iPhone XS Max – How to Quickly Transfer Files From Phone to PC

Transferring files from your iPhone XS Max to your PC is easy and can be done in several ways. Here is a detailed guide on the quickest methods to move your photos, videos, and other files from your iPhone to your Windows or Mac computer.

Use a USB Cable

Moving files to the PC via USB cable is a simple and quick solution. Here are the steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS Max to your PC using a USB to Lightning cable.
  2. Unlock your iPhone and tap “Trust This Computer” if prompted.
  3. Open File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac. Your iPhone will appear as an external drive.
  4. Navigate to the DCIM folder – this is where your iPhone photos and videos are stored.
  5. Select the files and folders you want to transfer and copy them to your computer.

The main benefits of using a cable are speed and reliability. Just make sure you have a good quality certified Lightning cable to connect your devices.

Transfer via iCloud Drive

If you use iCloud storage on your iPhone, you can easily access those files from your PC.

  1. Make sure iCloud Drive is enabled on your iPhone under Settings > Your Name > iCloud.
  2. On your PC, go to icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  3. Click iCloud Drive to view files stored in the cloud from your iPhone.
  4. Select files to download to your PC.

This method gives you access to all files in iCloud Drive, not just photos and videos. Great for accessing documents, spreadsheets, and other files.

Use AirDrop

AirDrop lets you wirelessly send files between Apple devices.

  1. Go to Settings > General on your iPhone and turn on AirDrop.
  2. On your Mac, open Finder. On Windows, open File Explorer.
  3. In the sidebar, click AirDrop to start receiving files.
  4. On your iPhone, open the photo, video, or file you want to transfer.
  5. Tap the Share button and select AirDrop.
  6. Select your computer to send the file.

AirDrop transfers are local – the files do not route through the internet. This makes AirDrop fast, simple and secure.

Third-Party Apps

There are many great file management apps for iOS that make transferring content to your PC a breeze:

  • Documents by Readdle – integrates with cloud storage like iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive. Has a desktop app to easily manage files.
  • GoodReader – connects to servers, clouds and FTP. Has WiFi transfer and iTunes file sharing.
  • FileExplorer – integrates with NAS and Cloud. Has desktop clients for Windows and Mac.

These apps are very affordable (most under $10) and offer wireless transfers, cloud/remote connectivity and file management. Well worth checking out!

Use iTunes (Legacy Software)

While iTunes as a music manager has been replaced by Apple Music, you can still use iTunes to sync iPhone content to your PC.

  1. Connect your iPhone to PC via USB and open iTunes
  2. Click on your iPhone icon within iTunes
  3. Select the media type (photos, videos etc) under Settings
  4. Check “Sync …” and select files/folders to transfer
  5. Click Apply to start the transfer

The main downside is having to install iTunes software to manage transfers. But it does provide robust iPhone syncing capabilities.


I’ve outlined several handy methods for getting files from your iPhone XS Max onto your Windows or Mac computer. AirDrop and cloud drives provide wireless transfers, while USB cables offer reliable hardwired file management. Many solutions cater to your specific needs and workstyle. Take your pick!

Let me know if you have any other questions. I have over 10 years experience using Apple products and helping people with iPhone file transfers, backups and tricks to manage their content. Happy to help out with any other queries you may have!