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How to Transfer Pictures to Computer

I've been writing for 13+ years and like to share useful information from projects I've done, experiences I've had, and things I've learned.

Need Help Getting Those Images to Your Computer?

If you're new to digital photography you may have questions about how to download or transfer photos to computer where you can edit, save, or share them on the internet.

The process to transfer pictures from your digital camera to computer is usually very quick and simple but there are a couple of options, learn more about them here on this page.

The Primary Ways to Transfer Photos to Your Computer

Hear are the most common methods used to download or transfer photos to computer:

  • Connecting your camera to your computer via a USB cable or Firewire
  • Inserting the memory card from your camera into a memory card reader (or into your computer) and downloading directly from it rather than the camera
  • Wireless transfer

How to Download Photos to Your Computer via USB Cable

A USB cable usually comes included with your camera purchase and is a fairly straightforward way to transfer pictures to computer.

  • In many instances, you'll need to upload the image transfer software that came with your camera onto your computer.
  • Next you will need to connect your camera and your computer with the USB cable. Read your camera's manual it will describe any specific instructions. For instance, some cameras need to be turned off when connecting and then turned on once the connection is made.
  • Be sure to use AC power if you use this method to avoid draining the batteries on your camera.
  • Adjust the camera setting to allow image transfer. Again check the camera's manual for the specific setting on that model.
  • At this point the computer will launch a wizard to walk you through the process of transferring the images.


Downloading Photos to a Windows 10 Computer

How to Download Pictures to Computer Using a Memory Card Reader

Memory Card readers can be a great way to transfer pictures to computer. They allow users to conserve their digital camera's battery and make the transfer process even faster.

Users merely plug the memory card reader into the computer, remove the memory card from their camera, place it into the card reader, and transfer to the computer hard drive. This is very similar to moving files from a disk onto the computer hard drive.

The memory card reader can be attached one time and left in place so that each subsequent time you transfer pictures to computer there is no set up time involved.

Many modern computers also have a card reader built-in and allow the user to download by merely inserting the memory card directly into the computer card slot. Typically you just insert the memory card, and a window will open asking if you want to import the photos.

How to Download Pictures to Your Computer Wirelessly

There are a couple of options that allow you to transfer pictures to computer without any wires or cable at all. Some digital cameras have WiFi cababilities or Bluetooth that allow the user to download or transfer photos to computer through their wireless network. In fact, the photos can also be printed without the use of cables or a memory card reader.

The exact process for this varies by camera. Typically you download the camera's program, connect your phone to the computer and then after opening the downloaded program, select your wireless network, and click send, import, or something similar.

For those without a WiFi digital camera, there are also wireless memory cards. Eye-Fi was the original, but there are now others like Toshiba's FlashAir and EZ Share as well as others. They have a built-in wireless connection and are able to transfer photos and video to photo sharing sites in the absence of any USB cables. Some include geotagging information to images.

Typically you have to download the software (from the cards website) and at that point you will have to select settings (such as your WiFi network and where your images will be sent). Then each card will have a process, often a button will open a screen on the camera, to download the photos.

Transferring Pictures from Your Cell Phone to a Computer

Images can be downloaded from your phone to a computer in much the same was as they are transferred from a digital camera.

Some camera phones have an appropriate USB cable to allow a connection in order to transfer photos to computer. These phones should also have the necessary software available to allow this downloading.

Some camera phones use memory cards to store images making transfer via memory card reader an option. A mobile media format card reader is often necessary, otherwise an adapter may be needed since smaller microSD cards are often used in phones.

It depends upon the phone, but some Bluetooth capable phones allow you to transfer pictures to computer wirelessly. Currently there are no WiFi microSD cards for phones.

Transferring Old Photos to Your Computer

If you have old photo prints that you would like to have in digital format you can easily do this with a scanner. Many modern printers offer a scanning function. In addition, affordable photo scanners are available if you have a lot of old photos, negatives, or slides.

  • After connecting the scanner, or your printer/scanner, you'll need to be sure the glass is clean and you will want to select at what resolution you will scan the images.
  • If you will be printing the images you will want a dpi of 300 or so. A lower resolution is acceptable if you will only be sharing these images online.
  • As you scan the images you will want to name them so that they are easier to find. You can arrange them by year, by subject, or whatever suits your situation, but organization will be critical if you have many photos.

Scanning/Digitizing Old Photos

© 2008 Ruth Coffee

Transferring Photos: Was this page helpful? Let us know!

Jonathan on February 21, 2015:

i traded in my xbox 360 , the same vesiron as yours and then paid the excess , witch was a360 or less. If you want to keep the memory you can buy a memory convesiron cable , which takes the information from you old xbox to the new one.

anonymous on June 21, 2013:

info helpful

anonymous on June 06, 2013:

What kind of CD or DVD should I use to transfer my digital photos?

anonymous on March 17, 2013:

@anonymous: s there any equipment that will transfer old photos to my computer without scanning each one?

anonymous on March 17, 2013:

@anonymous: s there any equipment that will transfer old photos to my computer without scanning each one?

anonymous on August 13, 2012:

i need to know how to take the photos i edited on adobe photoshop elements 10 and transfer them over to an SD card so i can print them out at a local store???

anonymous on April 03, 2012:

excellent,i now now how to get started.

