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April 18, 2013

How to transfer photos and videos from your Nokia Lumia to your Mac

How to transfer photos and videos from your Nokia Lumia to your Mac

If you own a Nokia Lumia smartphone and a Mac, you may, at some point, decide to upload the photos or videos you’ve taken on your Lumia to your Mac for editing, or storage.

There are two ways to do that, one using SkyDrive and the other is to use the Windows Phone app for Mac. Here’s how you use both.

Every Nokia Lumia smartphone has access to cloud storage, provided by Microsoft’s SkyDrive. The most basic and standard package gives you 7 GB of free storage, but if you need to, you can upgrade to a bigger package, at a cost.


Your Nokia Lumia smartphone has the ability to automatically upload any photo you take directly to SkyDrive. This means that you can point and shoot to your heart’s content and not worry about transferring them later when you get home.

To turn on automatic upload, head to the applications panel in your Lumia’s main settings screen. You’ll find the auto upload option underneath the tick boxes.

You’ll notice there is the option to automatically upload your videos directly to SkyDrive, however, this only works via Wi-Fi. That may be useful if you’re filming at home where you have a Wi-Fi connection, but if you’re out-and-about, it won’t be much use to you. It’s probably easier to manually upload your videos when you get home or back to the office.

To manually send that video – or photo, if you prefer not to auto-upload that, too – find the item in your Photos gallery, probably under Camera roll. Pulling up the menu options from the bottom of the image or video you’ll see the option to Save to SkyDrive, then press upload.


You’ll then find that media file in your SkyDrive account, and from there you can re-download it onto any device you want, including your Mac.

That’s just one way to pass photos and videos from Lumia to Mac, but there’s also another way; using the Windows Phone app for Mac.

You’ll need to download the latest version from iTunes and install in on your Mac.

Next up, launch the app on your laptop or computer and connect your Nokia Lumia to your Mac using a data cable.

After a few seconds you should see the “Connecting to a device…” progress bar appear, and a few more seconds later, your Lumia will be connected to your Mac.

There are a number of things you can do with Windows Phone app for Mac, but for this article we’re focusing on just getting videos or images off your Lumia.

The menu running down the left hand side of the app is where you’ll find the option to off-load your media files. Look for the option that reads Browse Device.

Once that option is selected, the main screen of the app will populate with a list of items that are currently on your Nokia Lumia smartphone.

Scroll down to the Video, or Photo section and select the content you want to save to your Mac. Using the CMD key on your Mac allows you to select a number of items crossing different sectors.

When you’re ready with your selection, just press the big Import Selected Items button at the bottom. Your Mac will then automatically launch iPhoto where you’ve got the option to trim bits off the beginning or the end of your video by double clicking the video and clicking on the Action (gear) menu.

While we’re sure iPhoto is useful, it squirrels away your pictures deep in the file system, with no easy way of finding where they’re stored. So, if you prefer to have the raw file straight from your Nokia Lumia smartphone (for the purpose of editing it in Photoshop, or something), you could try this instead:

Head back to the Windows Phone app for Mac, select what you want to download and instead of clicking Import Selected Items, drag the items to a folder on your Mac.

This will copy the file directly from your Lumia to an easy to reach file directory, where you’ve got the option to do what you want with it, like edit a video using Final Cut, for example.

Alternatively you can set the app to automatically import all your photos and videos from your Lumia to your Mac as soon as you connect the device – easy!

Image credit: LJR.MIKE