With the latest iPhones and iPads recording video in 4K, you can quickly run out of storage space. Quite apart from the fact that it’s a bad idea not to have a backup of these precious memories, you’ll want to copy those big videos off your iPhone to free up space. Here’s how to get videos from iPhone to PC quickly and easily – and for free.
How to get videos from iPhone to PC: The free way using a USB cable
There are literally dozens of Windows apps that let you manage your iPhone’s storage and can transfer photos and videos to and from your PC. But you don’t need any of those, and you certainly don’t need to pay for software.
Heck, you don’t even need iTunes – it’s just as easy as dragging and dropping files from an Android phone or USB flash drive.
All you need is a laptop or PC running Windows, and the USB cable that came with your iPhone or iPad.
Step 1. Connect your iPhone / iPad to your PC using the Lightning cable (or 30-pin if you have an iPhone 4S or earlier).
Step 2. Press Windows key + E to launch a File Explorer window.
Step 3. Wake your iPhone and unlock it. Tap ‘Trust this computer’ if prompted.
Step 4. Click on your iPhone under This PC (or My Computer on earlier versions of Windows).
Step 5. Double-click on Internal Storage on the right, then on DCIM, and you’ll see one or more folders, labelled 100APPLE, 101APPLE, 102APPLE etc.
Step 6. If you want the most recent videos, click on the folder with the highest number. The oldest ones are in the folder with the lowest number.
Step 7. Photos, screenshots and videos are displayed in a list with ascending numbers according to their chronological order. You can either select everything in the folder, or just select the videos. TIP: Hold the Ctrl key while clicking on various files to select them. TIP 2: Sort the folder By Type so that all the ,MOV files – the videos – are all together.
Step 8. You can then right-click on the selected files, copy them and paste into a folder of your choosing.
If your iOS devices isn’t recognised by Windows when you plug it in, here are some tips to get your iPhone or iPad to show up in File Explorer
How to get videos from iPhone to PC: Using iCloud Photo Library
There used to be a Windows program called iCloud Control Panel, but Apple retired that and now offers an updated one: iCloud for Windows
This is works with the new iCloud Photo Library. Previously, there was Photo Stream but this didn’t include videos. With Photo Library, photos and videos are synched to iCloud, and your other devices such as a PC or laptop.
There is a catch, however. Unless all your photos and videos will fit into your free 5GB of iCloud storage, you’ll have to pay to upgrade to get more storage. It’s 79p per month for 50GB, £2.49 for 200GB or £6.99 for 1TB.
Again, to clarify, you can only enable iCloud Photo Library on your iPhone or iPad if you have enough available storage capacity in your iCloud account.
Once you’ve set this up (which also involves enabling iCloud Photo Library on your phone or tablet – the option is under Settings -> Photos & Camera), you can download iCloud for Windows from the link above. Launch it and next to Photos, click Options. Here you can tick the box next to ‘Download new photos and videos to my PC’ and you can choose the folder where they will be stored.
You can also – if you want to – upload all the photos and videos from a certain folder on your PC to iCloud Photo Library so they’re available on all your iOS devices. Bear in mind that My Photo Stream will be turned off if you enable iCloud Photo Library.
Also, note that this method – obviously – requires iCloud to be enabled on your iPhone or iPad. Plus, the software only works with Windows 7 or later.