The Fastest Way to Transfer Photos / Screenshots from iOS to Mac

There are many ways to transfer photos or screenshots taken on your iOS devices to your Mac. For example, you can email them to your inbox, sync via Dropbox, connect your iPhone via a cable to your Mac and use Image Capture app, or use the offcial Apple way – send it via AirDrop. However, I still find all these methods not convenient enough.

If you’re like me, who want screenshots or photos taken on the iPhone to be instantly available on the Mac without needing to do anything else, you’re in luck. I’ve found a way to do this and it just needs an easy setup.

What You Need:

First, make sure both your iOS and Mac meet the following requirements:

  • Both iOS and Mac are connected to an iCloud account of the same Apple ID.
  • Photo Stream is turned on for both iOS and macOS.
  • Both iOS device and Mac are connected to Wi-Fi.

With iCloud enabled on your iOS device, every photo taken on your mobile device will be uploaded to iCloud and made available on all other connected devices.

Setup for Easier Access

However on the Mac, this folder of photos is hidden somewhere in the Library folder. We are going to find it, and make it more easily accessible.

Step 1:

Right-click Finder on the dock, select “Go to Folder” or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + G.

go to folder
Step 2:

Enter ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub and click Go.

sub folder

This brings you to a folder name “Sub” and here’s how it should look like.

sub folder
Step 3:

Now, with the “Sub” folder open and active, create a new Smart Folder: File > New Smart Folder.

create smart folder
Step 4:

Select the “sub” tab, click “+” button on the right, and select Image from the Any dropdown list.

sorts smart folder
Step 5:

Click “Save“. Name it “Photo Stream” or anything else you want. Decide the location for this folder.

Check “Add To Sidebar” if you want the folder to appear on the Finder sidebar.

naming smart folder
That’s it!

From here on, all photos you take with your iPhone or iPad can be synced automatically to your Mac, and be found in this folder.

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