Mac Image Capture Not Working or Not Recognizing iPhone, iPad, or Camera and Scanner: Here’s Fix

Last Updated on Jun 23, 2022

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Image Capture is a fantastic software or application for sharing, transferring, or copying the photos and videos from your scanner, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or camera to your MacBook. This software requires you to connect your MacBook to the iPhone, iPad, or any other device using a USB cable to ensure a fast and secure transfer of images and videos to the MacBook.

This software is beneficial, effective, and convenient for transferring photographs and video clips from the connected devices to your MacBook. But several users are complaining about the Image Capture software being unable to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac machine. This error is a common problem that, when not solved, can cause a lot of nuisance and distress as it disables the users from transferring the videos and pictures to their Macs. Hence, we have curated this article of easy and functional methods using which anyone can fix the problem of Image Capture not working correctly on a MacBook.

Fix Mac Image capture not detecting iPhone or iPad

Tutorial for all Apple’s Silicon M1-series, M1 Pro (MacBook Pro), M1 Max (MacBook Pro & Mac Studio), M1 ultra (Mac Studio), M2 chip of 2022 (MacBook Pro & MacBook Air), Or Intel chip Mac computer users.

Solution. 1→ Unplug and Replug Your iPhone or Change Cable

The standard procedure for fixing the error of “unable to see iPhone device in image capture” is to unplug the USB or charging cable used to connect your iPhone or iPad to the MacBook and reconnect it. This might fix the problems caused due to the improper connection between your device and the MacBook. If this method does not work, go to the following process discussed in this post.

Solution. 2→ Update the Mac System

An un-updated MacBook or a MacBook running on an older version of the macOS operating system might cause some applications like Image Capture to malfunction. As Apple releases new updates and upgrades for its operating system, the app developers also release patch fixes and updates for their apps per the macOS update. Due to this, many software and applications are unsupported or do not work correctly on an older operating system. Hence, updating the Mac by following the process below can help solve this problem.

Step. 1→ Initially, tap on the Apple icon at the top left of your Mac’s display and select System Preferences in the drop-down window.

Step. 2→ Tap on “Software Update” and check for updates.

Step. 3→ Let your Mac look for updates and install them.

Solution. 3→ Re-trust Your iPhone in the iTunes App on Your Mac

Another effective solution for fixing the problem of “unable to import your iPhone photos over to your Mac” is to re-trust your iPhone in the iTunes application of your MacBook. This is a simple process and can be carried out by the simple steps given below.

Step. 1→ First, connect your MacBook to the iPad, iPhone, or any device from which you have trouble importing photos.

Step. 2→ After that, unlock your iPhone or iPad by entering the password.

Step. 3→ Open iTunes on your MacBook and click on the “Continue” button. This button will enable the MacBook to access the information on the iPad or iPhone.

Step. 4→ On your iPhone, click on the “Trust” button in the confirmation window.

After completing this process, try connecting your iPhone or iPad to your MacBook to transfer the photos and videos using the Image Capture feature.

Solution. 4→ Delete the Image Capture Preferences Files

At times the Image Capture app does not work correctly, and the Mac users are unable to see the iPhone device in image capture due to the bugged or corrupted preferences files of the Image Capture software. Since these preferences files contain only the temporary data and settings of the app, deleting them will not cause any harm to the software but might fix your problem. To delete the Image Capture Preferences Files, go through the instructions.

Step. 1→ First, exit from the Image Capture app if it is running.

Step. 2→ Head to “Finder > Go > Home” to open the home folder. (Your username denotes the home folder.)

Step. 3→ Launch the Library folder and go to Preferences

Step. 4→ Look for the file name “com.apple.ImageCapture.plist” and move it to the trash folder.

Then relaunch the Image Capture software and see if you can see your iPhone or iPad connected or not and whether you can transfer photos and videos from your iPhone to the Mac.

Solution. 5→ Enable “My Photo Stream” on Your iPhone

“My Photo Stream” is an excellent feature for uploading the most recent photos so that the users can access, view, and transfer them to the devices on which this feature is enabled. My Photos Stream stores all the recent photos for a month or 30 days in exact. This is an excellent alternative for importing the pictures from your iPhone to your MacBook in case the Image Capture app is not working. This simple process enables “My Photo Stream” on your iPhone.

Step. 1→ Launch or open the Photos app on your iPhone.

Step. 2→ Then, click on Albums.

Step. 3→ Finally, select “My Photo Stream” to enable it.

Once you have enabled My Photo Stream on your iPhone, log in to the same Apple account on your Mac and head over to Photos > Albums > My Photo Stream to access, view, and import the recently uploaded photos.

Solution. 6→ Disable the Optimise Storage Option on Your iPhone

In order to save space on your iPhone, you might have enabled the optimized storage option on your iPhone, which might be one of the causes for Image Capture being unable to import your iPhone photos over to your Mac. To fix this problem, we need to essentially disable the optimized storage feature on your iPhone by the easy steps listed here.

Step. 1→ Open the settings panel on your iPhone.

Step. 2→ Click on your username at the top of the screen and select iCloud.

Step. 3→ Go to Photos and tap on “Download and Keep Originals” under the Optimise iPhone Storage panel to disable it.

Solution. 7→ Turn Off iPhone and Turn it Back On

No matter how useless and unrealistic this may sound, turning off your iPhone and turning it back on has been proven to solve the issue related to image capture on Mac, saying the iPhone is locked. So restart your iPhone and connect it back to the MacBook to check whether the Image Capture can recognize it. If this does not work, go on to the next solution.

Solution. 8→ Restart your MacBook

If restarting your iPhone does not fix the problem, try restarting the MacBook. Sometimes a minor bug or system error causes some applications to malfunction or crash. Hence, restarting or rebooting the MacBook can help fix this issue by refreshing and reloading the system preferences and default settings of all the applications installed on your device.

Solution. 9→ Force Quit Image Capture app and open it again

Improper launching of the Image Capture app or some problems caused during the launching process of the Image Capture application can be the reason for the error “unable to import your iPhone photos over to your Mac.” Therefore, force quitting the app and opening it again might fix your problem. To force the Image Capture app, follow the procedure described below.

Step. 1→ While the Image Capture app is open, press the “Command + Option + Esc” keys simultaneously. You can also force quit by clicking on the Apple icon and selecting the “Force Quit” option.

Step. 2→. Then, reopen the Image Capture app to see if the problem is fixed.

Solution. 10→ Remove other USBs that are plugged into USB ports and check

Disconnect or remove all the cables, USB drives, and connectors plugged into your MacBook as they might hinder the connectivity of your iPhone or iPad with the Mac. So removing them and keeping only the iPad or iPhone connected to your MacBook might resolve this problem of yours. After unplugging all the other cables and USB drives, try transferring your photos and videos to the MacBook using the Image Capture software to see if the issue has been resolved.

Image Capture is a fantastic software for importing or transferring the photographs and video files from your iPhone, camera, scanner, iPad, iPod, or any other device with a camera directly to your MacBook. It makes the copying or sharing files to your Mac very easy and convenient hence you should make the most out of this application. If you face any difficulty or run into any problems preventing you from transferring photos from your iPhone to your Mac machine, go through this article with working and effective solutions for resolving this issue.

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