How do I get pictures from my camera to my computer?


You can import pictures and video clips from your digital camera to your computer in a few different ways. Here's one common way to do it:

Watch this video to learn how to import pictures and videos from your digital camera (0:56)

To import pictures and videos from a digital camera

  1. Connect the camera to your computer by using the camera's USB cable.

    Illustration of a camera being connected to a computer with a USB cable
    Connecting a camera to a computer with a USB cable
  2. Turn on the camera.

  3. In the AutoPlay dialog box that appears, click Import pictures and videos using Windows.

  4. (Optional) To tag the pictures, type a tag name in the Tag these pictures (optional) box.

    By default, the folder name includes the date the pictures and videos are imported and the tag name.

  5. Click Import.

    A new window opens and shows the imported pictures and videos.

Notes

  • You can add descriptive tags to your pictures when you import them by typing them in the Tag these pictures (optional) box. You can also tag pictures or add additional tags after the pictures are imported to your computer. For more information, see Tag pictures so they're easier to find.

  • You can change the settings that are used when importing pictures and videos, so your pictures and videos are named and organized in a way that works for you. For more information, see Change settings for importing pictures and videos.

  • Some devices are compatible with Device Stage. For compatible devices, Device Stage will open instead of AutoPlay when you connect the device to your computer and turn on the device. To import pictures or videos from the device, click the import link in Device Stage.

    To import pictures from a device in Device Stage, the device must be compatible with Device Stage. This new feature allows you to import pictures and videos from some devices, as well as perform other device-related tasks.

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What if the AutoPlay dialog box doesn't appear?

If the AutoPlay dialog box prompting you to import your pictures and videos doesn't appear when you connect the camera to your computer, AutoPlay might be turned off. If this happens, you can import your pictures and videos to your computer through Windows Explorer instead. Here's how:

  1. Open Computer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Computer.

  2. In the navigation pane on the left side of the window, under Computer, right-click your digital camera, and then click Import pictures and videos.

  3. (Optional) To tag the pictures, type a tag name in the Tag these pictures (optional) box.

    By default, the folder name includes the date the pictures and videos are imported and the tag name.

  4. Click Import.

    A new window opens and shows the imported pictures and videos.

Tip

  • If you prefer, you can turn on AutoPlay or set AutoPlay to automatically import pictures and videos from a digital camera. For more information, see Change AutoPlay settings.

What about flash memory cards?

If your camera uses a removable flash memory card such as Secure Digital (SD) or CompactFlash, consider plugging a memory card reader into your computer. When you insert your memory card into the reader, you can copy your pictures from the memory card to your computer without draining your camera’s battery, dealing with connection cables, or installing additional software. Some computers and laptops have a built-in memory card reader. Check the documentation for your computer to determine if your computer has one.

For information about how to import pictures and videos directly from a flash memory card that's in a memory card reader, see Working with digital pictures.

Why can't I choose which pictures or videos to import?

Windows detects your newest pictures and videos and doesn't import duplicate versions of older pictures or videos that you've already copied to your computer, so you can import your pictures and videos in a single step. You can then review and organize your pictures in the Pictures library. For more information about managing and organizing pictures in the Pictures library, see Managing your pictures. You can also review your imported pictures in Windows Photo Viewer, where the large preview format makes it easier to decide which newly imported pictures to delete from your computer. For more information about viewing your pictures in Windows Photo Viewer, see View and use your pictures in Windows Photo Viewer.

To organize your videos, you can use the Videos library. For more information about managing and organizing your videos in the Videos library, see Managing your videos.