Nowadays, we prefer to take digital photos to record unforgettable moments, selfies, families, etc. using our phones, cameras, and other devices. However, those photos always take up much of our devices’ storage space, leading to slow operating speed and other malfunction issues. It is wise to transfer those memorable photos to external hard drive devices. By doing so, you can not only release the storage space of your phone, computer, or camera but also prevent accidental loss of those photos. In this article, we will show you specific instructions on how to transfer photos to external hard drives from Windows, Mac, iPhone, or Android phones.
Things To Prepare Before Transferring Photos to External Hard Drive
✅ A working external hard drive with enough space
Before starting to transfer photos to your external hard drive, make sure that the external hard drive you have is trustworthy, not corrupted, and has enough storage to accommodate all of your pictures. Otherwise, when the hard drive fills up, you might lose some of the photos if the storage space is not large enough.
✅ A computer or mobile phone with enough power
The whole transfer process may take much longer if you have some photos that need to be transferred. Therefore, you’d better make sure your device has enough electricity power to avoid sudden interruption.
✅ A cable or an adapter that can connect your external hard drive to your computer
Some external hard drives need a cable or an adapter to connect to the computer. Make sure the external hard drive can be recognized properly and works with the operating system on your computer.
✅ Organized photo files
Before transferring photos to your external hard drive, you can arrange those photo files in the first place. You can organize them by creating different folders or subfolders so that they can be found more easily later.
Quick Access to Methods Suitable for Your Needs
Quickly scan those methods to transfer photos to an external hard drive and pick the one that is suitable for your situation to further read.
|Copy and paste
|Photo Transfer Software
|Apple Photo Library
|Users need to transfer photos from mobile to an external hard drive on a PC
|Users need to transfer photos from mobile to an external hard drive on Mac
|Users need to transfer photos from mobile to an external hard drive through the Cloud
|Users need to transfer photos from mobile to an external hard drive on PC
|Users need to transfer photos from mobile to an external hard drive on a Mac
4 Easy Ways to Transfer Photos to External Hard Drive on Windows
On the Windows operating system, there are a series of proven methods to transfer photos to external hard drive devices. Here, we conclude 4 common and easy-to-follow solutions, check how to move your photos to your external hard drive storage device in detail in the following.
Method 1. Transfer Photos to External Hard Drive by Copy and Paste
The easiest way to transfer photos to an external hard drive is to copy and paste those photos. For users with little computer skills, it is the perfect choice. However, the prominent downside of this method is that it is time-consuming. Imagine that you have thousands of photos that need to be transferred, it will be such an annoying and time-wasting task. Check the following steps if you don’t mind moving those images manually.
🔸 How to transfer photos to an external hard drive by Copy and Paste:
Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to your computer.
Step 2. Press Wins + E to open the File Explorer on your Windows. Then target the photo folder you want to move to your external hard drive.
Step 3. Pick the folder then right-click the folder and select Copy or use the Ctrl + C shortcut directly.
Step 3. Find your external hard drive device in the File Explorer and create a new folder in it.
Step 4. Right-click the blank area in the new folder and select Paste or use the Ctrl + V shortcut directly.
Step 5. Wait for the file transfer process and pull out your external hard drive device.
After you successfully copy and paste photos to an external hard drive, you can delete the original photo folder on your computer to save space.
Method 2. Move Photos to External Hard Drive with CMD Command
Another effective way to transfer photos to an external hard drive on Windows is to use the CMD command. The Command Prompt default in the Windows system can help you copy and paste folders and any other files.
🔸 How to transfer photos to external hard drive on Windows with CMD:
Step 1. Plug in the external hard drive to your computer.
Step 2. Open the File Explorer, create a folder, and drag all the photos you want to move into it. Then rename the folder to make it easy to find.
Step 3. Find and open the external hard drive device in File Explorer. Then create a new folder in it. Rename the folder also.
Step 4. In the search box on your PC, type cmd and select Run as administrator.
Step 5. Type the Xcopy command to transfer photos to an external hard drive. The command format is Xcopy C:\folder name E:\folder name /E /H /C /I.
In this way, you can successfully copy and paste the folder to the external hard drive with the CMD command.
Method 3. Transfer Images to External Hard Drive Device Through File History
The built-in feature File History on Windows allows you to back up photos to your external hard drive on your PC without operating manually. To transfer photos from File History to external hard drive, please follow these steps:
Step 1. Connect your external hard drive device to your computer.
Step 2. Press the Start button on your computer and select Settings > Update & Security> Backup.
Step 3. Click the Add a Drive option and pick your external hard drive.
Step 4. Turn on the File History backup feature and select More options > Add a folder. Then select your photo folder to back up.
Step 5. Confirm your operation, then your photos will be backed up in the selected external hard drive directly.
