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Grow Your Business Technology

How to Sync and Transfer Files From an iPhone to Your PC

How to Sync and Transfer Files From an iPhone to Your PC Credit: Phone image via Shutterstock

As simple as it is to use the iPhone, managing content between an iPhone and a PC can be a surprisingly challenging and frustrating task. Here's how you can tackle it without wanting to throw your phone against the wall.

There are several ways to transfer content from an iPhone to a PC: syncing via iTunes, manual transfer using Windows AutoPlay and using third-party software.

Syncing is the easiest way to transfer content from an iPhone to a PC. Syncing transfers all types of content at once and easily keeps both devices up to date.

To sync an iPhone with a PC, you need to have the latest version of iTunes and use either a USB cable or Wi-Fi.

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Syncing via USB cable

Open iTunes and connect your iPhone using the USB cable that came with the device. Click on the Device button located in the upper-right corner. Configure the types of content you want to sync, and then click Apply to sync your iPhone with your PC.

Syncing via Wi-Fi

To set up Wi-Fi syncing, open iTunes and connect your iPhone via USB. Click on the Device button in the upper-right corner. From the Summary tab, select "Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi." Configure the types of content you want to sync, and then click Apply to enable syncing via Wi-Fi. Syncing will begin any time your iPhone and PC are on the same network, whenever iTunes is open on your PC and when your iPhone is plugged in to power.

Manually sync via iTunes

Both of these options also allow manual syncing for more control over which content you want synced between your iPhone and your PC. To turn off automatic syncing, open iTunes and connect your iPhone to your PC. From the Device screen, open the Summary tab, select either the "Manually manage music and videos" or "Manually manage music." option and click Apply.

In addition to manually syncing content between your iPhone and PC using iTunes, you can manually transfer photos using Windows AutoPlay, a device media management tool. This is the preferable option for those who need more control over where their photos are stored on their PC, and the process is similar to importing photos from a digital camera to a laptop or desktop computer.

To manually transfer photos from your iPhone to your PC using Windows AutoPlay, connect your phone to your Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC. The AutoPlay window will appear. Click on "Import pictures and videos." (By default, your photos will be transferred to your My Pictures folder — click on Import Settings to change where your photos will go). Click Import, and the transfer will begin. Windows Gallery will automatically launch, and you can view your imported photos once the transfer is complete.

Running Windows XP? Use the Scanner and Camera wizard instead, which automatically appears when you connect your iPhone to your computer. Follow the on-screen instructions to begin importing.

For those who need fully featured solutions, iTunes and Windows tools prove to be very limited iPhone content management tools. Using third-party apps, you can have more control over transferring all types of content to and from devices. Some apps are free, some are paid, some don't work and some are illegal.

Here are four popular iPhone-to-PC apps that iPhone users love:

1.     iExplorer— iExplorer is an iPhone-to-PC management tool that allows you to access all the content on your device and transfer it to your PC. This includes music and photos, as well as text messages, voicemails, address book, contacts, calendar, reminders, notes and more.

2.     Xilisoft iPhone Transfer— Xilisoft can help you transfer content from your iPhone to your PC by making your iPhone act like a portable drive. You can transfer media, e-books and other files to your PC, and then also transfer them back from your PC to your iPhone.

3.     Sharepod— Using Sharepod, you can copy songs, videos, podcasts and other media from your iPhone to PC. It can also save and backup copies of your playlists. Note that this app requires iTunes 10 or later.

4.     PhoneTrans Pro— PhoneTrans Pro by iMobie transfers music and personal data (playlists, ratings and artwork) from your iPhone to your PC and vice versa. A free trial is available and is limited to 50 songs.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily. 

Sara Angeles
Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.