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Trouble with Transferring Photos from iPhone to PC


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Mar 9, 2015
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Okay, this has been driving me crazy for over a year.

I have a Japanese iPhone 5 (my carrier is SoftBank), which I keep updated often. I still live in Japan.
I love the idea of PhotoStream, because I take a lot of photos during my travels, and it's cool that they can automatically shift to my computer. However, PhotoStream has been nothing but trouble for me since I started using my new iPhone 5 about 18 months ago.

I've noticed that sometimes PhotoStream works great, and sometimes I notice big chunks of missing photos. My phone fills up every 3 months or so, so instead of relying on PhotoStream to move my photos, I treat my phone like a hard drive and move the photos away manually, and then delete the photos from the iPhone. I've tried all kinds of fixes for the iCloud control panel on PC, nothing works.

This has been causing problems.
The photos I copy to my computer and delete from the phone come out of the camera roll, but do not disappear from the "photo stream" folder in my phone. That's not so bad, but there is no way to delete all photos from Photo Stream on my phone, without selecting each one individually. Being that I have over 500 photos in that folder, selecting each one individually is out of the question (I have to do this regularly, remember).

Furthermore, some of the photos in my photo stream were not in the camera roll, because I am seeing pictures in here that I know I haven't sorted through on my computer.

So my first question is, why do photos I take get unevenly distributed between Camera Roll and Photo Stream? I would expect both folders to be identical. For example, I recently thought I finished sorting my photos from a trip to Guam, and here and there I find a photo on my phone from Guam that I haven't seen yet.

When I check to see the Photo Stream (which I'm not using so much anyway) on my PC side, there are only 86 photos in here, when there should be 500.

My phone is still "full" of photos, even though I have deleted almost everything in here. The other day I was taking some travel photos and ran out of space, and deleting a 10 minute video would only free up space for a dozen photos or so. Deleting another 50 photos to make space would allow me 4 or 5 new photos. I did a full (as full as I can, given the puzzle of the photo stream) backup to my computer and deleted the photos when I got home, but now if I look at iTunes, the phone still has a huge bar of photos in the visual storage bar at the bottom of the interface in iTunes.

I liked the idea of Photo Stream, but now I have given up and just want a simple copy and clear method of sorting my photos onto my computer, like the old days. I've read many tutorials, and watched many videos, and I cant find a solution that works. I feel like my problem is rare.

It's very frustrating to have to copy photos off my phone several times, and it means that I often have to sort the same photos two or three times. I know I am losing good photos because of this lack of organization, and it's just not convenient.

How do I delete photos from my phone en masse?
Why are photo stream and camera roll not equivalent?
Why doesn't photo stream translate to my computer properly?
How do I get the "space" back on my phone without a factory reset?
Is there an easy "old fasioned way", or another software I can use where I am guaranteed to get all my photos off the phone conveniently?

Any advice would be appreciated! Transfering photos has become a hair pulling event.
Welcome to iPhoneForums, Lancifer4!

PhotoStream might be convenient for most people, but it has it's limits, as you notice.

First of all, it depends on your Wi-Fi how fast or slow photos appear in PhotoStream. So when you're not connexted to a network, nothing will happen at all. With a not so good Wi-Fi connection, the photos will need quite some time to get to PhotoStream.

It's possible to delete more than one image from there at a time. Tap "Select" at the top right, viewing not a single photo but the overview in PhotoStream. Then tap pictures you want to delete to checkmark them. That done, press the Trash sign at the bottom right and confirm next.

PhotoStream keeps 1000 images, for 30 days, after which they'll disappear completely.

Tbh, there are more reliable ways to save your Photos.

Online storages, like Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, Box and others allow automatically uploading your photos from Camera Roll, so you don't have to do this manually every time you take pictures. You can access their content on every device. Their storage is limited, though.

If you need more storage space for your pictures, try Flickr. You get 1 TB for free. Flickr can also upload images automatically, and you can decide to keep them private. All you'd need is a Yahoo email account.

Hope that helps.