Method 4. Use Backup Tools to Transfer Photos to an External Hard Drive
If you deem the solutions mentioned above are time-consuming and troublesome, you can also select a third-party backup tool to move photo folders to the external hard drive. That backup software not only makes the data transfer easier but also provides specific cloud space to preserve your photos. Along with it, you don’t have to organize the picture files one by one. Instead, you just select the photo categories, and then it will back up all pictures on your computer. Also, data transfer is a super easy process.
To transfer photos to an external hard drive, you just download a trustworthy backup tool and follow the on-screen instructions within the software.
How to Transfer Photos to External Hard Drive on Mac
Apple Photos Library permits you to transfer photos to the external hard drive on a Mac. When you open Photos on your computer, the Photos Library will be created automatically.
It is a folder that saves those images you import to your Mac computer, including photos from your camera, iCloud, or mobile device. Check how to transfer photos on Mac to external hard drives through Apple Photos Library.
🔹 How to move photos to external hard drive with Apple Photos Library
Step 1. Connect your Mac to an external hard drive. Make sure your new storage device is correctly attached by opening a Finder window to check.
Step 2. From the Finder window’s left panel, pick Pictures. If there is not, go to Preferences > Sidebar to open it.
Step 3. Right-click the photos library icon and choose Get Info. Drag and drop it to the external hard drive icon to copy it to your storage device.
Step 4. Wait for the copy process and pull out the external hard drive when it is finished. Then you can delete photos in Photo Library on your Mac.
How to Transfer Photos to External Hard Drive on Android/iPhone/iPad
After checking solutions to transfer photos to external hard drives on Windows and Mac, let’s dive into how to transfer photos from mobile photos to your external storage device. Here are 4 effective methods for you.
Method 1. Transfer Photos to External Hard Drive from Android/iPhone on PC
Firstly, you can move photos on your Android device or iPhone on a PC. To do so, you can select to copy those images to the Windows Photos App, and then drag those files to your external hard drive. You just need to follow the steps below:
Step 1. Connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable.
Step 2. Click Start on your Windows and search for Photos App. Then click the import button and select the images on your phone you want to transfer.
Step 3. Connect the external hard drive to your PC. Then select the external hard drive as the saving path for those imported photos.
Method 2. Move Photos to External Hard Drive from Mobile on Mac
If you are a Mac computer user, you can also try to move photos from your mobile device to an external hard drive on your Mac. To do so, you can take the Image Capture feature on the Mac system as an intermediary. Follow these steps:
Step 1. Connect your phone and external hard drive to your Mac computer.
Step 2. Search for Image Capture in the search bar. Then open it and select the phone device to import photos.
Step 3. In the Import To option, select the external hard drive as the saving path.
Method 3. Transfer Photos to External Hard Drive on Android/iPhone with Cloud Storage
You can also import photos on your Android or iPhone to the cloud space, like iCloud and Google Photos, then download them to your external hard drive on a PC or Mac computer.
To do so, follow these steps:
Step 1. Upload photos to the cloud space from your phone.
Step 3. Select the photos you want to transfer and download them to your computer, then copy and paste them to your external hard drive.
Method 4. How to Transfer Photos from Mobile to External Hard Drive Without Computer
Suppose you don’t have a computer nearby; you can use an external hard drive that is compatible with your mobile phone. Then, you can easily transfer photos from Android/iPhone to an external hard drive without a computer. SanDisk is one of these kinds of hard drives. You can connect it to your phone with a lightning cable. Then you can move photos to it.
Bonus Tips: How to Protect External Hard Drive
We all note that the external hard drive has a lifespan, normally 3-5 years. If you misuse it, its lifespan will be extremely decreased. How to correctly use the external hard drive to back up data in it longer? Here are several tips for you:
- Properly connect and disconnect the drive. Do not pull it off directly.
- Treat it gently to avoid physical damage.
- Protect it with a protective cover.
- Regularly check the health of the external hard drive.
- Regularly back up your data to avoid data loss.
- Avoid extreme surrounding temperatures.
- Check viruses on your computer regularly to avoid malicious attacks on the drive.
The Bottom Line
That’s all about how to transfer photos to external hard drives on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone. By following the instructions above, it is believed that you can successfully move photos to an external hard drive. Also, remember to back up crucial photos to avoid the loss of it during the file transfer process.
I’m thrilled to be part of the OneRecovery team as a writer. I’m passionate about simplifying the complex world of data recovery and making it easy for everyone to understand. My focus? Well, I love diving into tutorials on hard drive recovery, crash computer data retrieval, photo repair, and many more. But that’s not all—I’m all about exploring the creative side too, so expect plenty of engaging and imaginative posts on various aspects of data recovery software. Join me on this journey as I share insights, tips, and tricks that make data recovery a breeze!