Two weeks ago I have bought the new iPhone 3Gs. It synced like charm with iTunes and I was happy until a couple of days ago when I noticed that there was absolutely no way I could get any photos from the phone to my mac, as it doesn't even appear in the device list.

Long story short — i have even tried resetting Leopard completely from scratch (and formatting the HD beforehand). Still no joy.

  • Leopard Snow 10.6.1 absolutely clean install with all updates
  • iPhone 3Gs 3.1.2 - syncs like charm with iTunes, but NOT iPhoto
  • Mac Book Air

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

update: It works with my old iphone, why can't the 3Gs work?


Experiencing a similar issue, intermittently

THE BEST WORKAROUND/FIX appears to be to close iPhoto and delete ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iPhoto.plist

It will effectively reset iPhoto, although you'll keep your existing events, and it may cause iPhoto to 'see' your iPhone again. It appears to have worked for me; I left iPhoto open for a bit and it finally displayed my iPhone and let me import photos

I discovered this via this thread on the Apple iPhoto support forum

As per "Kio Dane" , seeing if Image Capture 'sees' your iPhone and will pull photos from it is a great first step.

As part of my troubleshooting, I set iPhoto as the default application to open when iPhone is connected (via Image Capture preferences)

When I plug in my iPhone, iPhoto opens, but will not display the iPhone in the sidebar to display & import photos

The reason I was using iPhoto in the first place was because I like to keep ALL my iPhone photos on the iPhone, but import new ones to my machine whenever I sync. With Image Capture, which is more 'stable' (almost always 'sees' the iPhone), it doesn't detect already imported photos, which can result in duplicates.

Picasa will detect duplicates, but is very slow to scan the iPhone each time it is connected to sync.

It appears that the SOURCE of the issue around iPhoto not seeing the iPhone has to do with non camera photos being stored within the camera roll (ie. screen grabs, or images saved from Mobile Safari) - some people have reported success in getting iPhoto to see their phone again by deleting any non-camera photos from the camera roll. I hope Apple comes up with a proper fix for this.

  • Just want to add that recently I've found that iPhoto will 'see' my iPhone as long as I connect the iPhone BEFORE opening iPhoto, and then wait (up to 10 minutes) for iPhoto to finally see the iPhone... Mar 21 '10 at 16:57

You do the photo sync from inside iTunes. I don't have an iPhone anymore, but if memory serves, there is a tab for photos just like calendars, apps, music, etc.

  • No joy. Still no iPhoto import from the iPhone :( Oct 28 '09 at 9:19
  • 2
    You configure in iTunes which photos to sync from iPhoto to iPhone, that's true. But importing photos taken with the iPhone into iPhoto is a different matter, and has nothing to do with iTunes.
    – Jonik
    Oct 28 '09 at 12:14

Similar issue being discussed on Apple Discussions: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10317492&#10317492

Have you tried using Image Capture? If that works, check what your default camera import application is from the Image Capture preferences.


I had this issue, and what I had to do was remove all photos from the phone manually. I had some images I save from web/email and it was causing it not show up in iPhoto. I cleared all photos on the phone, and then it worked again. Somehow it seemed there was a bad image or something in the photo album on the phone that was causing it not load into iPhoto


I ran into the same issue, and solved it by re-setting the photo-import preferences in iPhoto.

The options you are looking for are in iPhoto > Prefs > General > Connecting camera opens > ..

I set it back to 'Image Capture' and after reconnecting the iphone to my computer the pictures were shown as normal.

Weird that Apple wants you to use iPhoto for setting such an important parameter..


Connect the two, go to dinner, come back and iPhoto shows everything.

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