Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Transfer Windows Phone photos to a Mac

If you're looking to transfer all of your precious photos from your Windows phone to your Mac, you'll need to seek out Microsoft's free software to make things happen.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell
2 min read
Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone
The Nokia Lumia 900 phone features a camera with Carl Zeiss optics. Josh Miller/CNET

I have to believe there are at least a few Mac fans who also happen to own a Windows Phone. Even if I'm wrong, I suspect that anyone raised on the "think different" mantra will be curious to see what happens when a Mac and a Windows Phone (literally) hook up.

The frustrating answer is that nothing happens when you connect a Windows phone to a Mac. To transfer anything on or off your Windows phone using a Mac, you must first install Microsoft's Free Windows Phone 7 Connector app.

Get Windows Phone photos on a Mac
Watch this: Get Windows Phone photos on a Mac

Once installed, you'll have an iTunes-like interface for syncing content on and off your phone. Personally, I couldn't get my music or videos to sync to the phone with this tool, but I did have success importing images from the phone's picture folder onto my Mac.

Microsoft even allows a level of manual and custom control over how photos can be imported. Photos will be pulled into iPhoto by default, but you can designate a preferred program or opt to manually transfer images.

To see the process unfold, check out the embedded How To video, as well as the step-by-step gallery.

Get your Windows Phone photos on a Mac (photos)

See all photos

Update: A number of you have also pointed out Microsoft's free cloud storage service, Skydrive, as a solution for transferring photos back to a Mac. Because Windows Phone will automatically back up your pictures to Skydrive, you can later download them to any computer, Mac or PC.

Ideally, you should take advantage of both solutions. Linking your Windows phone to a Skydrive account for automatically storing your camera's photos and videos is an invaluable solution for backing up your media online in case your phone is lost or stolen. But when it comes to quickly transferring your phone's photos and videos to your Mac using a method that integrates directly with Apple's iPhoto software, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Connector software is my preferred tactic.