EdithCMiddleton on February 14, 2012:

Yes, this is definitely very, very much of a help. Thank you so much.

online computer support

anonymous on October 13, 2011:

Many will be grateful for this information on transferring pictures for sure!

squidootime on April 14, 2011:

Useful info - I have had trouble with this in the past!

Dee Gallemore on November 17, 2010:

This was very helpful ... and timely too. I was just about transfer pics from a digital camera I borrowed recently.

ssomu007 on October 31, 2010:

I always do this anytime to transfer the photo to my computers. Those are easy steps. Thanks.

anonymous on October 29, 2010:

Have a Verizon Alltel phone,I would like to transfer my pictures to my computer,How do Ido this? Can you help me at this time.

Andy-Po on May 31, 2010:

Great advice, especially to newcomers to this slightly daunting task. At least it is easier now than it used to be, although there are also so many different ways of doing everything.

anonymous on February 27, 2010:

Is there any equipment that will transfer old photos to my computer without scanning each one?

adelaidelee on February 05, 2010:

That's great. cool app.

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ClearTechInfo on January 03, 2010:

Good lens. For any newcomers I highly recommend going the memory card reader route. It is the easiest way to get pictures on your PC or Mac.

Johnson Yip from Canada on January 01, 2010:

Nice tutorials and explanations on how to transfer files from my Digicam to my PC. Top Work!

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on December 28, 2009:

Lots of great information!

anonymous on November 09, 2009:

Very straight forward and easy to understand. I can show video clip to pupils in class.

Sonaprint on October 26, 2009:

Hers another great lens...you are now my official go to lens on camera troubleshooting...if anyone here has other issues check out the rest of Mulberry's lens!!!!

anonymous on October 25, 2009:

thanks so much for info, really great site thanks, jim

Joffy on April 06, 2009:

so easy and simple!

thanks for the info.....saved me so much time.

I will have to add something like this to my site

Camera Digital Lenses

anonymous on March 26, 2009:

This is such good stuff - I need to show my girls how to do this. I think I will just sit them in front of this lens!

anonymous on March 23, 2009:

I want to transfer my photos from kodak gallery to my computer. pls help me thanks.

LisaDH on February 06, 2009:

Very straightforward and helpful info for digital newbies. Will pass this on to a few folks I know who need some hand holding.

Spook LM on January 27, 2009:

Actually the wife bought me a state of the art camera for my birthday just prior to Christmas and still haven't got around to trying it out much. So your visit to one of my lenses today brought me back to repay the compliment and by some stroke of fortune I chose this lens and I'm glad I did thank you

anonymous on January 19, 2009:

Can someone please tell me how to transfer my photo from one dating site to another ? can't afford a photo scanner, so any help will be greatly appreciated.Than you in advance for helping

RyanRE LM on January 05, 2009:

I had the worst time trying to download photos from my camera to my computer this morning. I don't know what was going wrong. My computer made the sound that the camera was connected, but I couldn't find the device under "my computer"?

anonymous on January 01, 2009:

i want to know how i can transfer the pictures in my phone to my computer. its really hard adn i can't understand! i want to transfer my pictures via bluetooth cause my usb cable wont work!

Rich from Surrey, United Kingdom on January 01, 2009:

Great info! 5*s and faved :)

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on December 23, 2008:

I have found the software that a lot of cameras try to force you to use is awful - and buggy. For me the preferred method is to use a card reader. These are so cheap, or often these days built in, especially if you use an SD card in the camera.

Unless you actually want to control the camera using the computer, I do find the card is best. Also, when you hook up the camera to the computer to transfer pictures, it really drains the battery, so unless you have a power supply it's not a good thing.

Very nice lens Mulberry, great job. 5*****

Linda Hoxie from Idaho on December 23, 2008:

Great tutorial for digital camera users, I'm lensrolling this to myPhotography is an Art page! Well done! :)

Mayflowerblood on December 22, 2008:

awesome i need to learn this!

anonymous on December 19, 2008:

ahm i'm mayet i'm new in this site....i want to learn everything about how to transfer photos from cell to computer

anonymous on December 19, 2008:

ahm i'm mayet i'm new in this site....i want to learn everything about how to transfer photos from cell to computer

Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on December 01, 2008:

This is a great tutorial, I know a lot of people who I might pass this along to that have trouble with this stuff. Thanks!

GrowWear on November 30, 2008:

Wonderful information! Really, really need to get my pix organized!

JAV010 on August 25, 2008:

Thanks for great info and great lens 5 stars dude :P

ElizabethJeanAl on August 11, 2008:

I have trouble transferring photos from my camera to my computer. Its getting easier and lenses like this should help.

Thanks,

Lizzy

LisaJo1 on August 02, 2008:

Lots of great info! I have some photos on my cell phone that I've been wanting to put on my computer. Thanks for the great lens:)

rebeccahiatt on July 21, 2008:

I like the photo card reader myself.

surfsusan on July 17, 2008:

Great lens - I just bought my first (OK 2nd but the first was a £10) digital camera and have planned to start a photo blog. Informative for us beginners.