Import photos from your Windows phone to your PC

A lot of people who take photos with their mobile phones don't do anything with them once they're taken. They might send a photo or two to a friend, but for the most part, the photos just sit on the phone, taking up space, until it's time to delete them to make room for more.

It's understandable. Outside of the subscription service, it's not particularly simple to get at those photos. Also, the methods are different on many phone models. You might even have to pay for special software to download your photos to your computer. What a drag.

Windows Mobile Device Center to the rescue

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be such a chore to free the photos trapped on your phone. Windows Mobile Device Center makes it straightforward. Plus, it's free.

To import photos from your phone

  1. Install Windows Mobile Device Center. Go to the Windows Mobile Device Center website, and follow the instructions under Download Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1.

    The Device Center works with Smartphones and other handheld devices running Windows Mobile 6, Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Windows Mobile 5.0, Windows Mobile 5.0 with Messaging and Security Feature Pack, Windows Mobile 2003, and Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition.

  2. Connect your phone to your computer, and then and start Windows Mobile Device Center.

    Picture of the Windows Mobile Device Center showing that a mobile device is connected
    The Device Center showing that a mobile device is connected
  3. Click Pictures, Music and Video to start importing the photos from your phone.

    Picture of the Windows Mobile Device Center showing the link for importing photos
    The Device Center showing that 95 photos are ready to be imported
  4. Click the link indicating that photos are ready to import.

  5. Click Import.

    If you don't need the photos on your phone anymore, you can erase them by selecting the Erase after importing check box. This option can save you time and battery life by doing two tasks at the same time. If you regret that choice later, you can always move the photos back.


  • You have the opportunity to add tags to the photos as they are imported. Adding tags now—if your photos are similar enough to be identified by the same keywords—can save you time finding and organizing photos later. (You can always add tags afterward in Windows Live Photo Gallery.)

Your photos appear when ready

When the photos are all imported, they appear in your default photo program.

Picture of photos displayed in Windows Live Photo Gallery
Your photo program automatically displays the imported photos

This example shows photos displayed in Windows Live Photo Gallery, which has convenient features for editing, organizing, and sharing photos.

Now that your photos are on your computer, they're ready for you to edit, share, or simply enjoy!