Importing photos and videos from a camera, phone or DVD

Here are several ways to import photos and videos from your phone, camera, other device or disc.

Show all

Importing from a phone, camera or external drive

  1. Connect a phone, camera, storage card from your camera or external drive to your PC.

  2. Open the Photos app.

  3. Swipe in from the bottom edge to see the application commands.
    (If you're using a mouse, right-click within the application.)

  4. Tap or click Import.

    Note

  5. Tap or click the device you want to import from.

  6. The app automatically searches for all photos and videos that it hasn’t imported before and selects them. You can also swipe down on or click each photo and video that you want to import, or tap or click Select all.

  7. Tap or click Import.

The photos and videos are saved in the Pictures folder in a subfolder named with the date (for example, 2013-09-10).

Importing from a DVD or CD

  1. Insert the disc into the drive.

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the top-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, then click Search.)

  3. Enter File Explorer in the search box, then tap or click File Explorer.

  4. In the left-hand pane, click on This PC to expand the list of folders and devices.

  5. Tap or click the drive with your photos and videos.

  6. Find the photos you want to import, select them, then copy them to a new folder. If you’d like to see them in the Photos app, copy them into the Pictures folder on your PC or in OneDrive.

Changing what happens when you connect a camera, phone or other device, or insert a disc

You can use AutoPlay to determine what happens when you connect a device to your PC. For example, set it so that every time you plug in a storage card, the Photos app opens and you select which photos and videos to import. You might need to turn on your device's multimedia transport control before AutoPlay can find it.

  • Set basic options: Open PC settings, tap or click PC and devices, then tap or click AutoPlay.

  • Set advanced options: Open Control Panel, tap or click Hardware and Sound, then tap or click AutoPlay.

For more information, see AutoPlay: Frequently asked questions.

Automatically upload photos and videos to a PC or OneDrive

Most devices with a wireless connection automatically upload photos and videos. This list provides suggestions on how to set up automatic uploading, but see your device manufacturer's website for more information.

  • Windows Phone, iPhone or Android: Installing the OneDrive app and set it to upload to OneDrive.

  • Wireless storage card: Check the manufacturer's website for instructions.

  • Windows 8 and Windows RT tablets: Open PC settings, tap or click OneDrive, then tap or click Files. Choose if you want to upload photos, videos or both.

If the PC can’t find your device

There are many possible reasons why a PC can't see a device. Here’s a list of things to try when you get that message.

  • Try reconnecting. Start by disconnecting and reconnecting the device, then try again. If it's a phone or camera, make sure that it's turned on and unlocked.

  • Use a different method. If the Photos app can’t find your device, open File Explorer and see if it’s listed under This PC. If it is, try copying or moving the files into a new folder.

  • Update the drivers and check forums. With hardware changing all the time, the drivers might need updating or there might be a known problem. You can install driver updates from the manufacturer or you can use your PC's default drivers. You can also check the Windows forum or the manufacturer's website for more information about your specific problem.

To install updates from the manufacturer

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Device Manager in the search box, tap or click Settings, then tap or click Device Manager in the results.

  3. Expand Imaging devices.

  4. Right-click the camera that's having problems and tap or click Update Driver Software.

  5. Tap or click Search automatically for updated driver software, then follow the on-screen instructions. This might include restarting your PC.

To install your PC's default drivers

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, then click Search.)

  2. Enter Device Manager in the search box, tap or click Settings, then tap or click Device Manager in the results.

  3. Expand Imaging devices.

  4. Right-click the camera that's having problems and tap or click Update Driver Software.

  5. Tap or click Browse my computer for driver software.

  6. Tap or click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.

  7. Select USB Video Device, click Next, then follow the on-screen instructions. This might include restarting your PC.

Check for answers in the Microsoft community

If the suggestions here don't solve your problem, have a look at the Music, Photos and Video community page in the Windows forum for solutions that other people have found for specific problems. This can be particularly helpful when you're experiencing hardware problems or error messages.

Need more help?