Importing Photos from DroidX into iPhoto on a Mac

Fred McKinnon —  April 12, 2011 — 23 Comments

So you’ve just come home from vacation (like us) and you’re ready to import all of your photos and videos from your Motorola Droid or DroidX into your Mac’s iPhoto application.  Unlike plugging in an iPhone, it’s not necessarily that simple.

Prior to December 2010 it seemed you could just plug in the phone and it would do everything you’d expect.  It seems like some operating system update changed this in late 2010, based on discussions in the Android forums.

In case you haven’t figured it out – here’s the short and simple way to make this happen.
(click the image for a larger view)

  1. Make sure your DroidX USB settings are set to “USB Mass Storage”.
  2. Plugin your DroidX to your Mac via the USB cable.  (this SHOULD mount the device on your desktop and may actually launch iPhoto automatically.  (My phone mounts as “NO NAME”.)
  3. If iPhoto did not launch automatically, launch it to open the application.
  4. In iPhoto, go to “Import to Library” which brings up a file selection box.
  5. Your photos are stored on your data card.  Navigate to the following directory on your phone:
    /dcim/Camera/
  6. You should see your timestamped photos and videos in this folder.  Simply click the “Import” button to begin.

That should do it!  Try it and let me know if it worked for you.

Fred McKinnon

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Fred McKinnon, Worship Artist, Pianist, Producer. Husband to Joy, Father of Jon Michael, Will, Rebekah, and Andrew. Lives on St. Simons Island, GA.

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  • Don Andrus

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!! It totally worked and you saved the day!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-McKinnon/631515675 Fred McKinnon

      Don,
      Awesome – I was hoping this would help someone!

  • http://www.otismaxwell.com Ot

    Yes and no. When I select mass storage in my droid settings then the droid cannot find the SD card. This is a glitch I’ve read about elsewhere. So just leave it on “charge only”.

    Then, when you go into iPhoto, you only see “NoName” and no listing of files. But if you go to File>Export on the menu you are able to navigate to the dcim/camera folder and there the photos are. Videos too. That part worked just fine.

  • jpgillam

    The key information me me was to set the phone to “USB Mass Storage.” Thanks for explaining it!

  • Danielleivens

    Where do I go in the Droid to set USB Mass storage?

    • brueso10

      Am curious.  I haven’t had any problem importing Droid photos to Mac in the past but I just took a whole lot of photos, and when I imported them, the resolution was not 5 MB as the camera was set to do.  The file sizes are much smaller and therefore, the image quality is less.   I’ve checked the settings to be sure they said 5 MP and ‘super fine’ adn they do, so I can’t figure out what happened.    If it was a case that the SD card was getting full, I would’ve expected it would’ve stopped letting me take photos.   Did it somehow switch the file size to KB on its own?   I’m mystified!

      • http://www.fredmckinnon.com fmckinnon

        Hey,
        Thanks for stopping by – that’s definitely a mystery .. no clue on that one!

  • JRC

    Strange….I went through all the steps above and there was no problem.  My pictures were successfully imported in iPhoto….so I thought.  In the events library, the folder is there and I see the photos when I scroll over the thumbnail however, when I click on the actual folder to view my photos, it is empty.  Not sure what happened???

  • E. Jones

    I’ll try this when I get home. I sure hope it works because the “V Cast manager” is ridiculous and not as easy as iPhoto. Once you use “i” things, it’s hard to use anything else. :)

  • Justin

    Thanks you this worked great.  I couldn’t find the USB mass storage for the longest time in the settings.  I didn’t realize that when you plug in the phone it then give the option to choose usb mas storage.

  • Watsonhawx

    Yes, thank you so much. You are right. I use to be able to just plug Droid in with usb…I didn’t know if it was something I was doing wrong. Great explanation!!!

  • Malloy Janie

    Thanks, Fred. This worked. You are a peach!

    Janie

  • Garyrhayes

    Everything seems to go well until i go to import to iPhoto library where the import option is not highlighted…so I’m stuck there

    • guest

      Thanks so much for this great tutorial.
      May depend on which operating system you are using. Until I updated to Snow leopard, this did not work. Just installed (late ) and it worked. Now sorta afraid to do updates…..as others on forums say it stops working…

  • Dianna

    Do you have any idea how to do this for a Samsung Epic 4G? I’m trying to get photos from my Epic to a Macbook Air. Thanks!

    • Lilydancer52

      Hi Donna, I have the exact same phone.
      I am staying on snow leopard so I can do this and NOT upgrading to lion. 
      some apple employees shared that Lion is no big deal, so…  
      plug in usb cable from epic to your mac.  Bring down the notification thinghy on your phone . you’ll see USB storage . Tap on the usb connect, and iphoto will open. !!  Then click on upload on the lower right of iphoto.Make sure you right click the phone  in the column in iphone and eject it before you unplug the usb.
       I have taken video and photos on the phone and have uploaded them with ease. Keep me posted. 

  • Chewie the Pitbull

    Thanks! It worked perfectly…- Respect

  • http://twitter.com/dwiggins Dianna Wiggins

    This is pretty much true for mine, except that I had to turn on some USB Debugging feature on my phone in order for the droid to be able to “talk” to the Mac. 

  • Jc7rosa

    This worked great! Thank you! 

  • Teresag

    Thanks! This was very helpful. 

  • Gpino

    such an easy explanation! this was great!!!!!

  • Jaybunker

    It worked for me too. Thanks!

  • Marcy

    Couldn’t have done it without you and these instructions…THANKS!