and computers. It allows users to share various types of files, including documents, photos, videos, and apps.

zapya file transfer app

Xender: another popular file-sharing and transfer applications that offer similar features and functionalities. The overall experience may vary slightly between Xender and Zapya, so it is recommended to try out both and see which one feels more intuitive and comfortable for you.

xender file transfer app logo

Documents app: Developed by Readdle. Read, listen, view, annotate almost anything you want on your iPhone and iPhone. This app can create WebDAV server on your iPhone so you can use web browser or WebDAV app from computer to connect the Documents app on iPhone.

documents app by readdle

Basic steps to transfer Photos & Videos from iPhone to Mac

These apps often comes with the corresponding software you can install on your Mac as well as a web transfer. If you choose not to download the software on Mac, you can use Safari or other web browser instead. Here we will use Xender on iPhone and the Safari browser on Mac to show you how to export photos and videos from your photo library on iPhone to your computer.

Xender uses Wi-Fi for file transfer, so make sure both your iPhone and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network or the hotspot created by Xender.

Run Xender app on your iPhone, tap on the + icon at the top right corner, choose Connect PC from the drop-down menu. You will see a screen like this.

xender file transfer for iphone web addresses to connect pc

On the Connect PC screen, you get the web transfer address.

On your Mac, open Safari or other web browser to access the web transfer address above. You will see the authorization dialog on iPhone immediately. You need to tap on the Accept button on iPhone to allow your computer to access your phone.

xender file transfer web - iPhone and Mac

Browse through the Images, Audio, Videos and/or Files category on the Xender Web interface on your PC or Mac to select files, photos, music, videos and documents and download them to your computer wirelessly.

At the top left corner of your desktop browser, click the Upload button to pick up files from your PC or Mac, then upload them to your iPhone.

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