Moving iPhone Pics to Your Mac Without Cables

Connecting your iPhone to your Mac with a USB cable may be the easiest way to transfer photos from your phone to your computer, but it isn't the only way. If you have a Wi-Fi Internet connection and a Dropbox account, getting your photos back to your Mac sans cable is a snap, and your photos will be backed up online, too.

You'll first need to make sure you have a free Dropbox account, and install the on your iPhone. Dropbox accounts are free and include 2GB of online storage.

The Dropbox app lets you pick photos (left) and upload them to your Dropbox account (right).

Here's how to copy photos from your iPhone to your Mac with Dropbox:

  • Launch the Dropbox app on your iPhone and tap the Camera button.
  • Tap Existing Photo or Video and select the photo you want to send to your Dropbox account. You can choose from any of the images available in your iPhone's photo albums.
  • If you installed the Dropbox application on your Mac, click the Dropbox icon in your menu bar and choose Open Dropbox Folder.
  • Copy the images you uploaded to your Mac. Since your Mac treats your Dropbox folder like a local directory, you'll need to hold down the Option key while dragging the images if you want to leave copies in your online storage area as a backup.

Uploaded images appear right away in your Dropbox folder on your Mac.

This is a trick I used when my luggage was lost while travelling to a foreign country. My iPhone USB cable accidentally ended up in my lost luggage instead of my carry-on bag, but I was able to easily move my iPhone pics to my Mac thanks to my Dropbox account -- and I was able to avoid surprise charges because I could use the hotel's Wi-Fi network instead of the local cell carrier's data network.