How to Put Photos on Your iPhone Without iTunes

More than likely, you have a ton of photos that you want to put onto your iPhone so that you can show friends and family pictures of your new baby. Here’s how to do it without using iTunes.

iTunes isn’t terrible by any means, but it does slow down the process of putting photos on your iPhone when there are much faster ways to do it. Plus, if you don’t use iTunes at all in the first place, it’s pretty silly to bust out the software just so you can transfer photos to your iPhone.


There are methods that you can use that completely avoid iTunes, some of which take a bit longer, while others involve using third-party software to quickly copy and paste photos to your iPhone using the device’s file system, which is much quicker than doing it through iTunes.

Here’s how to transfer photos to your iPhone without using iTunes.

Using a Cloud Storage Service

Perhaps the easiest way to put photos onto your iPhone without using iTunes is by using Dropbox, Google Drive or other cloud storage service. However, it’s also a method that takes the most time.


This method requires you to have the app of the cloud storage service on your iPhone, so if you use Dropbox, be sure to download and install the Dropbox app from the iTunes App Store. Furthermore, you can download and install the desktop app on your computer. Otherwise, you’ll be using the web interface.


Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 3.28.04 PM

To use cloud storage to transfer photos to your iPhone, simply just copy and paste the photos into your Dropbox folder on your computer, or upload them through the web interface. Depending on the amount of photos you have and the speed of your internet connection, they could take a few minutes to a few hours to sync to Dropbox.

Once the photos are synced, you’ll then be able to access them in the Dropbox app on your iPhone. From there, you can either view them directly in the Dropbox app or save them to your iPhone and view them in the Photos app.

2014-12-10 14.39.58


To view photos directly in the Dropbox app, you can just tap on a photo and browse through them if you have an internet connection. Otherwise, you’ll need to tap on the dotted icon in the upper-right corner of a photo and save the photo to Favorites in order to view it offline, and you have to do this for each individual photo, which can be time consuming.

If you want to export the photos to your iPhone and view them in the Photos app, you’ll need to tap on the Share icon in the upper-right corner and then tap on Save Image. Again, you’ll need to do this for each individual image.

2014-12-10 14.39.17

Using Third-Party Software

Ultimately, the best way to transfer photos to your iPhone quickly and easily is by using third-party software. Personally, I like iExplorer, which lets you view your iPhone’s file system and add files to it if need be. You’ll also need iExplorer Mobile for your iPhone, which you can download in the iTunes App Store.

After downloading and installing iExplorer, plug in your iPhone to your computer and fire up iExplorer. It should automatically detect your iPhone.


Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 2.44.09 PM

Click on Photos & Videos, which will take you to a list of your iPhone’s file system, similar to that on your computer, so you should be fairly familiar with how it works. From here, we’re going to drag and drop photos into the file system so that you can view them on your iPhone using the Photos app.

After you click on Photos & Videos, double-click on Apps and you’ll be greeted with a list of apps that you have installed on your iPhone. Next, scroll down and find iExplorer. Click on the arrow just to the right of it and you’ll see a folder called Documents.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 3.16.51 PM


Drag and drop your photos into this folder and they will then show up in the iExplorer app on your iPhone, which you can then view them on your device. From there, you can then save any photo to your Camera Roll.

Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t allow you to simply drag and drop photos to your iPhone, even if you use iExplorer, which is why iExplorer Mobile is necessary.