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How to transfer files between iPhone and Mac

The Apple ecosystem is one of the major selling points of all their products (Image via Apple)
The Apple ecosystem is one of the major selling points of all their products (Image via Apple)

Things like starting a conversation on iMessage on your iPhone and continuing it on your Mac or iPad are the standard set of things users associate with the Apple ecosystem. This is just the start of the wide range of cross-device sync that Apple offers its consumers.

This article will guide users on effectively harnessing some features of this ecosystem to help facilitate the seamless transfer of files between their iPhone and Mac.

Note: Several softwares, both paid and free, are available for transfer of files between iOS devices. These applications have often been flagged as privacy risks, and have hence been excluded from this list.


4 best methods for transferring files between iPhone and Mac (August 2022)

1) AirDrop

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AirDrop is easily the most convenient method to transfer files between Mac, iPhone, and vice versa. Just enable AirDrop on both devices and keep Bluetooth and WiFi on. Photos, videos, locations, and links can be seamlessly transferred using this feature.


2) Google Drive or other cloud services

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This is by far the best method to transfer larger files or enable access to certain files on both your iPhone and Mac. Simply upload any file you want to Google Drive, Dropbox, or your preferred cloud service and download it back from their mobile app, or vice versa.

Users can also install Google Photos and turn on sync so that all their photos and videos can be directly accessed on all their devices.


3) iTunes' file sharing

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This method is largely centered towards managing and sharing files created by Keynote and Pages as users may have issues accessing them on their other devices after transferring them via a different method.

  • Connect the iPhone to the Mac and open iTunes on the latter.
  • Access the File Sharing section under Devices and choose the app (like Keynote, Pages, etc) to transfer files from.
  • Click Add on the Mac.
  • Choose Save To on your phone and the transfer will be initiated.

4) Syncing

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This method is largely outdated on most devices today, given data like music, podcasts, etc are by default synced automatically between iOS devices.

Regardless, if users are having trouble accessing their music, books, videos, etc on either device (Mac has to be running Mac OS Catalina or higher) then a simple sync over Wi-Fi or USB can solve your woes. This method can also be used to transfer MP3 and MP4 files if users load them onto their iTunes.

  • Open iDevice from Finder on Mac after connecting to the iPhone via USB.
  • Choose files to share to the phone or select any files from the phone to load to your computer.

The same can be done wirelessly as well:

  • Connect both devices to the same WiFi network and open General.
  • Click on "Show this device when on Wi-Fi," and hit Apply.

It remains to be seen whether rumors of Apple amping up cross-device sync between their devices during this year's OS releases will pan out, and what the the specifics of these new features will be.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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