How to transfer photos from your old iPhone to a new one without using a computer

There are many ways to transfer photos between iPhones.

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There are many ways to transfer photos between iPhones.
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Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • It’s easy to transfer photos from one iPhone to another, even if you don’t have a computer.
  • If you’ve just bought a new iPhone and want to transfer all your old photos onto it, you can do that easily through iCloud.
  • If you want to share your photos with other people, there are nearly a half-dozen ways to do just that – the easiest is by using your iPhone’s Shared Albums feature.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

For many people, an iPhone is really more of a camera than it is a phone at all. Later generation iPhone cameras, like those on the new iPhone 11 models, take amazing pictures. And with how many pictures we take, it only makes sense that we’d want to keep those pictures for as long as we can.

Luckily, you never have to delete your iPhone photos, even after you get a new iPhone. It’s easy to transfer your photos from one iPhone to another, and you don’t even need a computer to do it.

This also comes in handy if you have photos that you’d like to share with someone else who owns an iPhone.

And even if he or she doesn’t, transferring images from an iPhone is still blissfully easy.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone Xs (From $999.99 at Best Buy)

How to transfer pictures from your old iPhone to a new iPhone using iCloud

1. On the iPhone where all your photos are currently stored, open the Settings app.

2. Tap your name at the top of the Settings screen to open your Apple ID profile.

Tap your Apple ID name to open it.

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Tap your Apple ID name to open it.
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William Antonelli/Business Insider

3. Tap the “iCloud” option on your profile. On this next page, you’ll see a reading of how much iCloud storage space you’re using, and a list of apps that are storing data in iCloud.

Open your iCloud menu.

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Open your iCloud menu.
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William Antonelli/Business Insider

4. Tap “Photos,” which should be at the top of the apps list.

5. Make sure that the button next to “iCloud Photos” is enabled.

The iCloud Photos button will be green when it's enabled.

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The iCloud Photos button will be green when it’s enabled.
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William Antonelli/Business Insider

If you don’t have enough iCloud storage to save all of your photos and videos, you’ll need to purchase more. You can see how much each iCloud storage plan costs, and how to enable them, in our article, “How to buy more iCloud storage for your iPhone, and what you’ll pay for each plan.”

Once you’ve enabled iCloud Photo backups, all of your photos will be saved to your Apple ID account.

Now, to transfer photos, on on your new phone:

1. Turn on your new iPhone and go through the basic setup instructions until you reach the “Apps & Data” page.

2. On this page, select “Restore from iCloud Backup.”

Select

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Select “Restore from iCloud Backup” to regain all your data.
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Apple

3. Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID information.

4. You’ll be presented with a list of all your backups. Choose the iCloud backup that contains all the photos you want (usually the most recent one).

5. It may take a few minutes, but all of your photos, videos, and other backed up content will be transferred to your new iPhone.

How to transfer photos from your iPhone to a friend’s iPhone

Using AirDrop

First, make sure the AirDrop feature is enabled on both iPhones. Go to the photo you wish to share, then tap the little square with the arrow pointing up out of it at the bottom left. (If you can’t see that icon, just tap the image, and it should appear.) If you want to send several images at once, tap the circles on the bottom right corner of the other pictures to select them.

1. Just below the image, you will see the AirDrop icon, which looks like concentric blue circles with a white triangle poking up from the bottom. Ask the intended image recipient to turn on their AirDrop function from within their phone’s settings.

2. Tap the person’s name once it appears in the AirDrop space.

Once you open this menu, it will take a few moments for potential AirDrop recipients to appear.

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Once you open this menu, it will take a few moments for potential AirDrop recipients to appear.
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Steven John/Business Insider

3. Once they accept the AirDrop offer, the photo(s) will transfer.

Also see our article, “How to AirDrop a file from an iPhone to a Mac or other Apple devices,” for more details.

Using iCloud

Again, go to the photo you wish to share and then tap the square with the arrow icon at the bottom left.

1. In the bottom row of apps, tap “Copy iCloud Link.”

2. A window will pop up saying “Preparing.”

3. Once that window closes, you can open an email or text and paste it in (tap and hold the screen until a bar with the “Paste” option appears), then send the link.

You can paste the iCloud link anywhere.

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You can paste the iCloud link anywhere.
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Steven John/Business Insider

iCloud sharing is the best choice for sending many images at once.

Using iMessage or SMS

Open the picture, then tap the square with arrow icon.

1. Tap the green “Message” app.

2. Send the picture via text to the iPhone(s) or any other phone(s) of your choosing.

You can text photos to any phone, not just iPhones.

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You can text photos to any phone, not just iPhones.
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Steven John/Business Insider

Using email

Follow the same steps as above, only this time, tap the “Mail” icon.

By creating a shared album

If you regularly share pictures on your iPhone with the same people, take a minute to create a shared album. Any time you move a photo or video into it, the others sharing the album will have instant access.

1. Open the Photos app and tap “Albums” at the bottom of the screen.

2. Tap the blue “+” at the top left of the screen to create a new album.

3. Tap “New Shared Album.”

4. Name the album, then tap next.

5. Enter all of the contacts with whom you want the album to be shared, then tap “Create.”

Going forward, any image you move into this album will be accessible to everyone who accepted your invite to join it.

You can post pictures to the shared album at any time.

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You can post pictures to the shared album at any time.
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Steven John/Business Insider

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